How To Wash Your Hair With Braids At Home

A detailed guide to help you achieve clean, shiny, healthy, and frizz-free braids.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS Dr. Shruti Chavan Dr. Shruti ChavanMBBS
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
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It is easy to style your hair with braids. However, it is more difficult to wash your hair with braids than tie them. As with any style of hair, braids have their pros and cons. Braids keep your hair breakage-free, and the style lasts a long time, saving you the last moment hair styling rush on a busy work day. However, there is one drawback – the dusty and sweaty scalp may become prone to dandruff, itching, and other issues. Thus, hair care and maintenance become imperative with braids. Washing your braids prevent frizz, keeping the hair glossy and the scalp healthy. Read on to learn how to wash your braids at home.

How To Wash Hair With Braids

Washing your hair with braids is a little different from how you would normally wash your hair. Here all the steps to follow:

1. Get An Applicator Bottle

Get a small shampoo applicator bottle from a drugstore near you. You will need this to prepare, apply, and store the shampoo solution. If you purchase a shampoo specifically formulated for braided hairstyles, it will come in an applicator bottle.

2. Dilute Your Shampoo

Pour 20 ml of your favorite shampoo into the applicator bottle, or you can buy any of these shampoos. Mix the shampoo well with 80 ml of water. If you are using a special shampoo for braided hairstyles, you do not need to dilute it.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Opt for a clarifying shampoo as they cleanse the scalp deeply, removing all buildup, dirt, and excess sebum.

3. Apply On To The Scalp

Apply On To The Scalp
Image: YouTube @ambertaughtme4166

Hold the applicator close to the scalp and apply it in rows along the partitions. Work from the front to the back. Be careful not to apply too much near your hairline as the shampoo will drip down your face.

4. Gently Massage

Gently Massage
Image: YouTube @ambertaughtme4166

Use your fingertips to gently massage your scalp. Avoid scratching.


protip_icon Quick Tip
You can also use a baby toothbrush to massage your scalp gently and remove dirt and buildup.

5. Rinse Your Hair

Rinse Your Hair
Image: YouTube @ambertaughtme4166

Hop into the shower and rinse your hair with warm water. Gently massage your scalp to wash off the product thoroughly.

MeeMee, a blogger, shares that after doing this she likes to shampoo her hair once more, if required, followed by an oil rinse. For this, she adds olive oil to an applicator bottle and uses it to run the oil along her scalp until her hair is saturated. The blogger states in one of her blog posts, “I have added this to my routine just because I love the results I get, especially when my hair is protectively styled… The oil rinse tends to keep the hair shiny for an elongated period of time, and the dryness I feel in that first week, which makes me use more and more products, is usually absent in the subsequent weeks, post-wash (i).”

6. Scrunch Your Hair

Hold a few braids together and gently squeeze them to get rid of excess water. Then use a microfiber towel to gently pat your hair dry.

7. Apply A Conditioning Product

Apply A Conditioning Product
Image: YouTube @ambertaughtme4166

Use a conditioning oil or a conditioning foaming lotion and apply it all over your scalp and lightly down your braids. This will ensure healthy, adequate nourishment and lustre for your braids.

9. Wrap A Silk Scarf

Wrap A Silk Scarf
Image: YouTube @ambertaughtme4166

Wrap a silk scarf around your head, leaving the tail-ends of your braid out. Make sure you tie it tightly and leave it on for 30 minutes for nourished, refreshed, and shiny braids. You can also leave it overnight for the next day.

If you do not have the time for a conditioning wrap, do the following:

  • Blow Dry

Use a blow dryer on a cool or medium setting to dry your braids and the scalp. Use the cool setting if your braids are made of synthetic hair.

  • Apply Hair Moisturizer

Apply a good-quality hair moisturizer to seal the moisture in and protect your braids.

  • Apply A Light Oil

Apply a few drops of argan, olive, or rosehip oil to your braids.

That is how you can wash your hair with box braids, Senegalese twists, micro braids, crochet braids, or braided hair extensions. Applying the hair moisturizer and light oil will keep your hair soft and make it look shiny and healthy. But if your hair is frizzy, scroll down to know how to wash your braids without causing frizz.

