How to Wash Box Braids without Messing Them Up


Box braids are a popular protective hairstyle that can last for weeks, but keeping them clean and fresh can be a challenge. Washing box braids can be tricky, as you don’t want to ruin the style or cause frizz. In this article, we will share some tips on how to wash box braids without messing them up.

Prepare Your Hair

Before washing your box braids, it’s essential to prepare your hair. Start by detangling your hair with a wide-tooth comb, beginning at the ends and working your way up to the roots. This will help prevent matting and tangling during the washing process.

Choose the Right Shampoo

Choosing the right shampoo is crucial when washing box braids. Look for a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo that won’t strip your hair of its natural oils. Also, avoid shampoos with heavy fragrances or oils that can leave residue on your braids.

Dilute the Shampoo

To prevent build-up and frizz, dilute the shampoo before applying it to your hair. Mix the shampoo with water in a spray bottle and apply it to your scalp and braids. Gently massage your scalp with your fingertips, focusing on the roots.

Rinse Thoroughly

Rinsing your hair thoroughly is essential when washing box braids. Use lukewarm water to rinse out the shampoo, making sure to get all the suds out. If you have long braids, it may take some time to rinse everything out completely.

Condition Your Hair

After shampooing, it’s essential to condition your hair to keep it moisturized. Choose a lightweight, leave-in conditioner that won’t weigh down your braids. Apply the conditioner to the mid-lengths and ends of your hair, avoiding the roots.

Avoid Heat

Avoid using heat on your box braids, as it can cause damage and frizz. Instead, let your hair air-dry naturally. If you need to speed up the drying process, use a towel to gently squeeze out excess water, then let your hair dry in a well-ventilated area.

Avoid Over-Washing

Over-washing your box braids can cause frizz and damage to your hair. Aim to wash your hair every two weeks or as needed to keep it clean and fresh. If your scalp gets itchy or oily between washes, use a dry shampoo or scalp refresher to keep it clean.

Avoid Excessive Manipulation

Avoid excessive manipulation of your box braids, as it can cause frizz and damage to your hair. When washing your hair, be gentle and avoid rubbing or scrubbing your braids too vigorously. Also, avoid pulling or tugging on your braids when styling or brushing your hair.

Protect Your Hair at Night

Protecting your hair at night is essential when wearing box braids. Use a satin or silk bonnet or pillowcase to prevent your hair from drying out or becoming frizzy. Also, avoid sleeping with your hair loose or in a ponytail, as it can cause tangling and matting.


Washing box braids can be challenging, but with the right techniques and products, you can keep your hair clean and fresh without ruining the style. Remember to be gentle when washing and styling your hair, avoid excessive manipulation, and protect your hair at night. With these tips, you can enjoy your box braids and keep them looking their best.

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