Today’s braided hairstyles are intricate, beautiful, and most importantly, challenging to maintain. Keeping them neat and tidy requires a lot of hair care dedication. And while we’ll always recommend you visit your stylist for the perfect braid or plait every time, there will be times when you need to DIY your look at home.
Cleaning braids with apple cider vinegar is one of the best ways to keep braids neat and tidy between visits to the salon. Not only does it make braids smell divine but also prevents breakage from over manipulation and keeps everything tidy by removing oils and residue from hair. Here’s how you clean your braids with apple cider vinegar:
Step 1: Fully dry your hair and braids
Braids are often kept in for weeks at a time, so it’s important to make sure they’re completely dry before you start the cleaning process. That way you avoid any moisture coming into contact with the hair and having a negative effect. If you find your braids are still damp, dry them with a dryer on a low setting to avoid damaging your hair. When it comes to drying, the gentler, the better. So, don’t use your normal round brush while drying your hair; instead opt for a wide-tooth comb, or don’t comb your hair at all. Gentle drying will also eliminate any breakage, which is common as your hair grows and can be very damaging to the length of your hair.
Step 2: Mix the ACV with water in a spray bottle
Braids are known for being notoriously hard to clean, especially if you braid your hair very often. ACV is a great all-natural way to clean your hair, but if you just pour it on your hair and start scrubbing, you are going to be in a world of hurt. We recommend mixing ACV with water in a spray bottle to make it easier to apply and distribute throughout your hair. We recommend using a 1:1 ratio of ACV to water, so that you don’t end up over-diluting the vinegar and rendering it completely ineffective. While your hair is still in braids, spray the apple cider vinegar solution on them. Make sure to use enough so that it soaks into the scalp and reaches all of the strands. Leave the ACV to sit on your hair for 10 minutes before you rinse it off.
Step 3: Spray vinegar on braids while combing
While the ACV is still on your hair, pull out your favorite wide-tooth comb and start gently combing your hair and braids. Start from the bottom of the braid and comb up so that you can clean the comb once you reach the braid ends. This helps remove any dirt or oil that may have been accumulated during your day and keeps your hair looking 100% fresh. If you are a person who has long, thick hair, then you know that it can be extremely difficult to comb it out without causing breakage and damage. This is specially true in the case of braids where the hair is tied up and constrained for a long period of time. ACV is the best and most efficient way to clean braids without causing any breakage or damage.
Step 4: Rinse, condition and dry as usual
Once you’ve finished combing your braids, rinse your hair clean of the vinegar. Next, condition as normal and finish by drying your hair as usual. You can use a wide-tooth comb once again to help distribute the conditioner to the hair. We recommend doing this for 10-15 minutes to allow the conditioner to properly penetrate the hair shaft. Once you’ve finished conditioning, make sure you rinse your hair thoroughly before drying it. This will help remove any excess conditioner that may have made it difficult to style your hair. Once your hair is dry, style it as you normally would. If you have long hair that is usually braided, make sure to tie it up and secure it to avoid any breakage that could occur as it grows out.