Braids are a fantastic way to protect your natural hair, but they can be a hassle to wash regularly. If you're a fan of braids, then you know that it's challenging to maintain healthy hair and scalp when you can't wash your hair regularly. Luckily, there are some simple and effective ways to clean your scalp without washing your braids.
In this article, we'll explore eight of the best ways to keep your scalp healthy and fresh, so you can enjoy your braids without worrying about scalp irritation or buildup. So, let's dive in and learn how to keep your scalp clean and refreshed with these fantastic tips and tricks!
8 Useful Ways to Clean Scalp with Braids without Washing
Maintaining a clean and healthy scalp while wearing braids like cornrows, knotless braids, or locs is crucial, but constant washing can be time-consuming and damaging to your hair. That’s why we’ve found eight effective ways to keep your scalp fresh and clean while wearing braids.
Witch Hazel and Cotton Pads
Witch hazel is a natural astringent that has been used for centuries for its medicinal and skin-soothing properties. It can also be used to clean the scalp without washing.
To use witch hazel for scalp cleaning, first, dampen a cotton pad with witch hazel. Then, gently press the cotton pad onto your scalp and massage it in a circular motion. This will help to remove dirt and buildup from your scalp. It is essential to be gentle while doing this, as aggressive rubbing can cause irritation and damage to the scalp.
Witch hazel is a gentle and natural alternative to traditional shampoo and can be used as often as needed to keep the scalp clean and healthy.
Apple Cider Vinegar Spray
Apple cider vinegar(ACV) helps to balance the pH level of your scalp, which can reduce dandruff and promote hair growth. To make the spray, mix equal parts of water and ACV in a spray bottle. You can also add a few drops of essential oils like peppermint or tea tree for added cleansing and refreshing benefits.
Spray the mixture onto your scalp, focusing on the areas where your braids meet your scalp. Massage your scalp gently with your fingertips, and let the mixture sit for a few minutes before rinsing your scalp with warm water.
ACV can be strong, so it's important to dilute it with water before use. It's also a good idea to do a patch test before using the spray to ensure you don't have an allergic reaction.
Dry shampoo is a type of hair product that is used to remove excess oil and sweat from your scalp without the use of water. Using a dry shampoo is a quick and easy way to cleanse your scalp without having to wet your braids.
To use a fry shampoo:
- Shake the can well to mix the ingredients.
- Hold the can at least 8 inches away from your scalp.
- Spritz the dry shampoo onto your scalp and braids.
- Wait a few seconds to let the shampoo absorb excess oils and sweat.
- Gently rub the dry shampoo into your hair and scalp using your fingertips.
- Be careful to be gentle and avoid creating extra frizz.
- Finally, use a clean towel or shirt to blot away any extra dry shampoo from your scalp and braids.
It's best to use dry shampoo sparingly, as a buildup of residue from using too much of the product might obstruct hair follicles and reduce hair growth. Therefore, it's recommended to apply it only once in between washes.
Essential Oil Scalp Spray
Essential oils such as tea tree oil and peppermint oil have antimicrobial properties that can help to kill off bacteria and fungus on the scalp. Additionally, these oils can help to soothe an itchy and irritated scalp.
To make an essential oil scalp spray:
- Fill a spray bottle halfway with water and the other half with witch hazel.
- Add a few drops of your preferred essential oils, such as tea tree or peppermint oil.
- Shake the bottle well to mix the ingredients.
- Spray the mixture onto your scalp, focusing on the areas where your braids meet your scalp.
- Massage your scalp gently with your fingertips to help the mixture penetrate your scalp and braids.
- Let the mixture sit for a few minutes.
- Rinse your scalp with warm water to remove any residue.
Using an essential oil scalp spray is a great way to refresh your scalp without washing your braids. Plus, it can help to promote healthy hair growth and reduce scalp irritation.
Using a scalp massager can help to break up any buildup on your scalp and promote a healthier scalp overall.
To use a scalp massager:
- Choose a gentle scalp massager with soft bristles.
