How To Wash Box Braids: The Best Way To Clean Your Scalp

how to clean dirty braids
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Protective styles shield your hair from environmental aggressors; if you’re rocking them, you need to know how to wash box braids to keep your hair in shape. Once you know how to wash braids, you follow the same template for the rest hairstyles, such as locs and twists. Most protective hairstyles last up to eight weeks if they still look good and the care you put into them.

Washing your braids only boosts its ability to help you maintain healthy strands, safe from damage. And if you plan on wearing the hairstyle for long, you will need to commit to scheduled wash days every two weeks. There is always the fear that washing your box braids can make them rough and lose their beauty, not if you do it right. The goal is to focus on your parting lines with gentle precision gently.

This post is for you if you’re ready to learn how to wash your box braids and rid your scalp of sweat and swimming residue. There are two methods to wash your braids: wet and dry. The end goal is to ensure your scalp is clean.

How to wash box braids in the shower

A significant amount of time gets spent installing braids, which prompts you to wear them for a few weeks. The first step to protecting your hair is braiding with a washed and conditioned mane. While weaving the hair, you also want to ensure the hairstylist does not apply too much pressure on your scalp. When your box braids are not installed too tightly, you efficiently use products to keep your hair hydrated.

1. Get a clarifying shampoo

Keep a clarifying shampoo handy before stepping into the shower to wash your hair. They are your best bet to rid your scalp of dirt residue. Pour water over your hair and ensure it soaks through the scalp. Apply a small amount of shampoo, and start washing your scalp; you don’t want to scratch your hair with your fingers.

Instead, perform a rubbing technique to wash out the dirt, so you don’t ruin the braids. The roots have become clean, move downwards vertically, and wash to the ends when you’re sure. You don’t want to end up with dry braids, so apply a small conditioner to the ends after washing out the shampoo.

Related article: 16 best clarifying shampoos your hair needs right now

2. Hot oil treatment

After washing your braids, try adding a hot oil treatment to your routine; it will help lock in hair moisture. Washing your scalp stresses them, and the hot oils will go deep into the shafts to restore lost moisture and soothe your scalp.

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3. Dry your braids

The last step on how to wash box braids is drying, which is very important if you wish to get the best results. If you leave your hair damp, it fosters the growth of fungus and other unpleasant conditions. There are two ways to get your braids dried up without causing much fuss. One leaves your hair down and allows it to air dry; it could take the whole day.

You must resist the urge to gather the braids up. If you don’t have all day to wait for the braids to dry up, you could pop them under a hooded dryer or a blow dryer set on low heat. It will take 30 minutes or more to get your hair dried. When your braids get thoroughly dried, you can only style as desired.

How to wash your braids without getting them wet

You don’t always have to opt for wet washing to maintain a clean scalp. Invest in some astringents (a substance that binds and draws things together) such as Witch Hazel and Sea Breeze to easily remove build-ups. If you wish, you can incorporate apple cider vinegar and do a wipe down on your scalp. When you apply them to your scalp, it removes impurities and dirt without washing. This method is a quick fix to keep your braids clean for more wear time.

How to Wash Your Box Braids without getting in wet
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Pro tips for a good wash

  • Please do not rush washing your box braids; for sure, it can take a long since the hairstyle often has many individual braids.
  • Section out the braids and wash each section thoroughly.
  • While washing your hair, avoid rubbing too hard to prevent frizziness.

Advantages of washing your braids

You might think washing your braids is unnecessary; you will still have to take them out for a hairstyle. Daily as you move around, dust and other small debris cling to your hair, not to mention the hair products bound to leave residue behind. If having lighter braids after a wash doesn’t sound appealing to you, here are a few more advantages of washing your braids.

You improve hair growth: When your braids get a good washing, it equals a clean scalp, which is the best way to maintain healthy hair. Since your braids are free from harmful substances, your mane thrives, and you get to enjoy your protective hairstyle.

Alleviates itchiness: The first sign that your braids need a wash is itching, which comes from sweating on the scalp, dead cells, and dirt. You can use creams and scratch your scalp, but nothing beats washing the braids. A simple wash done correctly relieves itches.

Prevent flaky scalp: When your hair is left unwashed, build-up settles on the scalp, which leads to a flaky scalp. When you don’t care for the scalp on time, it causes dandruff, which is a whole different thing to handle.

It leaves your braids smelling great: There is nothing more embarrassing than foul-smelling braids, especially if you’re bound to stay close to other people. All the products you apply to your hair mixed with sweat make the hair smell. Washing your box braids cleanses out your scalp and infuses the sweet smell of your shampoos.


Choosing to install box braids and other protective styles is an investment. They last long, so committing to a care routine should be another. You don’t have to wash box braids every day; once every two weeks is just right. Washing your braids refreshes the scalp. This doesn’t mean you should leave your braids on for too long.

You may also like to read our articles on braids:
Coi Leray Braids: Use this Tutorial to Recreate the Super Popular Braids
12 gorgeous goddess braids to channel your inner beauty
10 feedin braids for everyone to try this fall

Fanti Tukuwei
I'm a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle enthusiast, and the ultimate curves queen. Here, I share beauty, fashion, and lifestyle tips to teach, inspire, and give confidence to all women.