How to Wash Braids in 4 Easy Steps

Washing braids

Can braids be washed? This is a question that new braiders frequently ask. Of course, they can! You just have to follow the right procedures to wash your braids without ruining them.

Braids not only look wonderful, but they also do a great job of shielding the hair from excessive physical handling and outside elements like the weather. 

However, they also require proper maintenance, with washing braids at the top of the list. Here are some washing instructions for braids that will make them last longer and protect your natural hair.

Best Tips on How to Wash Braids Correctly

Washing braids
Instagram / @therealayisha

If you exercise frequently and lead an active lifestyle, it is advised to wash your braids two weeks after the last time, but dry shampoo can be used in the interim. Dry shampoo can help reduce buildup, grime, and excess oil without the need for washing.

1. Start with an Anti Residue Shampoo or an Acid Vinegar Rinse

An anti-residue shampoo or clarifying shampoo helps to adequately get rid of product buildup, excess oils, dirt, and minerals. And, the application process works as a typical standard shampoo, this anti residue shampoo contains a stronger surfactant which does the cleansing process effectively.

To start, apply a generous amount of shampoo onto your palms, rub your hands together and gently massage every nook and cranny of the scalp paying special attention to itchy areas.

Another alternative is to dilute the shampoo into a spray bottle, get an old toothbrush, and brush the scalp in between braids. This is an effective trick, you should try it out!

An acid vinegar rinse is also another effective technique, dilute 2.5 cups of ACV into a bowl of warm water, and give your scalp a good rinse. Afterwards, rinse the hair thoroughly with the lather running over the braids, refrain from aggressively or overly rubbing at the braids as this could cause frizz. Remember, the center focus on braid wash days is the scalp! And, if necessary repeat the shampoo process, to ensure you get rid of all the dirt and buildup.

2. Follow up with a Conditioner!

It doesn’t end at the shampoo process, and as a typical wash day,  a conditioner is a necessary step, it negates the negative charges from the shampooing process. Work conditioners into your palms, and gently press your hands down on your braids. After which you put your braids in a bun and cover them with a shower cap and let them sit for at most 30 minutes and rinse thoroughly. 

3. Dry with a Towel

Dry braids by wrapping them in a large towel. Make sure all of the braids are tucked in and leave the towel on for ten minutes. After ten minutes, remove the towel and let your hair air dry or make use of a before applying moisturizer. Make sure your hair is completely dry to avoid bad odors.

4. Apply Products

Now is the time you go in with a hair mousse, braid gel, and oil, to make the braids appear fresh and clean. You’d feel better about it. A hair mousse would help to keep the frizz at bay.

How to Take Care of Braids and Keep them Clean

Box braids
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Although braids are a low-maintenance style, they still require upkeep. Additionally, shampooing your braids keeps your hair healthier. Here are some pointers to help you take better care of your braids.

  • Use a residue-reducing shampoo for a clean scalp. Instead of accumulating more oils and products, the objective is to remove them. Additionally, anti-residue shampoos successfully cleanse the hair of product buildup and extra oils.
  • Massage your scalp with stimulating lightweight hair oils, doing this would encourage blood flow, and enable hair growth.
  • To maintain the look and stop it from messing up as you sleep, wear a silk or satin head scarf. It is easier to glide while maintaining the braid and minimizing frizz using a head cover made of silk or satin.
  • Keep your braids neat and frequently moisturize your scalp.
  • If your hair is growing out and your braids are severely aggravating your scalp, think about getting them removed.
  • To prevent hair damage, braids should ideally not be worn for longer than six weeks.
  • Avoid over-styling because this could cause traction alopecia, a condition in which additional strain on the scalp causes hair loss. It could also add more tension to the edges and hairlines.
  • To add shine and tame frizz, keep a hair spray on hand! Additionally, maintaining neat, perfectly laid edges would keep braids and edges looking nice. To accomplish this task, edge-specific gels, smoothers, and conditioners are available.


Washing your braids is essential for preserving both the health of your hair and the braids themselves. Without the other, there is no one. However, if you are concerned about frizz, keep in mind that your hair’s health should come first.

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