Braid out Vs Twist out (Do you Know The Difference?)

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braid out vs twist out

Have you recently made the transition to natural hair? Then, you probably know the excitement that comes with trying to get a perfect twist out or braid out.

As you can imagine, there are so many cute hairstyles for natural hair but nothing beats the good old braid out and twist out. But what’s the difference between the two? Which one would you go for?  


The key difference between a braid out and twist out is that a braid out results in a more stretched, wave-like curl pattern while a twist out results in a bouncy, spring-like curl pattern. Twist outs tend to cause more shrinkage and frizz compared to braid outs, but last longer.

Braid out vs Twist out

Here are the differences between a braid out and a twist out;

Braid outTwist out
There is less shrinkage with a braid-out hence the look is more stretched out with ‘longer’ curlsResults in less elongated hair as it suffers more from shrinkage
Works well on shorter hairWorks best on longer hair
Results in less frizzMore frizzy compared to braid-outs
They are harder to achieve compared to twist-outs and takes longer to install.Easier to both install and take down  
Results in a wave-like curl patternResult in a spring-like, bouncy curls
Does not last as long as twists outLasts longer compared to a braid out

I love how @nays_vibe has done the comparison picture, all credit to her. What do you think?

Read on to understand the differences; we shall cover the pros and cons of each and a guide on how to install a braid-out and twist-out.

Braid Out

What is a braid out?

A braid out is a hairstyle created when you unravel braided hair strands, created by using three strands of hair. This style enhances the look of your natural hair while adding texture to your hair.

Braid outs enhance the curl pattern and give hair a wave-like definition.

Creating braid-outs is pretty easy and once unraveled the hair can be styled further into high or low puff styles, buns and so much more.

Advantages of a braid out

  1. Gives your natural hair a more stretched/ elongated look.
  2. Works well on shorter hair.
  3. Less frizzy compared to twist-outs.

Disadvantages of a braid out

  1. They are harder to achieve compared to twist-outs.
  2. They take a longer time to install and take down

How to do a braid out

What you’ll need:

  • Leave-in conditioner, oil, moisturizer
  • Hairbands
  • Spray bottle
  • Silk scarf


  • Start off with clean hair. Wash and condition the hair
  • Proceed to moisturize using the LCO or LOC method
  • You can either use braided cornrows or free hanging braids
  • For the free hanging braids, part the hair into sections especially if you have voluminous hair. Pick a section and section out some hair and braid it from root to top using 3 strand method
  • For the cornrows, splitting your hair into large 4-6 cornrows and braid it with three strands. The technique heavily borrows from the normal braid except you start braiding with a small section and keep borrowing hair to add to the braid as you go along
  • Let the hair dry overnight by covering your hair with a silk scarf while you sleep or go under a drier
  • When the braids are dry rub some little oil on your fingers and carefully unravel. Gently split the curls and comb the roots for a fuller look

Check out this video by OnlyOneJess. If this is not perfect, what is?

Twist Out

What is a twist out?

Twist outs are achieved by installing two strand twists or flat twist on well-moisturized hair, letting the twists dry and unraveling them.

For your twist outs to come out right, you need to give them time to set, by letting them stay overnight or over a couple of days.

Advantages of a twist out

  1. They are easier to install.
  2. They last longer
  3. Results in a more defined curl pattern

Disadvantages of a twist out

  1. Twist-outs works best on slightly longer hair.
  2. Results in less elongated hair.
  3. They can get frizzier in comparison to braid-outs.

How to do a twist out

What you will need

  • Leave-in conditioner, oil, moisturizer
  • Hairbands
  • Spray bottle
  • Silk scarf


  • Wash and condition the hair
  • Proceed to section the hair into small buns
  • For each bun, take out a smaller section
  • Apply oil, leave-in conditioner, or any hair gel and detangle the hair if there are any knots.
  • Start twisting the hair into a single strand twist, flat twist, or a two-strand twist.
  • Hair that is too wet will not give a well-defined curl pattern
  • Cover your head with a scarf and let it set overnight before unraveling. You could also go under a drier if you want the results quicker
  • Gently split the curls and comb the roots for a fuller look
  • Style the hair as desired

Here is a video by @ Slim Reshae.

How long do twist outs last?

With proper care, twist-outs can last 1-2 weeks. Keep the ends moisturized and let the twists set for as long as possible before unraveling them. Wearing a satin or silk bonnet will protect your hair.

How long do braid outs last?

Braid-outs are likely to last 5-7 days if well maintained. If the braids are tightly done, the braid outs will have more definition and will therefore last longer.

The less you fluff your braid out or twist out on day one, the longer it will last you.

Final thoughts on braid out vs twist out

As you can see, both the braid out and twist out have pros and cons. Depending on your hair type, texture, and simply preference, you can pick one over the other.

To pick your favorite between braid-outs and twist-outs, you can alternate between the two hairstyles until you figure the one that best works for you.

Before you leave, you may find this recommended products page useful. Here you will find the natural hair products that my friends & I have found to be very good for natural hair.

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