How Often Can You Wash Braids: Basics of Braiding You Should Know

A good braid style can enhance your look as well as protect your hair. To make the best out of your braids, it is important how you get them done and how you take care of them afterward. 

People with braids have one common question putting them in a major dilemma which is “How often can you wash your braids?”

Try washing your hair for anywhere between 2-3 weeks, depending on the type of braids and natural hair. 

Read along for more about the maintenance of your braids and the common misconceptions about braids that stop people from getting beautiful and nourished braids.

Are Braids Low-Maintenance

Are Braids Low-Maintenance

One enticing aspect of braids is how low-maintenance they’re. Once the braid is done properly, you really don’t have too much to worry about. However, this obviously doesn’t mean you’ll have the opportunity to neglect them entirely.

Braids need very little attention, so you won’t have to spend your precious hours on them. They’ll keep your hair and scalp protected without asking too much from you. 

You might have to go in with a leave-in conditioner or a dry shampoo, but that’s nothing compared to the effort you might have to put in without braids. 

Common Concerns When Washing Braids

Common Concerns When Washing Braids

One of the major concerns that arise is “what to avoid when washing your braids?” 

Avoid using products that aren’t necessary for you specifically. If you don’t have too much build-up in your scalp, skip the clarifying shampoo and go for the cleanser straight. 

Additionally, avoid using very thick shampoos. Dilute your shampoo and conditioner beforehand so that they can be rinsed out easily. Another concern that most people seem to forget is immediately drying out the braids properly. 

Misconceptions About Protective Styles: For A Longer-Lasting Style, Don’t Wash Your Braids  

Misconceptions About Protective Styles

The biggest myth about protective styles is that washing the braids isn’t a necessity. Most people believe this out of fear of ruining their braid styles. 

While the fear is valid because getting the braids can be time-consuming and sometimes costly, the consequences of not washing the braids are severe. 

Cleaning your scalp and hair is important, or else products will build up on your scalp, which leads to flakiness, itchiness, and sometimes infection. 

You won’t have to worry about their longevity if you wash your braids correctly

How to Wash Braids

How to Wash Braids

Follow the steps given below to wash your braids properly:

  • Soak your braids thoroughly, take as long as you need but make sure every strand is wet.
  • Use a clarifying shampoo if you need it and then a cleanser.
  • Rinse thoroughly and make sure no product is left on the scalp. 
  • Condition your hair to put back moisture in your hair. 
  • Fully dry your braids; this is very important because keeping them wet will harm your scalp and hair. 
  • Apply other products, such as hair serum or leave-in conditioner, depending on the type of your braid. 

How Should Braids Be Dried

How Should Braids Be Dried

To begin with, simply wrap your hair around a microfiber towel to suck out the majority of the water. Afterward, let your braids air dry or dry them with a blower or a hood dryer if you have access to one. 

You have to be extremely patient if you air dry it, as it might take the entire day. Be sure your braids are properly dried because damp braids will make your hair more frizzy and cause unpleasant scalp issues like dandruff or scalp fungus. 

What is Recommended to be Added to Braids After Washing Them

Recommended to be Added to Braids After Washing Them

The options of products to apply to your washed braids are endless, but what you select depends entirely on your hair and its needs. Ask your hairstylist about this because they can specifically suggest products suitable for your braids. 

To give you an idea of what products can be used, use lightweight hair oils or serums and then proceed with a leave-in conditioner to give your braids maximum moisture. Also, edge control gels make your edges look more polished. 

Can Braids be Washed Every Day

Can Braids be Washed Every Day

Yes, they can be washed every day but we don’t suggest you do it, especially if your thin hair is braided. 

Washing the braids every day will strip off the natural oils from your scalp, putting extreme stress on your hair follicles. This might lead to excessive dandruff and hair fall. 

How Often Should You Wash Your Braids After Getting Them Done

How Often Should You Wash Your Braids After Getting Them Done

It’s generally recommended to wash your braids every 2-3 weeks to keep your natural hair healthy. 

However, the duration may vary a little depending on your life type. If you’re physically active, which causes you to sweat profusely, you may consider washing your braids every week. 

One suggestion that applies to almost everybody is not to go more than three weeks without washing your braids. Excess products will build up on your scalp, forcing you to take out the braids earlier than the recommended duration. 

How Does Washing Braids Benefit Your Hair and Scalp

Washing Braids Benefit Your Hair and Scalp

Washing your braids ensures a clean scalp and a clean scalp can do wonders! A scalp free of build-up or any gunk promotes healthy hair growth while also taking care of your natural hair. 

Washing braids also benefits you by getting rid of odors. When you don’t clean your scalp for an extended period of time, your hair starts smelling unpleasant

So once you start washing your braids, you get naturally healthy hair that remains protected as well as smells good. 

Potential Effects of Over-Washing Braids

Overwashing your braids will strip off the natural oils of your hair and your scalp will become more oily to compensate for the lack of oil. Additionally, your scalp will become more flaky and itchy and your braids will become dry and rough. 

Moreover, your natural hair ends up becoming more frizzy and gets damaged by overwashing. As a result, the overall quality of your braids will be ruined and become loose prematurely.


What is the issue with washing braids with regular shampoo?

Regular shampoos aren’t as gentle as the ones made specifically for braids, so they might make your hair more frizzy and dry.

How often should someone with an oily scalp wash their braids?

People with very oily scalps should try to wash their hair every week to get rid of the excess oil. 

How often should someone with dry hair wash their braids?

Try washing your dry hair every 2 weeks, but if you still notice dryness, go for every three weeks but never more than that.

Can you go to sleep with wet hair after washing your braids?

Never go to sleep with your wet braids because bacteria will build up between your hair strands, causing an infection. 

Is washing braids a nerve-wracking task?

Washing your braids can feel a little intimidating, but anybody can do it with a little patience and the right products


Contrary to popular belief, washing your braids will increase the longevity of your braids. Once you learn to wash your braids properly, your braids remain healthier and free of build-up for a longer duration which allows you to keep your braids in for most of the recommended duration. 

So, how often can you wash braids? Every two to three weeks. And remember to take care of them afterward. They’re low maintenance and yet make you look charismatic, so don’t neglect them. 

Furthermore, don’t go overboard and wash your braids more than they need to be washed. Listen to your scalp and your hair, and take care of them according to their needs. Be a little patient and trust the process and yourself. 

By Cindy Mahlangu

Hey there! I'm Cindy Mahlangu, a pro hairstylist with a serious passion for natural hair care. My mission? To inspire and educate others on the beauty and benefits of protective hairstyles. Through my creative writing, aim to empower individuals to embrace their unique hair texture and confidently care for their locks. So, whether you're rocking locs, braids, or twists, join me on this hair journey and let's achieve healthy, fabulous tresses together!

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