What Happens When You Braid Wet Hair?

There are many ways to style our hair. But not all the methods are safe and give protection to hair. Some people choose to braid their hair after a shower, thinking that it might be better than braiding dry hair. 

But do you know what happens when your braid wet hair? It’s not a safe style for your hair, as braiding wet hair has some potential risks. For instance, it can significantly damage your hair, make your head feel heavier than before, create an unpleasant odor in your hair, etc. 

Above all these issues, the most daunting ones are hair breakage, and fungal growth. You’ll notice these if you have a habit of regular wet braiding.

However, there are more insights to braiding wet hair. Read along to know more.

Is It Safe To Braid Wet Hair?

Is It Safe To Braid Wet Hair?

In simple words, it’s not safe to braid wet hair. Wet hair absorbs water through the outer surface of hair strands, which is known as Cuticle. It’s created by overlapping dead cells to protect and strengthen the hair shaft. 

Moisture can cling to these cells, make your hair feel heavy, and stretch the hair shaft. Therefore, you can feel your hair brittle. Besides, damp hair can make the cuticle swell; thus, the hair shaft’s underlayer exposes due to the lifting up of cuticle cells.

That’s why braiding wet hair can result in split ends, rip the hair shaft away from your scalp, and hair frizzing. 

Is It Best To Braid Your Hair Wet Or Dry?

Is It Best To Braid Your Hair Wet Or Dry?

The safest and best choice is braiding your hair when they’re dry. If your hair tends to tangle easily, a wet braid can increase the chances of tangling while unbraiding your hair.

Besides, braiding dry hair won’t damage your hair, feel heavy, or cause bad smells. In addition, handling long dry hair is easier while braiding, and also the dry state of hair is the strongest condition for hair cells to prevent breakage and damage.

On the other hand, you may feel an accumulation of leftover moisture in your scalp that creates an uncomfortable feeling after braiding wet hair.

Will Braiding Wet Hair Make It Wavy?

Will Braiding Wet Hair Make It Wavy?

The widely used trick to gain wavy hair without using heat is braiding wet hair. But does the trick work for anyone?

Not necessarily. People who have medium to long hair lengths with medium density may see waves in their hair. But those with thick hair density may don’t see much results. On the other hand, braiding wet hair with thin density can lead to hair frizziness and breakage.

In addition, braiding dry hair can give you more long-lasting and bouncier waves than braid in wet hair. 

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Braiding Wet Hair?

Here are the pros and cons of braiding wet hair:


  • Braiding wet hair can create waves in your hair.
  • Braiding damp hair, not wet, can prevent friction between pillow and hair, which reduces breakage and damage.
  • Hair also produces sebum, which causes pimples on the face. So braiding wet hair will keep the hair out of your face and prevent pimples and bumps.
  • Braiding wet hair can retain moisture in hair and prevent hair from being exposed to environmental pollution. 


  • Too much moisture can damage your hair.
  • Make your head feel heavy and eventually cause a headache.
  • Braiding wet hair can create an odor.
  • Can make your scalp feel itchier.



One of the best ways to avoid damage from excessive heat on micro braids is to use non-heat hair blowers. These products help keep your scalp and hair hydrated, which can minimize the amount of heat that is needed to style your hair. Another option is to use hair serums. These products can also help protect your hair from heat damage and make it easier to style your hair.

Related Articles:

  • What Happens If You Always Braid Your Hair: Undo Your Braids!
  • Is It Easier To Braid Wet Hair


So what happens when you braid wet hair? It can irritate cuticle cells, damage your hair, make hair more prone to tangle, cause headaches and bad smells, and even make your scalp itchy. Therefore, it’s always recommended to braid dry hair.

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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