Hair had been pre-pooed over night with coconut, olive and a little bit of black castor oil


Hello ladies

How are you? Happy and well I hope.

Washing in braids is not an essential technique on a hair journey but it is one that I began using when my hair reached BSL. Before that period, I could wash my hair in it’s loose state without experiencing too much tangling.
At BSL and with hair that was becoming more and more texlaxed, I found myself with major tangles every time washed my hair loose. I went online and saw that some natural haired ladies wash their hair in braids. I looked up different ways in which this was done and soon found a method that would work for me.

I get asked very often how I wash my hair in braids and so I decided to write a short(ish) blog post which I hope clears it up for anyone who is interested.

How I wash My Hair In Braids

  • I detangle my hair and apply a little coconut or olive oil to help remove knots and tangles.
  • I put my hair in 12 -16 box braids. Note that the box braids start at the scalp and are firm but not excessively tight.
  • To prevent my hair from unravelling during the wash process, I two strand twist the ends of each braid. I find that when I finish each braid with a two strand twist, I am able to unravel it more easily after I have completed the wash and condition process. I hope the above makes sense.
  • I apply a little more coconut or olive oil to the box braids and cover with a plastic cap which I leave on for an hour or overnight.
  • I pour water over the box braids until they are well saturated. I apply shampoo and wash the box braids focusing on my scalp and the roots of each box braid.


wash in braids collage

  • I DO NOT unravel each box braid.
  • I rinse thoroughly till I am certain all the shampoo and lather has been rinsed out.
  •  I remove any excess water and apply my deep conditioner. I DO NOT unravel each box braid. I simply apply the conditioner over the box braids.
wash in braids conditioner collage

The box braids with conditioner


  • I deep condition using my soft hood drier for 30 to 45 minutes.
  • I rinse out the conditioner very very very well until all the conditioner residue has been removed.
  • I wrap my hair in a t-shirt to absorb excess water. I unravel one box braid, finger detangle, apply my leave-ins and comb gently. I repeat this step with each braid until they have all been unravelled.

Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of each stage but I do hope the ones above are of some use.


Additional Tips for Washing in Braids

Size Matters

I have been told by some ladies that washing in braids caused their hair to matt.
I believe that if the braids are too big i e just 4, then your hair may matt at the base. When I wash my hair in 12+ box braids I get very little matting at the base which i can separate/remove very easily. Also if the braids are not firm enough especially at the base then there might also be some matting.

Its Not For Everyone

Also as I always say what works for me may not work for another lady. Do not feel as though you have to wash your hair in braids.  If your hair does not tangle when you wash it loose or is not very long then washing in braids or in sections is not something you need.


I hope you have this post helpful.
I spoke at the Naija Hair Can Grow Salon Day Out last weekend and will be sharing my experience and pictures from the event in my next blog post. It was such a blast….come back soon to read all about it




Learn | Change | Grow



  1. June 10, 2015 / 5:59 am

    Thanks for this post Lade. Since i started my hair journey I’ve been washing in calabar braids and I learnt it from you. It has helped me prevent a lot of shedding overtime that I would have had if I wash my hair in its neutral position. Can’t wait to see pictures from the event.

    • omolade
      July 1, 2015 / 11:29 pm

      Thank you sooooooo much Hilda.
      Its good to know washing in braids works for you.

  2. June 10, 2015 / 8:06 am

    This is a lovely and detailed post,ever since i read one of your post on using box braids when washing hair, i haven’t looked back. It just works well for me. Thank you.

    • omolade
      July 1, 2015 / 11:31 pm

      I am glad it works for you too…I cant wash my hair any other way.

  3. stella
    June 11, 2015 / 5:32 pm

    I learnt washing in box braids from you and haven’t looked back ever since. I realized I had to concentrate more at the root of each braid;and my hair seems to be extremely fragile when wet so after washing out the deep conditioner,I allow the hair to air-dry,then unravel,detangle,moisturize and seal.

    • omi
      June 16, 2015 / 1:43 am

      My hair is fragile when wet too! I only detangle after air drying ( semi dry) then moisturize and seal.

  4. June 16, 2015 / 2:53 pm

    Good point re: matting. Size makes a huge difference. Very detailed and informative post!

    • omolade
      July 1, 2015 / 11:43 pm

      Thank you Jay!!!!!!

  5. tamie
    June 16, 2015 / 8:44 pm

    Hey lade, love your blog and posts.
    I’ve always wondered about washing hair in braids so this was very helpful. I would try it and hope the braids don’t unravel while washing cos my hair ends are really light.

    Washing as a whole isn’t too bad for me,as my hair doesn’t tangle much from washing. The problem I have is combing the hair afterwards. I experience so much shedding and breaking. I’ve always wondered how you come your hair,seeing as its so full. My hair is some where Btw shoulder length and APL… I don’t comb all week ,i finger detailed till wash day.
    The rate at which my hair sheds and breaks I am surprised I still have hair left on my head. Any tips?

    • omolade
      July 1, 2015 / 11:52 pm

      Hello Tamie
      If you are experiencing breakage after washing there may be a chance that your hair is tangling during the washing process.
      – Make sure you detangle your hair thoroughly before washing and try washing your hair in sections. also wash your hair downwards -ie with you standing in the bath – don’t pile up your hair on tyop of your head like you see in shampoo commercials
      -don’t comb you wet hair, it is at its most fragile when wet, try detangling and combing your hair when it is damp.

  6. Dee
    August 27, 2015 / 10:42 am

    This has helped me TREMENDOUSLY!!!! I’m natural with very kinky MBL hair and I normally do 6-8 braids but I take the braids out when I’m about to dc. Tried your method tonight with 14 braids and left them in the entire time& it was so easy and detangling was a sinch!! Thank u!! :)

  7. LouLou
    January 18, 2016 / 11:24 pm

    Do you have a youtube channel?

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