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How To Wash Your Braids

Follow this simple step-by-step guide if you're relying on protective styles this season. 

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By Bukky Ojeifo · May 19, 2017

The luxury of having braids is knowing that your natural hair will require zero maintenance for an extended period of time.

It’s one of the many reasons this protective style floods our social media timelines every summer. But contrary to what some may think, it’s still important to wash and maintain them at least once per month. 

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It may sound like a daunting task, but it certainly doesn’t have to be! Follow this simple step-by-step guide and don’t forget to gather the following supplies: two applicator bottles, clarifying shampoo, hydrating conditioner, moisturizing hair sheen or oil and a hooded dryer (optional).

Begin by selecting a clarifying shampoo to help remove excess product build-up from the scalp.

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$18 available at Sephora
$30 available at Kiehl's
$20 available at Dermstore

Next, mix equal parts shampoo and water into an applicator bottle. This is done to thin out the consistency of the shampoo and ease the rinsing process. Use the tip of the application bottle and apply the shampoo mix directly to the scalp, making sure to thoroughly cover the entire surface.


With your fingertips, gently shampoo your scalp in small circular motions. Gentle pressure will prevent frizz and help keep your braids neat. Repeat the shampoo process one more time, paying close attention to your soft circular motions! Once you are done, rinse thoroughly! And when you think you got it all out...rinse again! 

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Conditioning is a very important and sometimes skipped step in the braid maintenance process! Some of our favorites include: 

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$4 available at Target
$9 available at Target
$13 available at Walmart

Grab the second applicator bottle and fill it with equal parts conditioner and water. Using the tip of the applicator bottle, apply the mix to your scalp and braids generously and evenly.


Next, use your hands to gently smooth the conditioner in a vertical motion moving from the hairline to the nape of the head. Let this sit for about 3-5 minutes and then rinse thoroughly!

Yuri Arcurs

Your head and hair will feel super heavy after cleansing. This is normal; just be sure to towel dry the excess water until it is no longer dripping continuously. This may take a while, but will drastically cut down on the time it take your braids to dry.


Consider using a hooded dryer until your hair is about 75% dry, but if one isn’t available, you can certainly air dry. Just be sure to keep the braids down and avoiding putting it up in any style until the hair is completely dry.

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So, you’ve completed all the steps and your hair is completely dry! What’s next? Use of a hair sheen or oil to keep your braids looking healthy and shiny! Try any of these top-rated options:

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$16 available at Uncle Funky's Daughter
$11 available at Target