How to Wash Box Braids

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This summer I have decided to get box braids installed again because of my vacation to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I didn’t want to deal with my loose hair in the scorching heat, especially in a place that doesn’t always have clean water. So I thought box braids was the best option for me to protect my hair from the elements. Though, I packed travel sized hair products (which includes shampoo, conditioner, oils, and a leave-in) because I knew I was going to be swimming in the pool water as well as the ocean water. During the week of my stay in Dominican Republic, I took special care of my hair after my swimming activities. I made sure I washed it carefully after every swim to keep the chlorine and ocean dirt out of my extensions and my natural hair that is under it.  So here are some steps that I took to make sure my hair was squeaky clean.

  • Make sure your Shampoo and Conditioner is diluted: The Shampoo and conditioner must be diluted with water to avoid white residue that can seep into the extensions of the braids. It will make it difficult to wash out. While you are packing the shampoo and conditioner make sure you add water and shake it up evenly.
  • Begin Rinsing your Braids: Make sure your braids and scalp is saturated in warm water. Don’t make the water too hot, that is not necessary. Rinse and squeeze the braids under the shower head to get some dirt out. Do this for 1 minute or 2.
  • Begin Shampooing: Get your shampoo applicator and begin applying your shampoo to your scalp first and begin massaging it vigorously to remove any grime on your scalp. Take at least a couple minutes to do that before your run the rest of the shampoo to the length of the braids slowly. Take your time with shampooing because you want to make sure the ocean water or the chlorine is out of your hair. Once you believe your hair clean enough, just rinse it all out under the shower.
  • Apply the Conditioner: You are applying the conditioner to the strands of your braids all the way down to the end from the roots. Let that sit in your hair for 5 to ten minutes before rinsing it out. It is okay to leave some of the conditioner in as a leave in if you wish. My hair benefits best when I leave some of the conditioner in. My natural hair stays moisturized that way.
  • Towel/T-shirt dry your Braids: You can use a towel or a T-shirt to dry your hair but make sure it is 75% dry before you air it because you will be dripping all over the place. You can also use your blow dryer to speed up the drying process but make sure your dryer is on the lowest heat setting you have.
  • Get the oils: Use any oils you want to massage and moisturize your scalp. Take 5 minutes with massaging your scalp, you want to stimulate hair growth. My favorites are; coconut oil, tea tree oil, and jojoba oil. Also, run the oils along the length of braids to seal moisture.

Additional Tips: 

  • You can use a tooth brush to gel up your edges for a neater look. 
  • You can also use gel to smoothen your frizzy braids because washing does make the braids look a little messy. 

And that is it, you are done! I hope this helps! Let me know how it goes in the comments. 

-Nansi

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