Joseph Kalu

How to Clean Braids without Washing Using 4 Proven Alternatives

braid cleansers, Hair cleaners

You might have assumed that washing your braids was the only way to keep them looking and smelling nice, but this is not the case. There are various methods for cleaning your braids without washing them, and this post will focus on one of them. We’ll show you how to clean braided hair without shampoo.

Braids have been a popular hairstyle for many years and continue to be a popular choice among many people today. While braids can provide a gorgeous and low-maintenance hairstyle, they can also make practicing scalp hygiene difficult. The accumulation of filth, sweat, and oil on the scalp can cause irritation, dandruff, and even hair loss. Fortunately, there are numerous effective ways to tidy up your scalp with braids without having to rinse your hair.

Here are several viable strategies for keeping your scalp clean and healthy when wearing braids. Let’s get right into it!

1. How to Clean Braids Without Washing: Using Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is the quickest and easiest way to clean your hair without using soap and water. This lotion is precisely formulated to eliminate oils from the scalp and hair in a matter of minutes. The result will be clean-looking braids free of extra grease.

Here’s how to apply dry shampoo to braids.

What you will require:

  • Spray or powder for dry shampoo
  • a wet towel or a T-shirt

Once you’ve gathered your resources, proceed as follows:

  • Make sure your braids are completely dry.
  • Apply a small amount of dry shampoo to your hair and scalp. Shake the can of spray shampoo first to blend the contents before spraying it directly onto your head and braids. When spraying, keep the can at least 8 inches away from your scalp.
  • Allow a minute or two.
  • Rub the dry shampoo in with your fingertips (not your nails). To minimize unnecessary frizz, be gentle.
  • Blot away any extra dry shampoo using a towel or t-shirt.
  • Dry shampoo can be used whenever your scalp becomes too greasy or your braids begin to take on an oily sheen.

2. How to Clean Braids Without Washing: Using Apple Cider Vinegar Braid Cleanser

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Apple cider vinegar has a plethora of applications, including deep cleaning of everyday surfaces and hair. To extend the life of your braided styles, use apple cider vinegar to break down buildup and oil deposits on your scalp and hair.

It also helps to reduce itching and irritation caused by wearing braids and other protective styles. An apple cider vinegar braid cleanser is available at your local beauty supply store or online. If you can’t find any, you may make your own by combining one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water and pouring the liquid into a plastic spray bottle.

To clean your braids with apple cider vinegar, follow the procedures below:

  • Spray your braids while holding the spray bottle a few inches away from your head. You don’t want to use too much spray because braids take a long time to dry. Concentrate on the roots as well as any exposed sections of your scalp.
  • Wipe away any apparent buildup using a wet towel or t-shirt.
  • To keep your hair hydrated, continue with a regular braid moisturizing routine.
  • This cleansing process can be repeated every week or two as needed. When your scalp begins to itch, it’s time for another washing session.

3. How to Clean Braids Without Washing: Using Baby Wipes

Baby wipes are useful for ordinary spills and messes, but they’re also a lifesaver when you need to clean your braids quickly. All you have to do is use a couple of wipes to clean your scalp, roots, and braids. After that, you can resume your usual braid moisturizing routine.

Consider the following when washing your braids with baby wipes:

  • Check that the wipes are not made of a rippable fiber. Otherwise, you’ll have smears of wiping all over your scalp and braids. The wipes should be able to expand without shattering into small pieces. We strongly advise you to test this before applying it to your braids.
  • Wipe lightly to avoid irritating your scalp.
  • We recommend avoiding wipes with strong odors if you have sensitive skin or an easily irritated scalp. These fragrances are frequently responsible for skin irritation, rashes, and other types of discomfort. Wipes designed for sensitive skin typically have softer fragrances and may be a better option.
  • You can use baby wipes to refresh your braids whenever you need to. There is no danger in utilizing them daily.

4. Witch Hazel Cleanse

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Witch hazel is a well-known natural skin astringent and toner. It can rapidly relieve itching caused by dirtiness on your scalp. It will also leave your scalp clean and revitalized.

