Do you often worry what will happen if your braids get wet in the shower, swimming pool or in rain?
Braids and moisture don’t always mix, and it can be hard to know what to do when you’re a newbie. With conflicting advice out there, it can be difficult to know what to believe when it comes to wetting your braids. In this article, you’ll get the answer to the question “Can you get braids wet?” so you can make the best decision for your hair. No more confusion — get the facts now and find out if wetting your braids is the best choice for you.
Can You Get Braids Wet?
You can get your braids wet in the shower, pool, and when it’s raining, but we recommend taking certain precautions to protect them from fungal growth, hair damage, frizz, and unraveling. To keep your braids looking their best, use a gentle shampoo and conditioner, avoid rubbing your hair too vigorously when drying, and use a light oil or serum to help seal in moisture. Additionally, try to avoid swimming in chlorinated pools or salt water, as these can cause your braids to become dry and brittle. With these simple steps, you can enjoy your braids for longer!
Risks of Getting Your Braids Wet
Getting your braids wet may seem harmless, but there are some real risks involved. When your braids get waterlogged, they can become weak and prone to breakage. Additionally, the moisture can cause your scalp to become irritated and itchy, leading to an uncomfortable experience. To avoid these risks, it’s best to keep your braids dry and away from water as much as possible.
1. Fungal growth
Wet, warm, and enclosed areas are the perfect breeding ground for fungi like mold and mildew. That means that if your braids are left wet and not dried properly, they are at risk for mold growth. The first sign of fungal growth is an unpleasant odor coming from the braids. And once mold and mildew begin to grow, it can be difficult to get rid of. To avoid this, make sure to dry your braids thoroughly after washing and keep them away from damp and enclosed areas.
If you have braids, it’s essential to dry them as soon as possible and as thoroughly as you can. Leaving your braids wet for too long increases the risk of developing fungal growth, which can be difficult to remedy. To help you out, we’ve put together step-by-step instructions on how to properly dry your braids. Taking the time to do this now can save you a lot of trouble down the line.
2. Frizz and Unraveling
Frizz is a common risk when styling wet braids. When water saturates your hair, it swells and expands, and once it dries, your hair may look much frizzier than it was before. A single dip in the pool or rain shower can ruin some styles – like single French braids or crown braids – due to the added frizz.
However, box braids and cornrows are much more resilient to frizz and unraveling. The key to smooth, long-lasting braids is the amount of tension used in the braiding process. If you apply less tension when braiding, your braids will be less prone to frizz even after they are exposed to water. As an added benefit, loosening the tension when braiding also creates a barrier against unraveling.
3. Hair Damage
Did you know that wet hair is more vulnerable to breakage? That’s why it’s important to be extra careful when you have braids, especially if they’re heavy. Researchers have found that the weight of heavy braids puts considerable tension on your roots, making them more prone to breakage.
It’s also important to consider the type of braids you have when it comes to getting them wet. For example, if you’re using weave for box braids, the risk of breakage is higher than if you’re creating braids with your regular hair.
Finally, swimming in chlorinated water can cause your hair to dry out and become weaker, leading to brittleness and breakage in some cases. To keep your braids looking their best, it’s best to avoid swimming in chlorinated water or to wear a swim cap.
Can You Swim with Braids?
Swimming with braids can be tricky, but if you take the right precautions, you can still enjoy a fun day at the pool or beach – without any hair complications. Knowing the risks of swimming with braids, you may think twice before heading in. However, by following some simple tips and taking the proper care, you can enjoy the water – and still proudly rock your braids afterwards.
1. Choose the Right Style
When you want your braided style to stand up to water, be sure to choose small to medium box braids, cornrows into a bun, Ghana braids, or lemonade braids. Also, make sure to secure the ends with rubber bands, dipped in hot water, or burned. This will help your style to stay in place after a dip in the pool! If you’re braiding without extensions, use bobby pins or clips to secure the ends to prevent any slipping or unraveling. No matter what style you choose, you’ll have a look that can withstand any watery situation.
2. Wet Your Braids Beforehand
Protect your hair from chlorine with an easy but effective step: spray your braids down with clean water. This way, your natural hair locks in the moisture and won’t be exposed to the harsh effects of the chemical. The more water you can lock in, the better chance you have of protecting your hair from the detrimental effects of chlorine.
3. Rinse Your Braids Afterward
Whenever you take a dip in chlorine-treated water, it’s important to rinse your hair immediately afterwards. This is particularly true if you didn’t wet your braids or pre-treat them with clean water prior to getting in the pool. For added protection, you could choose to use shampoo and leave-in conditioner afterwards. We’ll explore these options in the next section.
4. Wear a Swim Cap
Wearing a swim cap can be a great way to protect your hair from the water, but make sure it forms a good seal around your head. Even with a secure seal, be aware that some water might still get through. If you have braids or dreadlocks, this swim cap is specifically designed to help keep them safe and dry while you swim. It may be a better option than taking no precautions at all.
How to Wash Braids Without Ruining Them
For most women, keeping their braids in for 4 to 8 weeks is the perfect length of time. But over time, your scalp may become itchy, and your hair could start to look a bit dull. That’s why it’s important to give your braids a good clean every now and then.
Many people worry that washing their braided hair might cause damage. But that’s not the case if you use the right techniques. Make sure to use a gentle shampoo, and then rinse with warm water. To dry your braids, use a towel to blot away any excess moisture, and then let your braids air dry. With proper care, you can keep your braids looking great for weeks!
Steps to correctly wash your braids –
- If you’re looking to give your hair a deep cleanse, try making a diluted shampoo solution by mixing one part clarifying shampoo with two parts water and pouring it into a spray bottle. This will help to ensure that your shampoo is easy to rinse out later, and will help to prevent buildup and excess oils from accumulating on your roots. Additionally, dry shampoo is not recommended for use on braids.
- Take the time to massage your scalp, ensuring that you’ve thoroughly loosened any buildup between your braids. Feel free to spray the mixture down the length of your braids and use your fingertips to gently massage it in. Make sure to take your time and be thorough – your scalp will thank you!
- Once you have thoroughly rinsed the shampoo mixture out of your hair, repeat the previous two steps to ensure that all residue and debris are removed. This will help to keep your hair clean and healthy.
- Squeeze out any excess water from your braids to prevent dripping. Doing so will help keep your braids looking fresh and neat.
- For best results, dry your braids thoroughly using the following tips:
- Begin by wrapping a large microfiber towel around your head and gently pressing it into your braids to absorb any excess moisture.
- If you don’t have time to let them air-dry, you can use a blow-dryer on its “cool” setting to speed up the process. Alternatively, try using a bonnet hair dryer (or hooded dryer) – this should take no more than a couple of hours.
- Avoid tying up your braids in a ponytail or bun while they are still damp; instead, let them dry in the open air over the course of a day.
- If your braids feel dry and brittle, try misting them with a light leave-in conditioner. Avoid using regular conditioners on your braid styles, as this can cause product build-up. No need to rinse out the leave-in conditioner – it should absorb into your strands to keep your braids moisturized and looking great!
- Style your braids in the customary way like you do it everyday.
We suggest taking the above methods to clean scalp and hair without too much frizz or fungal growth. This should be the same process no matter if you have box braids, Ghana braids, or any other type. It is important to keep in mind that gentle techniques should be used while braiding, and air drying is preferable.
You can confidently take a dip or wash your braids without worrying about the potential consequences. Be sure to take preventive steps to protect your braids and maintain your styling. Here’s to your hairdo staying intact and in top condition!