French braids are a great protective style for your natural hair, mainly because they are versatile. They can last up to more than a month if they are properly kept. But a few weeks after installation, they will definitely be dirty from the workout sweat, dust, and product build-up.
The main goal of putting on this stylish hairstyle is to protect your natural hair. But how do you maintain your hair and French braids looking fresh and new for weeks? Can you wash your hair while in French braids?
Yes, you can wash your hair even with French braids. Regardless of the French braid style you installed, you will need to clean during the second or third week after installation. This is to get rid of the oil and product build-up. Wash to cleanse your scalp, remove the dust, impurities and clean your hair strands, creating a suitable environment for healthy hair.
One of the common misconceptions surrounding braids is that you cannot wash your hair with braids because it will cause frizz. And in turn, most people are faced with the dilemma of “should I wash my hair while I have French braids?”
While this style is suitable for individuals who want to protect or grow their hair, it requires close attention and care to keep it for long. To maintain and improve your natural hair health while wearing French braids or another protective style, make sure you clean and moisturize your hair and scalp often.
In this article, we will look at the advantages of washing your hair even when it is braided and how to properly wash it.
Advantages of Washing Your Hair Even With French Braids
To Cleanse Scalp For Hair Growth
Your scalp produces sebum onto the hair, which is a natural hair conditioner, and it will build up if you stay without washing your hair. Your scalp will also collect dead skin cells and dust, which are trapped at the roots of your hair, and if they are not cleared, they may cause itchiness.
These impurities can also block follicles and lead to inflammation. Washing your hair and French braids will remove product build-up, dirt, dandruff, dead skin cells, and bacteria that may prevent your hair from growing.
Cleaning your hair is also ideal, especially If you live in a humid climate or work out every day. You will need to remove the sweat and the impurities that come with it.
And since your hair is in a French braid, it would not be ideal for washing daily. However, you will need to clean your hair and braids after two to three weeks or even sooner after installing.
Additionally, washing your hair removes dead hair follicles, which in turn can stimulate hair growth.
The dead skin cells and product build-up can cause itchiness. Washing your hair removes these impurities and, in turn, relieves the itchiness. The itchiness can also be caused by dandruff. It is recommended that you clean your scalp with an anti-dandruff washing shampoo. So if your scalp is itchy or flaky, the remedy is to wash it.
Removes Bad Smell
A dirty scalp and hair do not smell good at all. A good wash removes the products and the impurities that cause the unpleasant smell.
The French braids are also prone to smelling bad from the mix of dirt, oil, and sweat when you work out or have been in the sun. It is definitely necessary to wash them to get rid of the smell.
Makes Hair Color More Vibrant
The dirt, impurities, and product build-up may discolor your hair and braids. You don’t want your hair color to be destroyed by these unwanted impurities.
To maintain your hair color and also that of your French braids, wash out the dirt. Washing makes your French braids color bright and looking fresh.
Washing vs. Frizziness
One of the most common fears of washing your French Braids or any braids is the frizz disaster. Washing could cause frizziness and loosen up your braids. However, knowing how to wash them correctly could save you big time. You can wash your French braids without causing the frizz and braids to fall out.
How to Wash Your French Braids Without Causing Frizz
- Avoid harsh washing products that would break your hairstyle. Use a light shampoo or dilute with water. This will ensure your French braid hairstyle does not loosen up.
- Apply your shampoo directly to your scalp and areas where there is product build-up.
- Avoid rubbing your braids as you wish. This will ruin your hairstyle and cause frizziness. Be gentle as you massage your scalp.
- As you rinse, make sure you do it thoroughly without leaving any washing product that would cause frizziness and itchiness.
Steps to Wash Your Hair With French Braids
1. Soak and Shampoo
Before putting your shampoo, soak your French braids with warm water. Then go-ahead to put your shampoo. Make sure you apply the shampoo directly to your scalp, then using your fingers, gently rub your scalp until it is fully saturated.
Another tip is to use the right shampoo. A braided hair needs to be washed with a lighter and gentler shampoo to avoid frizziness.
2. Pay Attention to the Scalp
Pay attention to your scalp than the braids themselves. This is because most of the dirt build-ups are on the scalp. A clean scalp is the foundation of healthy hair, so it should be an area you give the most care.
3. Squeeze your Braids, Don’t Rub
Avoid rubbing your braids; instead, squeeze them closer to the scalp to remove the dirt and residuals. This method will depend on how your French braids style is done. It is a better method of washing than rubbing your braids.
4. Rinse Thoroughly
While rinsing, it is advisable to do it with your head upside down. This will take the dirt out and not trap it between your braids. Remember to not rub your French braid as you rinse.
5. Condition Your Hair
Even in braids, your hair needs to be conditioned. Apply your favorite conditioner to your hair and braids until your scalp is saturated. This is important to make sure your scalp and hair maintain the moisture. Note that conditioning your hair while wet is recommended because it is easier to spread on your hair.
6. Fully Dry With a Towel
Wrap your braids with a big clean towel. This will soak up the water so that you don’t have to rub your braids. Make sure you fully dry your braids so that they don’t develop a foul smell. Note that your braids can even smell worse after washing. That’s why it is a must to dry your braids thoroughly.
After they are clean and dry, you can now apply hair products to make them look radiant. You can also use some gel to style your edges.
With these steps, your French braids will remain clean and fresh for as long as you have them. The goal is to keep them looking clean and fresh, not brand new.
Cleaning your Scalp Without Washing-Good Idea?
Washing your hair in French braids is ideal, but if for some reason you don’t want to, you have an option of cleaning your scalp without getting your hair wet. One way to get rid of the dirt in your scalp without getting your braids wet is using a dry shampoo.
You can cleanse your scalp with dry shampoo and dry conditioner, rubbing the product in between your braids or plaits. This will remove product build-up and soothe an irritating scalp.
Note that using a dry shampoo may increase the residual build-up since it is meant to dry up oil on your hair.
Other tips to note for French braids maintenance include:
- Consult your stylist about your French braids maintenance.
- Don’t style wet braids or rub them; this may cause frizziness.
- Pay more attention to your scalp in your maintenance routine.
- If possible, don’t use dry shampoo; wash instead.
- Moisturize between wash days. Keep your hair moisturized and healthy even when you are in French braids. This will keep them shining and neat.
French braid is one of humanity’s oldest and most popular hair inventions. And to keep it fresh and new every day requires basic hygiene. That’s why it is crucial to keep them clean and fresh and know how to wash them properly without loosening the style.