Should I Wash Hair Before Braids

Washing your hair is necessary to keep hair clean and healthy, no matter with braids or without braids. Some people spread the myth that washing hair before braids is unnecessary, which makes you question yourself, should I wash hair before braids?

You should definitely wash your hair at least 3 days before wearing your braided hairstyle. Use a clarifying shampoo, or a hydrating conditioner, then lock the moisture using oil. This way, you can protect your scalp and hair from breakage caused by your braids.

But how often should you shampoo your hair after braids? Which oil should you use as a moisture sealant? Read along to find your answers.

Preparing for Hair Braiding: Ensuring Healthy Hair before Next Wash

Preparing for Hair Braiding: Ensuring Healthy Hair before Next Wash

When it comes to wearing a protective hairstyle, preparing your hair is the key. This way, you can prevent hair damage like hair fall and breakage. Here are three key steps of hair preparation before braids:

1. Never Put Braids on Dirty Hair

Never Put Braids on Dirty Hair

The first step is to wash your hair for long-lasting braids. Make sure you clean your scalp and hair really well. Use a clarifying shampoo to ensure a deep clean by getting rid of flakes, dirt, and product buildup from your scalp. 

Massage your scalp while shampooing; it’ll promote blood cells and helps you to remove dead skin cells on the scalp effectively.

2. Conditioning Your Hair After Washing 

Conditioning Your Hair After Washing

Make sure you condition your hair after washing. This step is necessary as conditioning strengthens and nourishes your hair shaft and improves elasticity. In addition, clarifying shampoos draw moisture out of your hair, and conditioners help moisturize your hair back.

3. Using Hair Oil as a Moisture Sealant

Using Hair Oil as a Moisture Sealant

This is the crucial step of hair preparation before braiding, as washing and conditioning alone aren’t enough to keep your hair hydrated and moist. Hair oiling is an effective way to seal the moisture in.

However, note that oil doesn’t add any additional moisture to your hair; it seals the remaining moisture of your hair. So make sure you apply a hydrating conditioner. For this step, you can apply hair oil before or right after blow-drying your hair.

You should pick an oil that can treat follicles, reduce frizz, improve hair strength, and protect hair from breakage. Black castor oil, sunflower oil, and avocado oil are proven to seal in moisture while ensuring all these benefits for your hair.

Why Should You Wash Your Hair before Getting Braids

Why Should You Wash Your Hair before Getting Braids

Preparing your hair for braiding with proper moisture is necessary to ensure enough strength to deal with tension and the extra weight of the braids. That’s why many professional hairstylists suggest taking a strong protein treatment.

In addition, preparing hair with adequate moisture will keep your hair hydrated until you take off the braids. This way, you can prevent hair shedding and breakage and make the after-maintenance easier.

Importance of Using Natural Ingredients like Coconut Oil or Olive Oil for Deep Moisture

Importance of Using Natural Ingredients like Coconut Oil or Olive Oil for Deep Moisture

We all know the benefits of natural ingredients. If the hair oils are hard-to-find, you can use natural ingredients like coconut oil or olive oil for deep moisture.

These two oils are enriched with nourishing and moisturizing properties. For example, coconut oil contains lauric acid that helps the oil soak into the hair strands, adds moisture, prevents breakage, and tames frizz.

In contrast, olive oil contains oleic acid that helps to prevent split ends, improves elasticity, reduces dandruff, adds moisture, prevents damage and breakage, etc. So using these natural ingredients is absolutely helpful in protecting your hair after braiding.

The Myth That Braided Hair Does Not Need to Be Washed 

You should wash your braided hair in two or three weeks. Some people say you don’t need hair washing, but it’ll create dead skin cells, dirt, and product buildup in your scalp and braid plaits. 

This issue can eventually lead to fungus in braids, flakes, bad odor, itchiness, and damage to your hair.

The Importance of Washing after Braided Hair 

The Importance of Washing after Braided Hair 

Your lifestyle and type of braids determine how frequently you should wash your hair. Generally, if you sweat a lot and go out quite often, you should consider washing your hair once a week. 

Otherwise, the dust and product buildup will make the hair roots weak and damaged, which will lead to hair fall and breakage.

Frizz and Breakage Caused by Vigorous Washing of Braided Hair 

Frizz and hair breakage are common problems of washing hair frequently and using sulfate shampoos often. You need to ensure some maintenance to fix this issue. For example, use a hot water treatment where you dip your braids into the water. You can also use mousse and holding spray to tame frizz.


Are braids good for greasy hair?

A protective hairstyle is less suitable for dry hair as it can make your hair more prone to breakage and damage. In contrast, greasy hair is fine with protective braids. Oily hair produces excess sebum to keep the scalp hydrated, so it reduces the risk of hair loss with braids.

Why should you not braid wet hair?

A closed damp place is a favorite place for fungi and bacteria to grow. Also, wet hair is more elastic and breaks easily. Therefore, wearing braids on wet hair can cause fungus to develop and cause your hair to break prematurely.

Should you wash synthetic hair before braiding?

Synthetic hair comes with an alkaline coating which can cause red bumps, irritation, and itchiness on your scalp. To prevent these issues, you should wash your synthetic hair before braiding.

How can I hide my greasy hair without washing it?

There are many methods of hiding greasy hair without washing it, for example, using dry shampoo, baby powder, mini blowout, or blotting paper.


So the answer to the question, should I wash hair before braids, is yes, you should. In fact, this is a necessary step in preparing hair for protective hairstyles. If you skip washing hair before braids, it can cause itchiness after wearing braids.

Also, getting rid of the buildup can be tricky with braids on. Thus, consider washing your hair before wearing braids. Don’t forget to apply oil as a sealant after each braid washing.

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!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *