Braids are a popular protective style for many people with natural or textured hair. They can help to protect hair from damage, reduce breakage and promote healthy hair growth. However, keeping the scalp clean and healthy can be challenging while wearing braids, particularly if you do not want to wash your hair frequently.
Fortunately, there are several effective ways to clean your scalp without washing your braids. In this article, we will explore some of the best methods for maintaining a healthy, clean scalp while wearing braids.
6 Ways To Clean Scalp With Braids Without Washing
You could believe that because you have braids, you don’t need to wash your scalp as frequently as someone who doesn’t. Sweat, dead skin cells, and product accumulation can cause scalp itchiness and even hair loss. However, repeatedly washing braids can harm your hair by making them frizzy and loose. Here are a couple of ways to get around that:
1. Use a Scalp Cleansing Spray
One of the most effective ways to clean your scalp without washing your braids is to use a scalp cleansing spray. These sprays are specially formulated to clean the scalp and remove dirt, oil, and sweat.
They typically contain ingredients like witch hazel, tea tree oil, and salicylic acid, which help to unclog hair follicles, soothe irritation and remove buildup.
To use a scalp cleansing spray, simply part your braids and spray the solution directly onto your scalp. Then, use a clean cloth or cotton pad to gently massage the scalp and remove any residue. Repeat the process as necessary until your scalp feels clean and refreshed.
2. Apply Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can help to cleanse the scalp and soothe irritation. It is particularly effective for removing oil and dirt from the scalp, making it a great choice for people with oily or acne-prone skin.
To use witch hazel to clean your scalp, mix equal parts of witch hazel and water in a spray bottle. Then, spray the solution directly onto your scalp and use a clean cloth or cotton pad to gently massage the scalp.
Or you could spritz a bit of the solution onto your cotton pad and go over your scalp section by section. Repeat the process until your scalp feels clean and refreshed.
3. Use a Scalp Massager
A scalp massager is a handheld device that can help to stimulate blood flow and remove buildup from the scalp. It typically has soft, rubber bristles that are gentle on the scalp and can be used to massage the scalp while wearing braids.
To use a scalp massager, simply apply a scalp cleanser or witch hazel to your scalp and then use the massager to gently massage the scalp. This will help to remove any buildup and leave your scalp feeling clean and refreshed.
4. Try Dry Shampoo
A dry shampoo is a great option for cleaning the scalp without washing your hair. It is designed to absorb excess oil and sweat from the scalp and hair, leaving them feeling clean and refreshed.
To use dry shampoo, simply spray it onto your scalp and hair, focusing on the areas that feel greasy or oily. Then, use your fingers to massage the dry shampoo into your scalp and hair. Finally, use a clean cloth or cotton pad to gently wipe away any residue.
You can use dry shampoo whenever your scalp gets too oily, or your braids begin to take on an oily sheen.
5. Use an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
Apple cider vinegar is a natural ingredient that can help to cleanse the scalp and remove buildup. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties that can help to soothe irritation and prevent dandruff.
To use an apple cider vinegar rinse, mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Then, spray the solution onto your scalp and hair, focusing on the areas that feel oily or dirty. Leave the solution on for a few minutes, and then rinse it out with cool water. Afterward, you go in with moisturizing products as ACV rinse can be particularly drying.
6. Apply Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal and antibacterial ingredient that can help to cleanse the scalp and prevent dandruff.
It is particularly effective for people with oily or acne-prone skin, as it helps to remove excess oil and dirt from the scalp. Tea tree oil can be a great natural way to cleanse and soothe your scalp while wearing braids. Here are the steps to safely and effectively apply tea tree oil to your scalp:
Tea tree oil is potent and can be irritating to the scalp if applied directly. Therefore, it is essential to dilute it with a carrier oil Biosuch as jojoba oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. Mix 2-3 drops of tea tree oil with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil.
After which, divide your braids into small sections, using hair clips or bands to secure the braids and create easy access to your scalp.
Using a dropper, apply the diluted tea tree oil to your scalp, focusing on areas that are itchy or dry. Massage the oil into your scalp with your fingertips, being gentle around the braids to avoid causing them to become loose or frizzy.
Leave the tea tree oil on your scalp for about 15-20 minutes to allow it to penetrate the scalp and provide the desired cleansing and soothing effects.
After that, rinse your hair and scalp with warm water to remove the tea tree oil. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to ensure no residue is left on your scalp or hair.
Moisturize your scalp after rinsing off the tea tree oil with a light oil or a moisturizer suitable for your hair type. Repeat this process once a week or as needed to maintain a clean and healthy scalp, and prolong the longevity of braids.
How to Cut Down on the Need to Wash Braids
There are some non-negotiable when it comes to washing your braids such as a heavy case of product buildup, itching, and bad smell.
If you lead an active lifestyle, it would be paramount for you to wash your braids frequently to prevent odor formation. Scalp itchiness with braids can be discomforting and washing braids is one efficient way to get rid of it.
However, there are a couple of tips to help minimize the need for washing braids.
Avoid Heavy Products: It is advised to use light moisturizers such as leave-in conditioners and oils, this would get the work done without leaving behind residue and causing accumulation of product buildup.
With edges, since a sleek and well-laid edge styling helps greatly in accentuating braided styles, it shouldn’t be an everyday scenario to prevent buildup.
Keep Your Braids Dry: If you accidentally or unintentionally get your braids wet, make sure they completely dry out. An excellent breeding place for bacteria and fungus is damp braids and that would promote dandruff and other scalp conditions.
Not to mention that trapped moisture can produce a bad odor that needs some effort to remove, like an ACV rinse or a clarifying shampoo.