How To Wash Hair Braids Without Causing Frizz

How to wash your hair with braids without causing frizz
Image: Shutterstock
  1. Spray water on your scalp.
  2. Saturate the scalp with diluted shampoo and massage it gently.
  3. Hold your braids together, and wash the scalp first.
  4. Once the scalp is clean, rinse your braids.
  5. Do not move your braids too much to reduce frizz.
  6. Apply a conditioner to your braids. Use extra conditioner on the ends of the hair.
  7. Leave it on for 20 minutes.
  8. Rinse your hair. Do not scrub or chafe your braids together.
  9. Gently squeeze your hair to drain out the excess water.
  10. Tie your hair in a bun and wrap a microfiber towel around your head.
  11. Remove the towel and spray a hair refresher on your scalp.
  12. Spray hair oil on the scalp.
  13. Massage the scalp gently.
  14. Blow dry your hair on a cool setting if your hair is braided with synthetic hair or you have thicker braids.
  15. Apply a hair serum or argan oil to your braids.

There you have it! All you have to do is take care not to move or rub your braids together, use a hair refresher and oil spray, and blow dry your hair to reduce frizz. Up for a few more tips? Scroll down!

Tips To Wash Hair With Braids

  • If your braids are thick, use a hairband to tie your hair in sections. That way, applying the shampoo to your scalp becomes easier.
  • Rinse the scalp to wash off the shampoo. Letting the shampoo drip down your hair may trap the product in your braids and damage the hair if not washed properly.
  • Wash your hair once a week if your scalp is oily and once in 10 days if it is dry.
  • Do not scratch your scalp while massaging the shampoo.
  • To reduce frizz, do not move your braids too much or rub them together.
  • Apply a conditioner and leave it on for at least 5-10 minutes. If you have dry or frizzy hair, leave the conditioner on for 20 minutes.
  • Use a microfiber towel to soak up the water. Leave it on for 10-20 minutes.
  • Squeeze the braids to get rid of the excess water.
  • If your braids are made of synthetic hair, use a cool setting to blow dry your hair.
  • Wrap a hand towel around the ends of your braids and secure it with a hair band to prevent dripping.

Infographic: DIY Hair Moisturizer Recipes

Washing your braids requires special attention and care. To ensure that your braids are not dry and frizzy, you can apply a moisturizer to keep them hydrated. Instead of using commercial moisturizers, you can make your own homemade moisturizer with natural ingredients from your pantry.

Check out the infographic below to know more!

diy hair moisturizer recipes (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Braids help your hair look stylish, gorgeous, and manageable. They make it easier to style and carry, but hair washing requires special attention. Washing hair with braids is different from how you wash it normally. You need to be extra careful while washing it with braids as you need to protect your braids. To maintain hair hygiene while supporting braids, thorough cleanliness and hair maintenance are essential. Our detailed guide will help you understand how to wash your hair with braids. There are also a few tips discussed to avoid frizzy hair. You may wash your hair once a week if your scalp is oily or once in ten days if it is dry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do braids help your hair grow?

No, braids have no direct effect on hair growth. Nevertheless, they impact hair health. This is because they can maintain the strength and protect the health of growing hair while keeping it hydrated.

Do braids damage your hairline?

Yes, braids can harm your hairline and cause breakage if they are done too tightly or left in your hair for too long.

Is it good to sleep in braids?

It is good to sleep in braids as long as they are done correctly. Apply a leave-in conditioner and sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase.

Can braids turn into dreads?

You can definitely turn your braids into dreads. However, because your hair will grow parallel to each other, the dread will be significantly thinner.

Can I sweat with braids?

Yes, you can sweat when wearing braids. But you must do everything you can to prevent sweat from getting into your hair. The ideal approach for long braids is to tie them in a ponytail or bun.

Key Takeaways

  • Not washing your braids can result in frizz, breakage, and dandruff.
  • You can wash your braids by spraying diluted shampoo on your scalp, rinsing it off, and applying hair moisturizer to make your hair shiny and healthy.
  • Those with frizzy hair can follow the same steps and, in addition, use a hair serum or argan oil to seal hair moisture.
  • For ensuring hair cleanliness, rinse the shampoo off your scalp and dry your braid with a microfiber towel to soak the excess water.
wash your hair with braids

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Learn how to keep your natural hair healthy and long with this easy tutorial on washing type 4 hair in mini braids. Get ready to retain moisture and length!

Personal Experience: Source

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Dr. Shruti Chavan is a consulting dermatologist at Dr.Sheth's Skin and Hair Clinic since 6 years. She is a co-committee member of CDSI (Cosmetic dermatologist Society of India). She is highly skilled in non-surgical facial skin rejuvenation and face lift by the use of injection treatments and lasers.   Dr. Chavan is well-versed with dermatological and aesthetic procedures. Her special...read full bio

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