Should I Deep Condition Before Braids 

Are you looking for a change in your hairstyle? What should you get? We recommend braids because of the versatility they offer. 

However, to get that perfect braid, there are quite a few steps that you should see to thoroughly Deep-conditioning is one of them, and this might make you think, “Why should I deep-condition before braids?” This is why.

Getting a deep-conditioning treatment done before having your braid installed is essential to ensure your hair is properly moisturized and hydrated to avoid damage.

Please stay with us till the end as we guide you through the steps of deep conditioning and give you a better understanding of the whole process.

What is Deep Conditioning

What is Deep Conditioning

Deep conditioning is basically applying a thick and restorative formula to your hair. Often, it comes with another step: heat or steam is applied to help embed the formula into your hair.

The purpose of deep conditioning is to rebuild the hair’s molecular layer and retain moisture. This helps to repair dry and damaged hair and encourages thicker, softer, and rejuvenated hair.

What Are the Benefits of Deep Conditioning Before Braiding 

Benefits of Deep Conditioning Before Braiding

The process of deep conditioning is designed not only to give healthy and hydrated hair but also to strengthen your hair and give a nice overall appearance to the hair. 

Hair care experts believe deep-conditioning should be a part of everyone’s hair care routine. Here are the benefits offered by deep-conditioning:

1. Increases Moisture 

Like all skin surfaces, your scalp and hair need to be properly moisturized. Deep-conditioning treatment does exactly so as they contain ingredients like essential oils and protein that help keep the hair moist.

2. Prevents Damage

Deep conditioning offers moisture to your hair and thereby helps prevent damage. It helps prevent breakages and split ends. Even for hair that is not damaged, conditioning provides further nourishment.

3. Promotes elasticity

When under tension, hair is more prone to breaking or snapping when it is dry and rough. Deep-conditioning treatments provide you with nourishment and strengthen your hair to avoid this,

4. Adds Shine

Hair that appears too dry or rough and is said to have ‘lost its shine’ can benefit heavily from the nutrients deep-conditioning treatments offer. 

These are the basic benefits all deep-conditioning treatments offer. Depending on your hair type and need you can have more versatility in the treatments you get and the services they offer. 

Preparing Hair for Protective Styles: The Importance of Pre-Braid Deep Conditioning 

Preparing Hair for Protective Styles

Braids are high-maintenance hairstyles, and care is needed both before and after you get the braids. Deep conditioning should be a part of your hair wash routine, usually done a couple of hours before getting the braid. It offers a plethora of advantages:

  • It helps lock moisture into your hair. When hair is properly coated and treated with moisturizing or hydrating products, it becomes strong and thus less prone to breakage.
  • It’ll help reduce tension on your scalp caused by the braid.
  • It adds slips to the hair, thus making it easier to braid.

How to Deep Condition Before Braiding 

How to Deep Condition Before Braiding

Now that we have highlighted the importance of deep-conditioning your hair, here is a step-by-step guide on how to effectively deep-condition your hair:

a. Wash Your Hair

This is the first obvious step. Deep-conditioning your hair without washing it defeats the whole purpose of deep-conditioning. Use a clarifying shampoo to get rid of the dirt properly.

b. Section Your Hair

This small step helps you apply your product or formula more efficiently and effectively. Take a wide-tooth comb to part your hair into four or five sections to make it more manageable. 

c. Apply the Deep-Conditioner

Ensure your hair is wet or, at the very least, damp when applying the conditioner.  Apply the product to the hair shaft, and work your way downwards. Most products should be concentrated at the ends of your hair as they are more prone to becoming dry and damaged. 

Also, check the guide that comes with your product in case the product needs to be handled with more care.

d. Let the Product Set

Tie up the hair or leave the conditioner so that it can do its job. Deep-condition treatments are often kept in for approximately half an hour and no more.

e. Use Heat (Optional)

You can use steam as that helps speed up the processing time of your product. An alternative to the heat could be wearing a shower cap on your head to lock the heat instead. 

f. Rinse

Use cold water to rinse out any product or formula thoroughly. The cold water helps close your pores and hair follicles, locking moisture in.

What to Consider Before Getting Deep-Condition Treatments

Consider Before Getting Deep-Condition Treatments

Here are some other factors you need to consider before getting a deep-conditioned treatment:

a. Choosing the Right Deep Conditioner

Depending on your hair type, choose the right deep conditioner for you. Explore the wide range of offers, check the ingredients, and find out which would suit your hair the best. You can see the list of products below that we’ve gathered for you:

  • BoldPlex 3 Hair Mask
  • Nizoral Deep Moisturizing Conditioner
  • Olaplex No. 3

b. Choosing the Right Oil for Conditioning Protective Hairstyles

Choosing the right natural oil for conditioning is essential for protective hairstyles such as braids. Again, from various options, see which product’s ingredients suit you best. As for our suggestion, we’d suggest you use the following:

I. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil helps add moisture and protect the hair.

 II. Castor Oil

Castor oil Promotes hair growth and thickens hair.

III. Olive Oil

It adds moisture and helps protect hair from damage.

IV. Avocado Oil

Provides your hair with the necessary moisture and nourishment.

V. Homemade Deep Conditioning Treatments
Avocado & Coconut Oil

Mash a ripe avocado and mix with 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil, apply to hair and leave on for 20-30 minutes.

Sweet Almond & Castor Oil

Mix equal parts of sweet almond and castor oil, apply to hair, and leave for 30 minutes.

How Often Should I Co-wash and Deep Condition My Braided Hair

How Often Should I Co-wash and Deep Condition My Braided Hair

Braids are meant to be kept in for a while. So with its care and maintenance, an obvious question is how often to wash it. And since deep-conditioning is also a part of the routine, how often should that be done?

Washing and conditioning too frequently can have as dire a consequence as not doing them, as it will affect the dryness of the hair. So, we recommend that a deep condition treatment be done once a week. If the hair looks too greasy, try deep-conditioning it once every other week.

Potential Downsides to Deep Conditioning Protective Hairstyles  

Potential Downsides to Deep Conditioning Protective Hairstyles  

Deep conditioning offers you a handful of benefits. However, overdoing it can offer downsides too. 

Frequently using a deep-conditioner on top of styling products and products will make your braid wear out faster instead of making it last longer.

If the conditioner is too heavy or too thick, it’ll just sit on your hair. Instead of giving your hair the proper nutrients, it’ll prevent your hair from breathing. Frequently using such thick conditioners will cause product build-up on your braids. 

Also Recommended: Protein Treatment for Hair Before Braids

You can opt for a protein treatment with a deep conditioning treatment for the best results. 

With ingredients such as hydrolyzed protein, panthenol, collagen, keratin, and/or soy protein, treatments can prevent your hair from becoming too weak while in a braid.

As beneficial as a protein treatment, it can leave your hair a little tough. In this case, a deep-conditioning treatment will restore the softness of your hair.


Before going in for a braid, you must make sure of two things. Firstly, your hair should be clean, and it should be adequately moisturized. 

While a thorough wash with a clarifying shampoo tackles the first, your ultimate go-to is to get a deep-conditioning treatment to keep your hair hydrated or moisturized enough.

With hydrating ingredients and essential nutrients, deep-conditioning treatments prevent dry and frizzy hair and ensure healthy hair that is less prone to breakage or splits. 

We hope that after reading this, you’ll no longer be wondering, “Why should I deep-condition before braids?” and instead know how to utilize this hair-care trick properly.

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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