What Is The Difference Between Weaves & Braids?

Weaves and braids are both beautiful hairstyles that serve as protective styles, but what actually makes them stand out from each other? What is the difference between these styles?

If you’re as curious as I am, keep reading to see what the experts have to say about this!

Both weaves and braids require you to braid your natural hair. Still, the difference between them is that braids usually involve using hair extensions and braiding them with your natural hair to create an overlapping pattern. Whilst, weaves are sewn onto cornrows to conceal your natural hair and they resemble free-flowing hair. 

Well, there you have it, the answer to you what makes weaves and braids different.

But wait, there’s more! Keep reading if you want to learn about the cost, installation time, maintenance, and other important factors that distinguish weaves and braids from each other. Take a look!

Weaves Versus Braids: Everything You Need To Know

Weaves and braids are both protective styles, and both require braiding your natural hair; that’s more or less all they have in common, so what other things distinguish them? Keep reading to find out!

It’s important to know that weaves cost up to $100-$600 and last 2 months, but braids cost $100-$300 and can last the same amount of time. If you’re trying to decide between the two, bear in mind that maintaining weaves takes a lot more work than maintaining braids, as having a weave is like having your natural hair, whereas braids are interlaced.

Keep reading to find out more!


Weaves: The average cost of getting a weave put on your hair is around $100 – $600  (not including the cost of the hair extensions) as your hair first needs to be braided into cornrows, then the eave is sewn onto your cornrows.

Of course, this amount varies depending on the city you’re in and where you get them done. Some hairstylists will charge more based on how experienced they are.

That said, if you get a human hair weave installed, then you can expect to pay at least $100 more since human hair is much more expensive than synthetic hair, but on average, the hair bundles can cost between $80 – $600 depending on the quality of the hair; Virgin Remy hair is definitely going to cost closer to the $600 mark.

Braids: The average cost of getting braids is between $100 – $300, not including the cost of the hair extensions, but luckily those can cost between $4 – $12 per pack.

The cost of getting your hair braids can vary depending on what city you’re in, whether you get a trained hairstylist or the lady down the street to braid your hair, and also the length and thickness of your braids. The longer and thinner the braids, the more expensive it’ll cost to get them done as it will take longer. Most salons charge by the hour.

Installation time 

Weaves: To get a full head weave, it can take anywhere between 3 – 6 hours depending on how experienced the person doing your weave is; if you want a weave for only half your head, it can take between 2- 3 hours.

Other things that affect installation time are; how much natural hair you have as it needs to be braided into cornrows beforehand, how thick your hair is, the texture of your hair, and the type of sew-in hair extensions you have. Sometimes your weave needs to be prepared by blow-drying it to restore it if it’s not new.

Braids: To get your hair braided, you need to dedicate at least an entire day to the process, especially if you’re getting it done by your neighbor, who likes to take numerous breaks in between braiding (we all know someone like that).

On average, getting your hair braided can take between 3 hours for thicker, shoulder-length braids, or it can take up to 10 hours for thinner, long braids. 

Other things that affect braids’ installation time are how experienced your braider is, how many people are braiding your hair, and the type of braids you are getting. I would recommend getting Ghana braids or shoulder-length box braids if you want to get braids that are quick to install. 

How long do they last?

Weaves: According to hairstylists, sew-in weaves can be worn for 6 – 8 weeks at a time if you take proper care of them and also take care of your natural hair under your weave; any longer than this can and will cause hair damage to your natural hair.

I would recommend keeping your weave in for no longer than a month to be on the safe side. It’s difficult to maintain your natural hair under your weave; even if you’ve worn weaves for all your life, it’s almost impossible to avoid the build-up of oils, dirt, and grime under your weave.

Braids: Braids can last for as long as 2 weeks or 8 weeks, depending on the type of braids you have and how well you maintain your natural hair and braids. The great thing about braids is that more of your scalp is exposed, so it’s easy to prevent and avoid a build-up of oils and dirt on your scalp and natural hair.

That also means that you have to be more diligent with your hair care routine and environmental factors, and synthetic hair extensions can strip your hair of its natural oils more easily.


Maintaining your weave or your braids is very important if you want to prevent damaging your natural hair whilst you have your weave in or your braids.  Maintaining your weave and braids includes, but is not limited to, washing, moisturizing, and styling.

Weaves: Ideally, you should be washing your weave and hair once a week using gentle sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. Never skip out on conditioning your hair whilst it’s weaved if you want your weave to stay looking fresh and to keep your natural hair hydrated and moisturized.

I would recommend getting your weave washed by a professional hairstylist because they will be able to dry your weave and hair thoroughly by getting to your roots in ways you can’t get on your own.

If you do not fully dry your natural hair under your weave, it will create mildew, which will definitely cause hair damage, and you can expect a lot of hair shedding when you remove your weave.

When it comes to everyday styling, you will definitely need to set aside 30 -40 minutes each morning to style your weave. If you have a 100% human hair weave, then you can style it the same way you would style your natural hair; synthetic weaves will require more care as you can’t use heat on them without damaging them.

Braids: When it comes to braids, you only need to wash them once a week, also using gentle shampoos and conditioners or even a co-wash. Braided hair needs to be moisturized at least 3 times a week to keep your hair hydrated and moisturized.

You can use braid sprays and hair oils to moisturize your hair. The great thing about braids is that it’s super easy to wash your hair at home and still dry it thoroughly to prevent mildew. Also, more of your scalp is exposed, so your hair is able to get the nutrients it needs.

Styling your braids is super easy as well; you can wake up each morning and simply tie them in a cute ponytail or let them hang loose and be on your way to starting your day with little to no time wasted.


Hey, I’m Jodie, the gal behind CraftyHairHacks. I have a deep passion for hair extensions, hairstyles, and almost anything that has to do with hair, which leads me to the writing and research I do for this website daily. Our site is still small, however, we’re pushing to get the best hair hacks out to as many as people as possible. ENJOY!

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