If you wish to try witch hazel, follow these steps:

  • Get yourself some witch hazel. It is available at your local drugstore or online. Also, get some cotton balls and a squirt bottle.
  • Divide your braids into a few pieces to make them easier to manage.
  • Fill the spray bottle with a couple of ounces of witch hazel.
  • A cotton ball should be sprayed with witch hazel.
  • Wipe your scalp in rhythmic sweeping motions, part by section.
  • Your scalp may feel a little dry afterward, so rehydrate it with your favorite oil.
  • Witch hazel can be used anytime it is felt necessary. Reduce your witch hazel cleansing sessions if your scalp begins to exhibit indications of dehydration.

When Washing Is Non-negotiable

You may be able to get by with one of the aforementioned solutions for a while, but there are times when washing is necessary.

We’ll look at a few examples below:

Your braids stink. Weeks of exposure to the elements, perspiration, and other factors can quickly lead your braids to stink.  This is typical, and the resulting odor is usually minor. However, if you leave your braids wet for too long, have an active lifestyle that requires a lot of sweating, or have an excess of sweat or oil buildup, the stench may be strong. If alternative treatments fail to remove the stench, you’ll have little choice but to wash your hair.

  • Excessive accumulation: If you have dandruff or any scalp problem that produces oil buildup or flaking, the only way to remove the buildup is to wash your braids. Excess buildup may also be caused by heavy hair products, which must be removed.
  • Itching that won’t go away: Scalp irritation can range from light to severe, and if it’s minor, the solutions listed above may be ideal for you. But if you’re constantly scratching, it’s time to use a clarifying shampoo.

How to Minimize the Need for Washing

Some braided styles, like twists, lengthy thick braids, and any other form that unravels quickly, are not suitable for washing. You don’t want your braids to come loose or unravel while you’re washing your hair. So, if you decide to wear these styles, try to avoid standard washes as much as possible.

Here are some tips for keeping your braids and scalp as clean as possible:

  • Avoid using heavy moisturizers and styling products: Light moisturizers and styling products perform their work without leaving a sticky, gunky residue.
  • Keep your braids dry: If your hair becomes wet in the shower or when swimming, take precautions to ensure that your braids are completely dry. Mold development and an unpleasant odor might result from trapped moisture, which can only be remedied with a powerful shampoo and a good scrub. To completely dry your braids, you may need to blow dry them or sit under a hooded dryer.
  • Though washing your braids is occasionally important, it is not always necessary. If you follow the instructions in the preceding section, you can avoid scrubbing your braids in the shower or sink.
  • Just make sure you don’t skip a full wash when your braids show indications of needing one. Nobody wants odorous, gunked-up braids.

Tips for Maintaining Clean Braids

Avoid Using Heavy Products: Avoid using heavy styling products like gels and hair creams because they can cause buildup on your braids.

  • Keep Your Braids Safe at Night: To avoid friction and keep the look, use a satin or silk pillowcase or wrap your braids in a silk or satin scarf before bed.
  • Regularly Moisturize: To avoid dryness and itching, use braid sprays or oils to keep your hair and scalp moisturized.
  • Avoid Excessive perspiration: Use a sweatband or headband to preserve your braids if you engage in activities that generate excessive perspiration.
  • Seek Professional Advice: If you’re unsure about washing your braids or have scalp difficulties, seek the advice and care of a professional hairstylist.


Can I use regular shampoo on my braids?

Regular shampoo, on the other hand, can make your braids loosen or become frizzy. To revitalize your scalp, try using a dry shampoo.

How often should I clean my braided scalp?

It is determined by the type of hair you have and the products you use. In general, try to clean your scalp once a week.

What can I do to keep my braids clean?

There are a few things you can do to help keep your braids clean.

First, avoid touching your scalp, and second, consider wearing a scarf or cap outside, especially on windy or dusty days.

Finally, avoid using heavy hair products, such as gels and pomades, that can build up on your scalp and attract dirt.

Can I swim with braids?

Yes, you may swim with braids, but there are some precautions you should take to safeguard your hair. You might want to wear a swim cap to keep your braids dry.

How can I get rid of my braids without hurting my hair?

Start by slicing the extensions close to the scalp with scissors to remove braids without damaging your hair. Then carefully disentangle the remaining braids.


Cleaning your braids without washing them is a convenient technique to keep your hairdo while also promoting scalp health. You can keep your braids fresh and clean while enjoying the longevity of your gorgeous, braided style by following the procedures given above and utilizing the correct equipment and supplies.

Remember to be cautious when washing your braids to avoid hurting them, and always emphasize the health of your scalp and hair.

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