Should I Wash Hair Before Braids? ANSWERED!

As we know, washing your hair should not be neglected even when wearing braids, but when is the best time to do it? If you want to get braids but aren’t sure if you should be washing your hair beforehand, keep reading to get all the answers!

You should definitely be washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo 3 days before you get it braided and follow it up with a moisturizing conditioner so that your hair and scalp are free of any product build-up. That said, ensuring that your hair is clean will also protect your hair and scalp from any damage caused by the braids.

Keep reading to learn more about how you should be washing your hair before braids and what shampoo you should be using to get the best results for your hair type! Plus, access to a list of the best shampoos on the market!

How To Wash Your Hair Properly Before Braids

Believe it or not, there is a way to wash your hair in order to prep it for braids. The main thing is to take your time and make sure that you are thorough with everything you do.

The best way to wash your hair before braiding it is to thoroughly wet your hair and apply a dime-sized amount of clarifying shampoo to your hair’s roots, massage your scalp with your fingertips’ pads and create a lather that you will use to clean the length of your hair. Following this, thoroughly rinse your hair using cool water

How To Wash Your Hair Properly | Healthy Hair Tips

Keep reading to get an in-depth step-by-step method of how to properly wash your hair before braids:

Step 1: Detangle Your Hair

Using a brush or a fine-tooth comb, detangle your hair starting at the ends of your hair and working up to your roots.

Detangling your hair before you wash it means that you don’t have to detangle it after you have washed it when your hair is wet. This is important because wet hair is a lot more fragile and susceptible to breakage and shedding, so always avoid combing wet hair.

Step 2: Apply Oil To Your Hair

Apply hair oil to your hair’s ends at least 15 – 30 minutes prior to washing your hair and brush it to make sure it gets dispersed.

I would recommend using pure almond oil or argan oil for this step of your wash routine. Also, applying the oil and letting it sit overnight is an option if you have the time to do so.

Step 3: Use A Shampoo That Is Right For Your Hair Type

I cannot stress how important this step is. You have to wash your hair with a shampoo made for your hair type to get the most out of your shampoo. Take a look at the table below to see what shampoos you should be sticking to:

Hair Type:Shampoo Type:Product Recommendation:Price:Product Link:
Curly HairA non-foaming conditioning cleanser (co-wash)Carol’s Daughter – Cleansing Conditioner For Curls$10.97Click Here
Colour-Treated HairSulfate-free shampooOGX Renewing + Argan Oil of Morocco Hydrating Hair Shampoo$9.84Click Here
Oily HairShampoo with sulfatesNeutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo$5.19Click Here
Virgin Hair*Shampoo with sulfatesBiolage Hydrasource Shampoo$25.50Click Here
Table Showing Suitable Shampoos For Different Hair Types
*Virgin Hair: Hair that has never been chemically treated

Lets take a look at how to wash you hair:

  • Thoroughly wet your hair with lukewarm water
  • Apply a teaspoon or dime-seized amount of shampoo to your hands
  • Lather the shampoo on your roots
  • Massage your scalp with the pads of your fingertips, not your nails
  • Thoroughly rinse the shampoo out using cool water. Get all the shampoo out of your hair

Insider Tip: If you want to increase your hair’s volume and circulation on your scalp, shampoo your hair while your head is upside down.

Step 5: Apply A Moisturising Hair Conditioner

Follow up your shampoo and rinse step with a hydrating deep conditioner to restore moisture into your hair. Make sure to concentrate the conditioner on your ends, not your scalp.

A deep-conditioner that I love and highly recommend is the Arvazallia – Argan oil hair mask and deep conditioner from Amazon for only $12.95.

Step 6: Dry Your Hair

Towel dry your hair by gently patting your hair dry using the towel, then wrapping it around your head to absorb the water from your hair.

Always refrain from rubbing your hair with a towel as this causes friction that will make your hair brittle and cause split-ends

Insider Tip: Allow your hair to air dry completely before styling it or applying any products to it.

Now that you know how to wash your hair properly to prepare it for braids let’s look at the leading shampoos on the market. Remember, using the right shampoo makes a difference!

Best Shampoos To Buy To Wash Your Hair Before Braids

The best clarifying shampoo to wash your hair with before braiding is the Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo. This shampoo can remove up to 90% of product build-up from your scalp and hair whilst still being gentle on your scalp and adding volume to your hair. You can purchase this product from Amazon for $5.19.

Take a look at the table below to get an exclusive list of the best shampoos on the market for your hair type. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it!

Product Name:Hair Type:Price:Purchase Link:
01.Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying ShampooOily Hair$5.19Click Here
02.OGX Renewing + Argan Oil of Morocco Hydrating Hair ShampooColour-Treated Hair$9.84Click Here
03.Biolage Hydrasource ShampooVirgin Hair$25.50Click Here
04.Carol’s Daughter – Cleansing Conditioner For CurlsCurly Hair$10.97Click Here
05.SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil ShampooKinky, Wavy Hair$7.97Click Here
06.OGX Extra Strength Refreshing Scalp + Tea Tree Mint ShampooColour-Treated Hair$6.57Click Here
07.Pantene (Gold Series) – Deep Hydrating Co-WashCurly Hair$9.98Click Here
08.MoroccanOil Clarifying ShampooColour-Treated Hair$26.00Click Here
09.Maple Holistics – Degrease, Moisture Control ShampooOily Hair$9.95Click Here
10.Nexxus Frizz Defy ShampooVirgin Hair$11.97Click Here
Table showing The Best Shampoos To Buy To Wash Your Hair With

Final Thoughts

Washing your hair should be as easy as brushing your teeth. That being said, if you follow the steps laid out in this article as well as the product recommendations, it can be!

By washing your hair properly before getting braids you will also have to wash your hair less frequently when it is braided as you have created a clean and healthy foundation for the braids. Washing braids less frequently actually makes them last longer!

Related Questions

Is it better to braid clean or dirty hair?

If you are braiding your hair in a French braid or a fishtail braid, your hair will be easier to braid if it is dirty. However, if you are getting box braids or any other braiding style that requires hair extensions, your hair needs to be clean and moisturized, so your hair and scalp can withstand the pulling and tugging by the hair extensions.

Should you wash your hair after braids?

You should always wash your hair immediately after having braids to remove any oils, dirt, and product build-up that you were unable to get rid of whilst you had braids. Washing your hair after braids will also help rehydrate your bread and keep it strong and healthy after being in a protective style.

How long should I keep my hair braided for?

You should only be keeping your hair braided for 6 to 8 weeks at a time. That said, if your hair is overly itchy and has dandruff, then it means that you’re not getting all the product build-up and residue out when washing your hair with braids; you will need to take your braids out sooner in order to repair your hair.


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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