- Apply a few drops of scalp cleanser or oil onto the massager's bristles.
- Gently massage your scalp, focusing on the areas where your braids meet your scalp.
- Use circular motions to distribute the product and increase blood flow.
- Continue massaging for a few minutes.
- Let the product sit on your scalp for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water.
- Optional: use a moisturizing conditioner or oil treatment to keep your scalp and braids hydrated.
These wipes are typically infused with gentle cleansing agents, such as tea tree oil or witch hazel, to help remove buildup and refresh the scalp.
To use scalp wipes to clean:
- Choose scalp wipes that are specifically designed for cleansing and soothing the scalp, and are safe for use with braids.
- Gently lift your braids to expose your scalp in the areas where you want to clean.
- Take a scalp wipe and gently rub it on your scalp, using a circular motion to help loosen dirt and oil buildup.
- Use a fresh wipe as needed to ensure that you're effectively cleaning your scalp.
- Allow the scalp to air dry before replacing your braids.
- If desired, follow up with a moisturizing oil or leave-in conditioner to keep your scalp and braids hydrated.
- Dispose of the used wipes properly.
Baking soda is a useful method to remove excess oil and buildup from your scalp, leaving it feeling clean and refreshed.
To clean your scalp with baking soda:
- Create a paste by mixing one tablespoon of baking soda with water.
- Apply the paste to your scalp, focusing on the areas where your braids meet your scalp.
- Gently massage the paste into your scalp and braids for a few minutes.
- Allow the mixture to rest for a duration of 5 to 10 minutes.
- Rinse your scalp thoroughly with warm water.
It's important to note that using baking soda too frequently or in high concentrations can be harsh on your scalp and hair. Therefore, use this method sparingly and follow up with a moisturizing conditioner or oil treatment.
A scalp scrub can help remove buildup and dead skin cells from your scalp, promoting healthy hair growth and leaving your scalp feeling clean and refreshed.
To make a DIY scalp scrub:
- Mix together equal parts of coarse sea salt and oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil.
- Apply the scrub to your scalp, focusing on the areas where your braids meet your scalp.
- Gently massage the mixture into your scalp and braids using circular motions.
- Let the scrub sit on your scalp for a few minutes to allow the salt to absorb any excess oils and remove buildup.
- Rinse your scalp thoroughly with warm water.
- Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner or oil treatment to keep your scalp and braids hydrated.
When Is Washing Necessary?
Washing your scalp with water may be necessary for several situations. If your braids smell, it may be a sign of bacteria or fungus, which can lead to scalp irritation.
Similarly, if you experience itching or buildup on your scalp, it may be time to cleanse it with water to prevent oil and sweat accumulation that can also cause irritation.
Additionally, if you have used hair products that are not meant for the scalp, such as hair gel or wax, it's essential to wash your scalp to remove the product before re-braiding your hair.
How To Minimize the Need to Wash Your Braid
Washing your hair regularly is essential for scalp health, but with braids, it can be challenging to do so without undoing the style. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to minimize the need to wash your braids.
Use Silk Or Satin Scarf
Before going to bed, wrap your braids with a silk or satin scarf or bonnet. This will help reduce friction and prevent your braids from rubbing against your pillowcase, which can cause frizz and loosen the style. It will also help to absorb the oils that may accumulate on your scalp and braids while you sleep.
Avoid Touching Your Braids
Additionally, avoid touching your braids, especially if your hands are dirty or oily. The oils and dirt from your hands can transfer to your braids and cause buildup. If you need to touch your braided hair, do so gently, and wash your hands first.
By following these tips, you can minimize the need to wash your braids frequently and keep your scalp healthy and clean.
The Bottom Line
Regular cleansing is essential for maintaining healthy hair and scalp, but you don't always have to resort to traditional washing methods. With the eight methods we've shared, you can keep your scalp clean, moisturized, and itch-free. Experiment with the different options and find what works best for your hair type and lifestyle. Happy braiding!