Dry Hair After Braids? Here’s Why & Best Way To Fix It!

While braiding your hair comes with a wealth of benefits, it can also cause some serious damage if you don’t follow the right procedures. I’ve done some research into this, and here’s what I found.

Dry hair after braids is usually caused by neglecting your hair while your braids are in and leaving them in for too long. Braids left in for more than 6-8 weeks can result in matting and build-up in your hair, causing it to become dry and damaged. To avoid this, you need to keep your hair clean and moisturized and remove your braids after 8 weeks.

Keep reading to find out how you can fix dry, damaged hair after braiding, as well as some prevention tips for the next time you decide to braid your hair!

How To Fix Dry Hair After Braiding?

There is nothing worse than having to deal with dry, knotty, and brittle hair after taking out your braids! Fortunately, there are some ways that you can revive your hair, so keep reading below.

01. Detangle Your Hair With Your Fingers.

The best way to prevent further damage is to remove your braids gently, and run your fingers through the hair to detangle. Separate your hair into sections with your fingers, starting from the bottom ends and working your way to the top.

Using a brush to do this could rip the hair and break it, so avoid using a brush until you have first removed the tangles and the braids fully by hand.

02. Clarify Your Hair.

Give your hair a good wash with a good clarifying shampoo to remove any dirt, oils and build-up that have gathered in your hair while it has been up in braids.

I recommend ACURE Curiously Clarifying Shampoo for the best results!

Is your hair still feeling super dry after you wash it? You could be making some common mistakes. Read our article here for the solution to your problem!

03. Deep Treat Your Hair.

After you have clarified your hair, you have essentially stripped it of all its natural oils that are actually good for your hair and scalp. To add back some moisture, use a good leave-in conditioner on your hair.

I recommend Shea Moisture Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner as it contains natural oils that are proven to enhance shine and moisture.

Leave it in for about 30-40 minutes and then rinse it out. You can leave it overnight if your hair is extremely dry and damaged, but this is a bit risky, so I recommend first rinsing after 30-40 minutes, and if your hair is still dry you can apply the treatment again for longer.

04. Remove Split Ends.

Your hair will have naturally grown out a bit after 6-8 weeks, so your hair will most certainly benefit from a good trim to restore a healthy look and feel.

This will get rid of any excess, dry and damaged ends, and will also help your hair grow longer, healthier hair!

05. Give Your Hair a Break.

Most importantly, you need to give your hair a break between braiding to allow it to grow out and retain its natural moisture levels. It also gives your hair a much-needed break from the constant tension caused by braiding styles.

It is recommended that you wait at least 2 weeks before putting your hair into another form of protective styling.

06. Avoid Heat-Styling Tools.

Heat-styling tools are a great way to leave your hair looking sleek and stylish, but they don’t do your hair any favors when it comes to its health!

The extremely high temperatures that you expose your hair to when using straighteners and curlers can even fry your hair, or at the least cause it to become dry and brittle.

If you must use heat-styling tools, use them no more than 2-3 times per week, and make sure that you are spraying a heat protector product on your entire head before applying heat.

How To Prevent Dry Hair After Braiding?

The best way to keep your hair looking its best both before and after the application of braids, is to ensure that you take the right precautions both before you braid your hair and while they are in!

The best way to prevent dry hair after braiding your hair is to wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo and apply a deep conditioner to restore moisture. Following this, apply a leave-in conditioner to the ends and length of your hair. Do this 3 times a week; you can also apply coconut oil or olive oil to your hair as well.

Keep reading below for some important prevention tips.

01. Don’t Leave Braids in For Too long.

Leaving your braids in for longer than they are supposed to be the number one cause of dry, damaged hair after removal. While it may seem tempting to leave them in as long as possible (especially if you waited 10 hours in the salon for installation) this is a big mistake!

Experts agree that you should never leave your braids in for longer than 6 to 8 weeks. If you leave them in for longer, your hair will grow out and this will cause matting and tangles. In the long-term, this will result in dry, broken, and damaged hair that will take a long time to restore.

02. Wash Regularly.

You should definitely keep your hair clean regularly, even while you have braids in! You can wash your hair while braided, just make sure that you are using a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to avoid build-up of unwanted chemicals in your hair.

I recommend using Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Sulfate-Free Shampoo For Dry Hair and Dull Hair, with Aloe and Rose. It is also Paraben-free, which is an extra bonus!

Make sure you dry your hair gently with towel after (do not rub or scrub). Leave the towel on for about 15 minutes and then remove it to allow your braids to airdry.

03. Baste Your Scalp With Oil Once a Week.

Make sure that you baste your scalp with a good moisturizing oil at least once a week to keep your scalp and hair hydrated. This will also prevent conditions such as flaky scalp and dandruff.

The first 2-3 days are the most important, as this is when you generally feel the tension and pressure from the braids the most as you are still getting used to the new feel. Apply the oil during this period to help relieve tension and pressure and add moisture.

I recommend Design Essentials Scalp & Skin Moisturizing Oil Treatment for the best results!

04. Braid correctly.

If you didn’t get your braids installed by a professional, you need to make sure you are doing them correctly in the first place. Braiding your hair incorrectly can cause some serious problems!

Make sure that you part them neatly, and don’t braid them too tightly! The constant tension and pulling of your hair on your scalp can cause breakage and hair loss.

Use an even, gentle motion when doing your braids. If you feel uncomfortable tension or pulling on your scalp, this is definitely an indication that your braids are too tight!

05. Wear a Head Scarf While Sleeping.

Doing this will help prevent your braids from tangling and knotting while you toss and turn. It will also prevent your braids from gathering lint while you sleep, which can cause dryness and buildup.

Invest in a silk or satin scarf for best results, as with will prevent friction between your hair and the material, which can also cause frizz and dryness.

Final Thoughts

Braiding your hair can actually be really beneficial to your hair, and is actually a form of protective styling! If you follow the above steps carefully and put in the effort, you can avoid any mishaps post-braiding time, and dry, damaged hair should not be an issue for you anymore.

Related Questions

Do braids make your hair grow faster?

If you braid your hair correctly, don’t leave them in for too long, and keep your braids moisturized and clean, then braids can be very beneficial to hair growth! They help hair grow faster by providing a more stable structure in which to grow. They can also shield your hair from daily contact with materials and objects that may cause extra friction, which in turn can lead to breakage.


Hey, I’m Jodie, the gal behind CraftyHairHacks. I have a deep passion for hair extensions, hairstyles, and almost anything that has to do with hair, which leads me to the writing and research I do for this website daily. Our site is still small, however, we’re pushing to get the best hair hacks out to as many as people as possible. ENJOY!

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