X-pression vs Hot Braid. Which is better?


For many years X-pression braiding hair has been imitated but not truly rivaled until now.

In 2017, Hair by Sleek released Hot Braid 30" as an alternative offering to X-pression. So, how does it compare? We compared them across five areas: length, volume, softness, tongability, colour range. Here's what we found.


There is no real comparison here, X-pression is the clear winner at a whopping 82" from end to end (41" when folded in half) compared to Hot Braid's 60" (30" when folded in half).


Here the Hot Braid 30" regains any losses on the length front and is more voluminous than X-pression.


The texture of X-pression is kinky and can be quite rough on the fingers as all experienced braiders can attest too. That said, the kinky texture is a great imitation of coarse afro hair, so the kinky texture has its advantages depending on the style desired. Sleek have opted for a less kinky finish which makes the fibres less rough and gives the overall effect of a dominican blowout. So when it comes to softness, Hot Braid 30" wins.

Heat styling

The results in this area were quite surprising.

We wrapped the hair around curling rods and placed them in hot water for sixty seconds.

The X-pression performed poorly in comparison to Hot Braid 30". The hair took on a more water than the Hot Braid 30", so took longer to dry. The curl was less springy and lacked definition.

On the other hand, the Hot Braid 30" curl had great elasticity and definition. Even when brushed out the hair maintained its curl pattern. So, for heat styling, Hot Braid 30" comes out on top.

Colour Range

With more than 40 colours in it's collection X-pression wins this leg. However, Hot Braid 30" comes into in own with some of the more of the latest fashionable colours that X-pression Ultra Braid doesn't have like TT1B/Aqua.

Our overall verdict

X-pression has finally got a worthy opponent!

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