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Braids have been a famous hairstyle for years, and they keep on being a popular choice among many people even today.
However, while braids can deliver a beautiful and low-maintenance hairdo, they can also pose a challenge when it comes to practicing scalp hygiene.
The buildup of dirt, sweat, and oil on the scalp can result in several problems, such as itchiness, dandruff, and even hair loss.
Fortunately, there are many useful methods to tidy up your scalp with braids without rinsing your hair.
Ways to Clean Braided Hair Without Washing
Here are some of the promising methods of maintaining a clean and healthy scalp while sporting braids.
1. Dry shampoo: A quick fix for dirty braids
Dry shampoo is a terrific choice for those looking to wash their scalp quickly without rinsing their hair. Dry shampoo is a powder or squirt that soaks up oil and grease, making the hair look and feel cleaner. (1)
To use dry shampoo on braided hair:
- Divide the hair into sections; you can slightly loosen your braids if needed.
- Spritz some dry shampoo on the scalp. Don’t go overboard with the shampoo.
- Optionally, you can also massage it into your scalp.
2. Apple cider vinegar rinse: A natural cleanser for your scalp
Apple cider vinegar (ACV), an amber-colored vinegar, is an easily available product that is produced from apples.
ACV is assumed to have innate antifungal action that could stave off the development of Malassezia furfur, the fungus accountable for dandruff, thereby lessening or eradicating the dandruff problem.
This vinegar is also a cost-effective shampoo and conditioner as it enables you to remove residues of hair products on the scalp and hair shafts.
In addition, it can enhance the texture and build of hair by bringing in smoother, silkier, and shinier hair, most likely because of its acetic acid content. (2)
To use ACV on braided hair:
- Combine one part ACV with three parts water
- Apply the mixture directly to your scalp.
- Massage the mixture into your scalp.
- Let it sit for a few minutes, and then spray water to wash it out.
3. Witch hazel: A gentle solution for sensitive scalp
To use witch hazel on braided hair:
- Mix witch hazel with a little amount of water.
- Soak a piece of cotton with the mixture.
- Gently dab it on your scalp.
- Let it sit for some time and then spray water to wash it out.
4. Tea tree oil: A powerful antifungal agent
Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal agent that can help treat dandruff and other scalp conditions. (5)
To use tea tree oil on braided hair:
- Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil (coconut oil or olive oil).
- Soak a piece of cotton in the oil mixture.
- Use the cotton to squeeze out a few drops of the oil on your scalp.
5. Scalp exfoliation
Exfoliating your scalp can help get rid of dead skin cells, product buildup, and other filth, all of which can pitch in to cause or worsen dandruff and other scalp ailments.
There are numerous ways to exfoliate your scalp without having to wash your braids. One way is to use a scalp brush, which has soft hairs that can massage and exfoliate your scalp. Another way is to use a scalp scrub, which is a specialized product developed to exfoliate your scalp.
To use a scalp scrub on your scalp with braids, lay a small amount of the scrub on your scalp and massage it well using your fingertips.
Note: Do not rub or yank on your braids, as this can result in loosening the braids or making them frizzy.
6. Baby wipes
Baby wipes are damp towelettes that were invented for the delicate skin of newborns. They generally contain soft elements such as aloe vera, which make them great for use on the scalp. (6)
However, baby wipes should only be employed as a temporary solution, as they may not actually remove all dirt and buildup from the scalp.
To utilize baby wipes on braided hair:
- Bring out a baby wipe from the packaging.
- Pat the baby wipe over your scalp by moving aside the braids.
- Repeat until your scalp feels cleaner.
- Toss out the used baby wipes.
Why Is It Important to Cleanse Your Scalp With Braids?
Braids can make it challenging to keep your scalp clean, and neglecting cleansing can lead to a wide variety of problems.
When you sport braids for an extended period, sweat, dirt, and oil can accumulate on your scalp. Dermatologists say that this buildup can lead to itchiness, dandruff, and even hair loss. Therefore, it’s vital to make sure your scalp stays clean and healthy while wearing braids.
Can I use regular shampoo on my braids?
No, regular shampoo can cause your braids to loosen or become frizzy. Instead, try using a dry shampoo to refresh your scalp.
How often should I clean my scalp with braids?
It depends on your hair type and the products you use. In general, aim to clean your scalp at least once a week.
How can I prevent my braids from getting dirty?
There are a few things you can do to help prevent your braids from getting dirty.
First, try to not touch your scalp, and second, consider wearing a scarf or hat when you’re outdoors, especially on windy or dusty days.
Finally, avoid using heavy hair products that can accumulate on your scalp and draw in dirt, such as gels and pomades.
Can I swim with braids?
Yes, you can swim with braids, but take some precautions to protect your hair. You may want to wear a swim cap to protect your braids from getting wet.
How do I remove my braids without damaging my hair?
To put off braids without harming your hair, start by slashing the extensions close to the scalp with scissors. Then, carefully untangle the rest of the braids.
Cleaning your scalp with braids is an important part of maintaining healthy hair and scalp. There are several methods you can use to clean your scalp without washing your braids, including using tea tree oil, scalp exfoliation, scalp sprays, and dry shampoo.