Twist Outs and Braid Outs: Tips and Tricks for Perfect Results

If you’re a fan of casual and low-effort hairstyles, twist outs and braid outs are perfect for you. They look amazing on women with curly or wavy hair. With a few tips and tricks, you can achieve the perfect results for twist outs and braid outs!

For both hairstyles, you need to start with clean and moisturized hair. While braid outs can be done with cornrows, you need to section your hair into small buns for twist outs. You can bring out the beauty of your natural hair with these styles.

Although twist outs and braid outs are simple hairstyles, you need to know the key tips to pull them off perfectly. The secret to an elegant braid out or twist out is well-moisturized hair and the right techniques!

Popular Protective Styles: Twist Outs and Braid Outs

Popular Protective Styles: Twist Outs and Braid Outs

Braid outs and twist outs are two unique styles that look great on natural hair. These are also simple to install and don’t require any extra equipment.

If you want to flaunt your natural hair and texture, you can try braid outs to enhance your curls. You can style your braid outs by tying your hair into high or low buns, half-ups, half-downs, and more. Braid outs are created using three strands of hair and unraveling them afterward.

Twist outs are a low-maintenance hairstyle that can define your naturally wavy hair. You can wear this flexible style throughout the day and look gorgeous. Two-strand twists and flat twists are two variations of this hairstyle that you can take out when you want loose hair.

Why You Should Wear Braid Outs and Twist Outs

Why You Should Wear Braid Outs and Twist Outs

Braid outs can give you tighter curls and bring more definition to the waves. It’s a style that can make your hair appear longer without any flat irons or heat styling. 

Since it has a gentle and wavy pattern, heat and humidity don’t affect it much. You can style braid outs in different ways and they can last for days!

Usually, natural hair doesn’t dry into an even wavy pattern, but wearing twist outs can help you to get uniformly dried curls. They are faster and easier to install than most hairstyles – making it convenient for you to look pretty before a party.

How to Wear Braid Outs and Twist Outs Using Easy Steps

How to Wear Braid Outs and Twist Outs Using Easy Steps

Before creating twist outs or braid outs, you need a few ingredients and equipment. These include –

  • Moisturizer or hair gel
  • Spray bottle
  • Small hair bands
  • Leave-in conditioner
  • Silk scarf

The first step for both hairstyles is to start by cleaning your hair thoroughly. Make sure that your hair is moisturized before you start sectioning it.

Braid Outs

Braid Outs
  1. Wet your hair gently using the spray bottle.
  2. Apply hair gel or oil to make it more manageable. You can use free-hanging braids or cornrows for this style.
  3. Next, you may use a serum on your damp hair to reduce frizz and make it easier for you to braid.
  4. For cornrows, divide your hair into 4-6 wide cornrows and braid it with three strands of hair. Keep adding more hair to the braids as you go.
  5. If you’re going for free hanging braids, separate your hair into different sections. Start braiding from the root using three strands of hair and keep going till the end.
  6. Use hair ties to keep the braids in place and cover them with a silk scarf before going to bed.
  7. After the braids have been dried, rub some oil onto your fingers before unraveling the braids. You can carefully split the curls and comb the roots for a more voluminous look!
  8. Using argan oil after the braid outs are done will result in shinier and sleeker hair.

Twist Outs

Twist Outs
  1. Wet your hair properly using the spray bottle. If your hair is too damp, the curl patterns won’t be defined well. Twisting dry hair may cause excessive friction and break the strands.
  2. If there are any knots in your hair, you can use a leave-in conditioner or hair gel to detangle them.
  3. Part your hair into small buns and start twisting them as you like. You can create flat twists and single or double-strand twists.
  4. Just like braid outs, tighten the twists using hairbands and cover with a silk scarf overnight.
  5. Once the hair is completely dry, you can unravel the twists and comb the roots to end the process.
  6. If you have thick hair, keep damping the strands once in a while throughout the braiding.
  7. Style your twist outs however you like for a unique look!

Both braid outs and twist outs are hairstyles you can install easily at home and maintain conveniently.

Braid Outs vs Twist Outs: Advantages

If you’re confused between twist outs and braid outs, this can help you to pick the best style for you. Your choice may also depend on the length and texture of your hair.

Twist Outs

  1. They’re easier to install than braid outs and even last longer.
  2. You can experiment with two or three strands of hair and create unique styles.
  3. If you have long hair, twist outs will look great on you!

Braid Outs

  1. Even if you have short hair, braid outs can give you a slightly stretched look.
  2. This hairstyle is less frizzy than twist outs.
  3. You will have more defined curls and waves with braid outs.

Disadvantages of Braid Outs vs Twist Outs

Even though they’re both great hairstyles, braid outs, and twist outs may have a few downsides that you should know about.

