Braiding your hair, whether natural hair or not, creates a stunning look that you want to enjoy for as long as possible. To that end, you might be tempted to skip washing your hair to preserve the braids. After all, you didn’t spend all that time and money only for them to turn into a frizzy mess within a few days!
However, not washing your braids can get to be unsightly and potentially smelly. Your hair might be dead (or fake) but the cells on your scalp are alive and well and producing lots of oils, thus attracting dirt. Not to mention the buildup from hair styling products.
What are you going to do?
Don’t worry, there are simple techniques you can use to keep your hair both clean and gorgeous. Read on to learn how to shampoo braids without creating frizz!
Step 1: Choose Your Shampoo and Conditioner
Preventing a frizzy nightmare begins with choosing the right shampoo. Stay away from conditioning shampoos and instead opt for a clarifying one.
Clarifying shampoo will cleanse the dirt and dissolve buildup from styling products from your scalp without requiring a whole lot of scrubbing. However, clarifying shampoos can be drying, so a good conditioner is also necessary to adequately hydrate your hair afterward.
Choose one with a light texture, similar to body lotion as opposed to body butter. This will hydrate your hair without feeling greasy or heavy or making your hair seem dirty again quickly.
Step 3: Shampoo Your Scalp
Once you’ve chosen your products, it’s time to start shampooing. Pour a bit into your hand and rub them together to work up a lather before putting it on your hair. This cuts down on how much you have to rub your hair. Once the lather is ready, start working it in around the braids.
Pay close attention to the tracks between your braids and don’t actually scrub the braids themselves. This is important as you want to remove dirt and buildup without disturbing the braids as much as possible. Your scalp is where most of the dirt will accumulate anyway. Plus, as you rinse your hair, any particles on the braids will slough off without necessarily having to scrub them.
Step 4: Rinse Your Braids
Now it’s time to rinse out the lather. Though you should avoid rubbing the braids as much as possible, you can pass your hand lightly over the braids as you rinse to help dislodge any particles. However, always do this in a downward motion to avoid creating frizz.
If you feel your hair needs it, you can shampoo a second time to completely remove the last bits of oil and dirt.
Step 5: Condition Your Braids
Once the braids are clean, it’s time to condition your hair. This step is very important to keep your hair hydrated — a key component to keeping your hair strong, healthy, and not frizzy.
Just as when you wash them, you must take care not to rub your braids and cause frizz. Gently spread the conditioner over your braids and then push it in rather than rubbing or shifting the braids to work it in.
Cover your hair with a shower cap and let it sit for 15 minutes or so to let the conditioner work its magic. This is the perfect time to whip out your favorite sitcom on Netflix and enjoy an episode while your hair hydrates.
When the time’s up, rinse your braids for the final time.
Step 6: Dry Your Braids
Gently squeeze out the excess water (don’t wring your hair) and wrap it up in a towel. Leave the towel on your head for 10-15 minutes to soak up as much water as possible. Whatever you do, DON’T vigorously towel dry your hair, just let the towel absorb what it will.
From there, leave your braids loose to dry. Keep in mind, particularly in humid climates, it will take hours for your hair to air dry. You can speed this up by blow-drying with head. In general, you should plan to wait at least a day before tying up your braids or styling them. If your hair doesn’t dry completely, you could develop unpleasant dandruff and even mildew and fungus.
The Wonderful World of Braiding
As you can see, washing your braids isn’t difficult, just a little time-consuming. Keep in mind that you only have to wash them once a week or so.
Ready to learn more about hair braiding? Reach out to us today!