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Box Braids Vs. Twists: What’s The Difference?

Box braids and twists are very similar hairstyles, and choosing between them might be confusing. Both look amazing! So, let’s have a close look at each of them, and explore all the differences between box braids and twists!

Regardless of which of them you opt for, the size, length, colors, and amount of braids or twists you want to have is your choice (and the hair’s capacity to hold). But, there are still two distinct hairstyles.  

Don’t worry, in this article, you’ll find out all the differences between box braids and twists.

Box Braids

box braids
Box Braids, Model – Ina Shan, Photographer – Baciu Foto ©HairstyleCamp

If all the hair is sectioned in small (or jumbo) boxes (usually squares but can be many types or shapes), from which individual three-stand knitted braids start, the hairstyle will be called box braids

This hairdo is often made together with synthetic hair, and for regular box braids, there will be a piece of the extension wrapped around the root, to tighten the base. That would not happen on knotless box braids

Depending on the number and other selected options, also the place you braid your hair at, the working time would vary somewhere between 3 and 8 hours, the price between 100$ and 500$, and they can last up to 2 months.


hair twists
Twists, Model – Ina Shan, Photographer – Traian Racovita ©HairstyleCamp

The parting part for twists is the same as for box braids, but instead of braids, there will be individual twists.

Each twist is basically made from two twisted strands twisted together.

Twists are also often made together with synthetic hair added, and there are several methods to start them, but the regular type is twisting the two stands in opposite directions and then just twisting them together while keeping them rolling. You can also start them with the traditional box braids or knotless braids method.

If the amount and length of braids are the same, twists would take, cost, and last less than box braids. An average price would be between 80$ and 400$ and they would last up to 6 weeks.

Differences Between Box Braids and Twists

Box Braids Vs. Twists
Box Braids Vs. Twists Image ©HairstyleCamp

Besides their different aspects and installation technique, time, and money, the most important difference to be aware of is how you need to maintain them.

This is a point lost for twists, as they can unravel without your will. More than that, they can also lock themself, and even if it might look easier to untwist than unbraid, it can be a hassle for you to detangle your hair when you do want to unravel them and take them off.

All of these mostly depend on your hair type and how you manipulate your twists.

Below is a table so you can have an overview of all the mentioned differences and see the pros and cons of each hairstyle in a more visual and simple overview.

Box BraidsTwists
More time to installQuicker to install
Can be costlyUsually less costly
Can be excessively tensedThey aren’t usually too tight
Easy to maintainCan get unravel
Can last up to 8 weeksCan last up to 6 weeks
You need to carefully detangle your roots after removing themYou need to carefully untwist and detangle all of your hair when removing them


similarities between twists and box braids

The way you separate your hair in order to get one of these two looks is identical. Also, the way you can play with colors and length of extensions and the way you can style your braids or twists are the very same.

Cleaning, sleeping, and care routines are alike as well.

In conclusion, these are two similar but different amazing hairstyles that all braids lovers should try. Start with the one that sounds more appealing to you, and enjoy!


Can I wash box braids? What about twists?

Yes, both of the styles can and should be washed.

Do box braids or twists damage your hair?

They would be harmful if tightened excessively (mostly happening with regular box braids) or if you keep them for too long or do not properly and carefully detangle and moisturize your hair when removing them, and also if you don’t wash your hair during the hairstyle journey, and you scratch your head and stuff.

Can I have box braids on straight hair? What about twists?

Yes, both styles can be done on all hair types, including straight hair, but if the hair is silky and short, twists may unravel and fall down much easier.

Which is better, box braids or twists?

The best is what works for you best. If box braids hurt (this depends on the hairstylist), change your mind and ask for twists or knotless ones. They should always be painless, so they wouldn’t be harmful to your hair and scalp.

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