I have been meaning to write this post for a while now but I realised it would need pictures to accompany it so that it makes sense. I managed to get some pictures taken while I washed my daughters braids. I wash my own braids the same way.
I’m often asked how I manage to keep braids looking neat for up to eight weeks. I believe part of it is in how I wash them. In the pics my daughter has had the braids for almost eight weeks. They still look quite good.
I like to wash my braids over a tub using a hand held shower head. You can do the same thing standing under the shower or you can even use a bucket.
So here is the process:
You will need a towel and some shampoo. You need a towel that’s big enough to wrap around your head. I use a bath towel. You may dilute your shampoo with water in a spray bottle if you wish.
Thoroughly rinse your braids before you begin. This will dislodge any dirt and wash away any dust on the surface of the braids.
Put some shampoo in one hand. The pic below shows the amount of shampoo I use per lather.
Apply the shampoo to your scalp using the free hand. Take a bit of shampoo and apply it all over your head including your hairline and nape. If you are using diluted shampoo in a spray bottle then spray the shampoo onto your scalp. Massage your scalp your fingertips. Make sure you are concentrating on the scalp. Do not worry about the length of the braids at this stage. Also make sure you have massaged every inch of your scalp. Pay attention to any areas of the scalp that might itch.
Rinse out the shampoo. The lather will run down the length of the braid washing them as they go.
Apply shampoo to the scalp once more. Massage the scalp again. This time squeeze the shampoo lather down the length of the braids to the ends. Squeezing the braids will help to clean them. If you have not washed you braids in a long time you will notice that the lather is brown with dirt!
Rinse the hair once more, taking care to get all the shampoo out. Gently squeeze out excess water from the braids.
Wrap your head in a towel. Make sure all the braids are covered. You can tuck the ends of the towel in to prevent water trickling down your back. Keep the towel on your head for about 10 minutes. The towel will absorb the water from the braids.
After 10 or so minutes remove your braids and let them air dry. At this stage you can spray some braid spray on the length of the braids to moisturise them. Once dry you can apply an oil of your choice to the scalp.
My daughters braids at 8 weeks
To summarise – When washing braids there is no need to scrunch them up or disturb them too much. Just concentrate on getting your scalp clean. Squeeze the length of the braids to get the dirt out. Since you should be washing your braids frequently (I prefer weekly) they won’t really be dirty anyway.