Braids vs Twists: How to Choose the Right Protective Style

Mar 04 , 2024

Braids vs Twists: How to Choose the Right Protective Style

With so many options in protective hairstyles, how do you choose what's right for you? Before making your appointment at the braiding salon, it's important to consider the pros and cons of braids vs twists. Are you looking for chic and stylish, or relaxed and carefree? Do you want something that will last weeks or just days? What about your hair type and lifestyle? Don't worry, we've got you covered! Let's break down braids vs twists so you can pick the best protective style with confidence.

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Braids vs Twists: The Main Differences

Twists are created by twisting two sections of hair together from roots to ends, while braids use three sections woven together. Twists generally take less time to install but don’t last as long, whereas braids can last 4 to 8 weeks with proper care.

Twists are a lighter, lower-tension style perfect for coily or kinky hair. Keep in mind that they do put a little stress on the scalp and edges, but overall they don’t create much tension. Braids, on the other hand, can be heavier and cause more tension. Knotless braids are a great option if you want braids but want to avoid stress and pulling.

In terms of look, twists result in a wavy, crimped texture while braids can be shaped into a variety of styles from box braids to cornrows. Braids also allow you to add hair extensions for extra length and fullness.

When it comes down to it, it’s important to choose the style that fits your needs and hair type best. Twists are best as a quick style with less tension and for coiled hair. Braids are a long-lasting style that offers versatility. No matter which you pick, both braids and twists are great for hair health and growth when installed and cared for properly. The most important thing is that you feel confident in your new look!

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Braids and Twists

You’ll need to evaluate all these factors for your unique situation. Braids and twists can both be great choices, so take your time to determine what will work for your hair type, needs, and budget.

Length of style

If you want a style that will last for weeks, braids are your best bet. Braids can stay in for 4 to 8 weeks with proper care and maintenance. Twists typically only last 2 to 3 weeks before needing to be re-done. If you want a style for a quick trip or event, twists may be better suited to your needs.

Hair type

Your natural hair type plays a role in which style will work best. Twists tend to work better for kinkier, coiler hair types because they cause less tension and stress on the hair. Braids can work for most hair types but may cause more tension on very coily hair. Looser hair types can do well with either style.

Cost and maintenance

Twists typically cost less to install since they take less time. However, they require more frequent maintenance since they do not last as long. Braids cost more upfront but require less frequent trips to the salon for re-twisting or re-braiding. You'll need to weigh the cost versus how often you want to visit the salon.

Your lifestyle

Consider your normal activities and how active your lifestyle is. Braids tend to hold up better to swimming, exercising, and other physical activities. Twists can unravel or frizz more easily, especially on kinkier hair types. If you lead an active lifestyle, braids may be the more practical choice. For a more relaxed lifestyle, either style can work great.

How to Care for and Maintain Braids vs Twists

Your protective style of choice requires diligent maintenance to last long and keep your natural hair healthy. For braids, focus on moisturizing the scalp and hair in between braids. Apply a moisturizer or braid spray daily, especially after washing, and re-twist the braids as needed to prevent frizz and unraveling. Wash braids every 2-4 weeks; shampoo the scalp and braids, then condition and detangle the loosened ends. Rinse well and re-braid damp hair. Some prefer to get them professionally done every 1-2 months, as DIY braiding can be a good amount of work.

Twists require more frequent maintenance. Moisturize twists daily to prevent dryness, using a spray leave-in conditioner or moisturizer, and re-twist sections as needed, especially around the hairline and ends. Wash twists every 1-2 weeks; shampoo the scalp and twists, then condition and detangle loose hair before re-twisting damp hair. Twists may need re-installation after 4 to 6 weeks as natural hair growth causes them to loosen and look unkempt.

For both styles, trim split or frayed ends every 4 to 6 weeks. Massage your scalp with oil 2-3 times a week to stimulate hair growth and relieve tension. Be gentle detangling and styling to avoid breakage, and when re-doing your protective style, deep condition your natural hair for extra moisture and strength. Following a diligent care regimen will keep your braids or twists looking their best and promote longer, healthier natural hair.

Choose the Right Protective Style for Yourself with Feminine Attractions

The choice between braids or twists ultimately comes down to your hair type and needs. At Feminine Attractions, our stylists are experts in all types of natural hair and can recommend the perfect protective style for you.

If you have kinkier, coily hair and want a quick style with minimal tension on your scalp, twists are a great option. Styles like Havana twists, Marley twists, or Senegalese twists use larger sections of hair and two strands to create a looser, lightweight twist. For thicker, coarser hair, braids may be better since they distribute the weight over more strands. Our knotless braids and box braids are ideal for locking in moisture while avoiding damage to the hairline.

Our stylists will evaluate your hair’s health, texture, and needs to determine if twists, braids, or another style will benefit you most. With the perfect style and proper at-home care, you’ll be well on your way to longer, stronger natural hair.

Ready for a new summer look? Book your appointment at Feminine Attractions today. Our braids and twists will have you feeling fresh and confident.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which style lasts longer?
Braids tend to last 3 to 4 weeks longer than twists. Braids are more securely attached to the hair, so they hold up better to washing and daily activities. Twists can start to unravel more quickly, especially around the hairline and nape of the neck. However, twists typically cause less tension on the hair and scalp, so they may be better for hair health in the long run.
Which style takes longer to install?
Braids generally take 3 to 5 hours longer to install compared to twists. Braids require dividing the hair into three even sections and carefully intertwining them together. Twists only use two strands, so the process moves more quickly. If time is a concern, twists can give you a protective style in less time. However, braids may be worth the extra effort for their longevity and polished look.
Can I wash my hair with the styles in?
Yes, you can wash both braids and twists. It is actually recommended to wash the hair 1 to 2 weeks after installation to remove any dirt or oil buildup. Be gentle when washing and avoid harsh shampoos. Condition the hair and scalp thoroughly and air dry the braids or sit under a hooded dryer. Moisturize the hair and scalp in between washes to keep the style looking fresh. Limit washing braids and twists to every 2 to 3 weeks to maximize how long they last.
How often should I re-do the style?
You should take down braids or twists after 4 to 6 weeks because leaving them in longer can cause breakage and matting. Removing the style after 4 to 6 weeks allows you to properly moisturize your natural hair and scalp. It also prevents too much new growth, which can make re-installing the style more difficult. Plan to give your natural hair at least 2 weeks of rest between protective styles. This break will help strengthen your hair and promote healthy growth.

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