Braid Outs

  1. These require a longer time to dry and install.
  2. The process of taking down braids is also time-consuming because you have to be gentle about avoiding frizz.

Twist Outs

  1. This hairstyle can shrink your hair and make it appear shorter.
  2. They can get frizzier compared to braid outs so you have to be careful.
  3. To make your twist outs firm, you need to let it set properly – sometimes overnight or even for a few days.

Understanding the Difference Between Braid Outs and Twist Outs

Understanding the Difference Between Braid Outs and Twist Outs

Both twist outs and braid outs are loved and appreciated in the natural hair community. To know which style works the best for you, you’ll need to understand the difference between them –

1. Length

While braid outs work best on short hair, twist outs are perfect for long hair. Twist outs create shrinkage, whereas braid outs elongate your strands.

If you have shorter hair, you may want to retwist your hair frequently for a cleaner look. However, don’t try twisting every night, as it may cause damage.

Smaller twists usually look fuller and last longer, so take your time while twisting your hair!

2. Appearance

Braid outs create an elongated and wavy curl pattern. Twist out provides spring-like curls and a more flexible hairstyle.

3. Lifetime

Twist outs stay intact for a longer period than braid outs. If you take care of your twist outs properly, they can last for up to 1-2 weeks. But braid outs can only last for 5-7 days.

If you secure your braids firmly, they may last a bit longer.

4. Ease of Installation

Twist outs are simpler to install because all you have to do is keep twisting your hair strands together until all of your hair is done. But braid outs require a bit more work as you have to braid three or more hair strands together.

Be it braid outs or twist outs – make sure always to keep your hair ends moisturized. Wear a silk scarf to protect your hair from frizzing.

Alternatives to Twist Outs and Braid Outs

Besides braid outs and twist outs, there are many other protective hairstyles you can wear. Some of the most popular ones have been listed here.

1. Halo Braids

Halo Braids

This style is perfect for women with medium or long hair. Firstly, you have to make a French or Dutch braid and pin it around your head. It’s similar to crown braids which require two French braids to be wrapped around your head.

This is an elegant hairstyle that can last up to 6 weeks and you can customize it using bangs, buns, or half braids!

2. Bantu Knots

Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are a protective hairstyle that anyone can wear. It’s said to have originated among the Zulu tribes of southern and west Africa. They symbolize black history and self-love.

In this style, the hair is divided into sections, twisted, and wrapped in a way where the hair forms a spiral knot.

3. Flexi Rod Sets

Flexi Rod Sets

These can last for 10-14 days with proper maintenance. The number of rollers depends on the length, density, and texture of your hair. Section your hair from the back of your head and work your way to the front.

You can use rollers of different sizes across your head before using a hair mousse to set the curls. Once the curls are dry, take the rollers out and separate the curls as you like!

4. Roller Sets

Roller Sets

Roller sets are a great way of achieving gorgeous, bouncy curls. Loose curls, tight afro curls, long defined curls, teased curls, subtle waves, and layered bangs are some of the prettiest hairstyles you can create using roller sets.

You can get different curls depending on the shape and size of your rollers. Keep the rollers on for longer if you want more defined curls or wavy patterns.

5. Pineapple Updo

Pineapple Updo

This is a fun and stylish way of keeping your curls up during hot summer days. Gather your hair into a high pony and tightly secure it using a hair tie. Now comb through the curls or fluff them out using your fingers for a softer look.

You can use hair gel to smoothen the center of your head for a sleeker look.

6. CurlFormers


Apart from flexi rods and roller sets, you can also use curl formers for unique hairstyles. Firstly, condition your hair and twist it before hooking the curl formers and pulling through. Make sure that the entire hair strand is pulled through the former from root to end.

Now repeat the process across your entire head and let your hair dry. Finally, remove the curl formers to reveal a gorgeous hairdo!

7. Flat Twists

Flat Twists

In this hairstyle, section your hair into cornrows before flat twisting it to the scalp. Then allow them to set and unravel for a casual look. Depending on the hair texture and twists, your flat twists can last for up to 3 weeks.

Flat twists are created by intertwining two strands of hair and repeating the process all over your head.

8. Twisted Low Ponytail

If you want to make your regular ponytail look more elegant, a twisted low ponytail is a great pick. Create a rope braid by twisting your hair around and use bobby pins to secure it.

Tie the hair into a low ponytail and unravel it a little for more volume. This chic hairstyle is perfect for school, workplaces, and even parties!


How long will a twistout last?

The duration of a twist out can vary depending on hair type and maintenance, typically lasting a few days to a week.

Are twist-outs healthy for your hair?

Twist-outs can be a healthy styling option if done gently and with proper care.

