Washing Your Hair With Braids

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Since I’ve been getting braids in my hair, and this dates back to the mid-90’s, I’ve always struggled with the proper way to wash and dry them. I’ve heard not to wash them in the shower because the water pressure and the heaviness of wet hair pulls on your edges and roots, which can cause breakage and for braids to come out. I’ve heard that you should let your braids air dry, I’ve heard that you shouldn’t let them air dry because it takes too long and the synthetic hair can mildew which can lead to other issues. I’ve also heard that you should blow dry your braids after washing, or strictly towel dry.

Over the years I’ve tried all of the above suggestions and decided to just blow dry my hair. Depending on the length of my braids, I typically wash them in the shower and am careful to hold them up and not let them hang completely down because they become so heavy with the weight of the water. I also try to make my washes as quick as possible so I don’t risk losing braids. Losing braids is my number one complaint when it comes to washing my hair.

Another thing I’ve learned to do over the years is to limit the amount of times that I wash my hair with braids. I typically keep my braids in for 3 months, and during that time I will wash my hair two times tops. Here’s why:

  • The more you wash your hair with braids, the frizzier your hair becomes. Your natural hair will begin to peep out from your braids, and your roots and new growth will also become more noticeable and bushy. No one wants to walk around with braids that look old when you’ve only had them in for one or two months! That is what happens when you wash them too often.
  • You risk losing braids. I learned this the hard way early on when I first began to get braids. The more you wash the more braids you will lose. Losing braids can also cause breakage because sometimes it takes out your hair, especially if it’s around your edges. SAVE YOUR EDGES LADIES!
  • I don’t use a ton of products in my hair when I have braids. I stick to the natural oils (my staples) to keep my hair moisturized while I have braids: Olive oil, coconut oil, Jamaican Black Castor Oil, and tea tree oil. I will put these in a bottle with water and spritz my hair and scalp every other day. This also helps with itchy scalp. Some people use leave in conditioners, but that to me leads to product build up which will require…yup, you guessed it, more washing. Please remember these are only my personal findings. There are those who strongly believe that you should continue to condition your hair while you have braids, but if you can find a leave in that doesn’t cause a lot of build up then go for it!

Recently I’ve been hearing a lot about dry shampooing. I began to Google products, specifically products for braids. One of the products that piqued my interest is Organic Root Stimulator (or ORS) Herbal Cleanse Shampoo.

Organic Root Stimulator

That led me to a YouTube tutorial by vlogger ThikandKurly.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-853b-w5mZGUesdLxOgVQQ

I found her video to be very helpful, and the process was quick and easy, which I need as a busy working mom and wife. I went to Amazon and bought Organic Root Stimulator Herbal Cleanse Shampoo and tried it this weekend.

Pros:

  • Very easy to use and apply to your scalp and braids. Instructions couldn’t be simpler.
  • I love the instant tingly sensation you feel as you  massage the product into your scalp
  • It’s not messy, there’s no dripping and there’s no need to worry about staining your clothes
  • My scalp felt clean and refreshed immediately, and my braids smelled clean.

Cons:

  • Very strong smell! It definitely smells like a cleanser. BUT…over time it wears off.

After I finished the process of cleaning my scalp and braids with the dry shampoo, I moisturized my scalp and braids with coconut oil, and I applied a little Jamaican Black Castor Oil on my edges. Simple, easy, and the entire process took less than 20 minutes. I only wish I had found this product sooner, like when I first got my braids installed. Either way, I’m glad I found it and I will keep it on hand for myself and my daughters whenever we get braids.

For step by step instructions on how to clean your braids with the dry shampoo, definitely check out the link I provided above to YouTube vlogger ThikandKurly. I hope this helps, and if you have any suggestions – products or otherwise – please feel free to share!

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