There is a popular myth among the American population that African style braids are unhygienic. People who have never worn braids actually believe that you can’t keep braids clean unless you take them out and thoroughly wash your hair every few days. This is completely untrue. Braids can be left in for as long as you like if you perform a regular cleaning and care maintenance routine. After a few weeks, the braids might become untidy and loose but this is simply because of hair growth and daily wear. Your stylist can easily repair the damage done over time.
The following advice will help you maintain your braided beauty.
- Shampoo diluted in a spray bottle with water is an easy method for cleaning the braids. Just spray the entire head with the mixture, massage gently and thoroughly, and then rinse with warm water. This can be done as often as you like, but should be done at least once every two weeks.
- Rinse with plain water or water with a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. This will aid in the removal of dust, lint, airborne pollutants and anything else that is attracted to the natural oils in African heritage hair. Use a spray bottle to apply, and rinse with room temperature water, but be careful not to get any in your eyes. Using water that is too hot or too cold can cause the hair strands to break.
- Conditioner or Moisturizer should be used as often as you feel it’s needed. This will prevent dry scalp and itchiness. It will also keep your braids healthy and glossy.
- Grooming of your braids is needed to manage those wisps of hair that escape the braids. After your cleaning regimen, use a lint free towel to pat the braids dry. Be careful not to rub or pull on your hair as this can cause breakage. Use a wide toothed comb to untangle any knots on the ends of the braids. If the fly away or wisps of hair are more numerous than you would like, visit your stylist for a “touchup” to your braids.