Do braid-outs make hair growth?

Braid-outs can help with hair growth by reducing manipulation and protecting the ends.

How often should you twist out?

The frequency of twist outs depends on personal preference and hair needs, but they can be done weekly or every few days.

Why do braids last longer than twists?

Braids generally last longer than twists due to the tighter hold and reduced frizz.

How do you make twist outs last longer?

To make twist outs last longer, try using a satin bonnet or scarf while sleeping and refreshing the style with lightweight moisturizers.

Which is harder flat twist or cornrow?

The difficulty between flat twists and cornrows may vary based on individual styling skills and hair texture.

What do twist-outs do for your hair?

Twist outs can enhance natural curl patterns, add definition, and create texture in the hair.

Are twist-outs good for natural hair?

Twist-outs are suitable for natural hair and can enhance its appearance and manageability.

Are braid outs low manipulation?

Braid outs can be considered low manipulation styles, as they require minimal daily manipulation.

What are Dookie twists?

Dookie twists are larger-sized twists or braids that are typically shoulder-length or longer.

How do you style a twist out on short natural hair?

Styling a twist out on short natural hair can be achieved by creating smaller twists for added definition and using suitable styling products.

How do you sleep with a braid out?

To sleep with a braid out, you can protect the style by covering your hair with a satin bonnet or sleeping on a satin pillowcase.

Which braids are best for twist?

The best braids for twist outs are typically smaller-sized braids that create a more defined curl pattern.

Do twist outs help with curl pattern?

Twist outs can help enhance and define natural curl patterns, but the results may vary depending on individual hair texture.

Do you need gel for a braid out?

No, you do not need gel for a braid out. However, gel can help to define the curls and prevent frizz. If you do not want to use gel, you can use a leave-in conditioner or curl cream instead.

Are braid outs good for hair growth?

Braid outs can be beneficial for hair growth as they protect the ends and minimize manipulation.

What are Dookie braids?

Dookie braids are larger-sized braids that are typically long and thick.

How do you do a twist out on natural hair?

To do a twist out on natural hair, you need to section the hair, twist each section, allow it to dry, and then unravel the twists for the desired style.

How to do a braid out on relaxed hair?

Doing a braid out on relaxed hair involves braiding damp hair, allowing it to dry, and then unraveling the braids for the desired style.

Is Senegalese twist a protective style?

Senegalese twists are a popular protective style that involves adding extensions to the hair using a two-strand twisting technique.

What is a twist out?

A twist out is a hairstyle created by twisting sections of hair, allowing them to dry or set, and then unraveling them for a defined, textured look.

What is the difference between braid out and twist out dreads?

Braid outs and twist outs are different techniques used to achieve different textured looks with dreads.

Do twist outs damage hair?

Twist outs can potentially damage hair if done too tightly or if the hair is not properly moisturized and cared for.

How long do you leave twist outs in?

The duration of leaving twist outs in can vary depending on individual preference and desired style, typically ranging from a few hours to a few days.

Do twist outs turn into dreads?

Twist outs can enhance natural curl patterns and create texture but do not typically transform into dreads.

How do you do twist outs?

To achieve a twist out, you need to twist damp or moisturized hair, allow it to dry or set, and then unravel the twists for the desired style.

How do you make twist out look fuller?

To make a twist out look fuller, you can separate the twists into smaller sections or use a pick to gently lift and fluff the roots.

Can you do a twist out on Caucasian hair?

Yes, you can do a twist out on Caucasian hair. However, it may not look as defined as it would on African American hair.

Can you do a twist out on dry hair?

No, you should not do a twist out on dry hair. This can damage your hair and make it more prone to breakage.

How long does it take a twist out to air dry?

It can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours for a twist out to air dry completely. If you are in a hurry, you can use a blow dryer to speed up the process.

Final Thoughts

Protective styles are a great way of keeping your hair secure and creating pretty hairdos at the same time. Twist outs and braid outs are two easy hairstyles you can create with minimum effort and maintenance.

Thorough cleansing, deep conditioning, and proper moisturizing are important if you want beautiful twist outs or braid outs. Follow the steps correctly, tie your hair firmly, and use the essential hair products to achieve the perfect curls.

 Make sure to use a silk scarf to avoid any damage or breakage in your hair!

By Cindy Mahlangu

Hey there! I'm Cindy Mahlangu, a pro hairstylist with a serious passion for natural hair care. My mission? To inspire and educate others on the beauty and benefits of protective hairstyles. Through my creative writing, aim to empower individuals to embrace their unique hair texture and confidently care for their locks. So, whether you're rocking locs, braids, or twists, join me on this hair journey and let's achieve healthy, fabulous tresses together!

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