Afro hair

What to Do with Hair After Taking Out Braids

Published By: Kennedy

Fact Checked By: Bowen

Last Updated: January 21, 2022

After you take your hair out of braids that you have had for a while, you will definitely need to take care of it. Whether you have cornrows, box braids, or any other protective style, your hair will definitely need some TLC. after they are removed. 

What to Do with Hair After Taking Out Braids

1. Comb Hair

After your hair has been in braids for a while, it will need to be detangled and cleared of shed hairs. However, this process should be done gently because the hair is in a very delicate and dry state. You should first begin with finger detangling so that you can feel which areas of the hair need the most attention. 

Finger detangling will also help you to remove shed hairs. After finger detangling, it is best to use a wide-tooth comb. Wide-tooth combs are gentle on the hair and help to detangle without damage. 

2. Cleanse

After combing, the hair is ready for a cleanse. After the hair has been in braids for weeks or months on end, it has definitely accumulated a lot of dirt and oils. One place to really focus your attention when cleansing is not the hair shaft, but the scalp. It is really important to clean the scalp so that further irritation will occur. 

Buildup and dirt on the scalp can prohibit the new growth from growing properly – which can cause painful bumps and ingrown hairs. One of the best cleansers for the scalp is a clarifying shampoo, which is a shampoo made to deep clean more than a regular shampoo. Shampoos that sud a lot and are sulfate-free are also good for cleaning the scalp. 

When shampooing your hair, start on the scalp and scrub off all of the dirt and buildup. Also while washing you want to massage the shampoo into your head in circular motions, causing the blow to flow in that area and lifting the dirt out. Helping the blood to flow on your scalp will stimulate hair growth. Once your scalp feels clean, then you can proceed to clean the hair strands. You may need to shampoo your hair more than once to get a thorough clean. 

3. Condition

The hair will need to be moisturized after shampooing, which is why it is vitally important to condition. For hair that has been in braids a long time, a deep conditioner is best to impart moisture that has been lost over time. Many times, hair that has been taken out of braids feels brittle. Deep conditioners can help to make the hair soft again. 

Using a deep conditioner, and leaving it on your head with a shower cap for about an hour can help impart moisture into the hair. Low porosity hair benefits from deep conditioning the most because it takes more time for it to absorb moisture. When conditioning you want to focus on your ends. The ends of your hair are the most prone to dryness and breakage, but when they are conditioned they stay healthy and strong. 

Another way to condition the hair is to use homemade hair masks. Hair masks can be made of a variety of natural ingredients. Some of these include avocados, olive oil, organic honey, pure avocado oil, and organic unsweetened coconut milk. The avocados really help soften the hair, and the oil and honey help keep the hair moisturized.

 Natural ingredients have different qualities, for example, eggs have protein, and bananas have antioxidants. Depending on what your hair needs at this time, you can mix and match different ingredients. Most DIY masks are very simple, and cheap!

4. Trim

After your hair is revived and conditioned, you may notice the ends of your hair that are not quite coming back to life. Trimming your ends will prevent the hair from splitting up the shaft, which can cause hair loss. Trimming will also improve the overall look of your hair, making it look healthier and increasing volume. 

How long should you let your hair rest after braids?

You should let your hair rest after braids for at least three weeks. The hair and scalp are both in a delicate position after a long period of pulling and tugging and need a while to restore their strength. Manipulating your hair on a regular basis is not good for it. It can cause the hair to become damaged. 

Constant pulling at the hair from combing, straightening, weaves, or anything else needs to be avoided for the most part. It is better to put your hair in a style where it is out of your way so that you can keep from touching it every day.

Another risk of constantly tugging at your hair is traction alopecia, which is a condition that causes hair loss to the scalp. This form of alopecia is caused by excessive manipulation to the hair, mostly due to heat and chemicals. Constantly pulling on the hair ultimately damages the root which can lead to permanent hair loss. It is a process that takes years, so usually, people are unaware of how constant tugging affects the hair until it is too late. 

Many traction alopecia cases are found on the hairline because that is where the thinner, more sensitive hairs are found. Sometimes people do not know the signs of traction alopecia – redness, itching, small pimples on the scalp, etc.-  and continue to add stress to the scalp. Giving your hair periods of rest from pulling and manipulation will greatly decrease the risk of traction alopecia. 

Low Manipulation Hairstyles 

1. High Bun

A high bun is quick and easy and requires minimal manipulation. Just be sure to not pull the hair back too tightly. Buns also keep the ends tucked in and protected from the environment.

2. Headband

If you really want to leave your hair alone, yet have some kind of style element, headbands are a good choice. Using a headband will lightly pull your hair back in a cute and stylish way, without affecting the rest of your hair. 

3. Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are a great way to lock moisture into the hair. Bantu knots are done by parting the hair into sections, twisting the hair, and looping it around itself to create mini-buns all over the head. If not done too tightly, your hair will really benefit from them. 

Do braids help hair grow?

Braids themselves do not help your hair grow, but leaving it alone will! Braids are a protective style, which is any style that keeps the hair tucked away and free from manipulation. The goal for a protective style is to give the hair a break from stressors and allow it to grow healthy and free from any breakage. 

When your hair is in braids, it does not require any additional styling and can last for up to 3 months. In the time you have your hair in braids, you will usually see hair growth, however, if the braids were done too tightly, you may also see breakage once you take them out. 

Do braids cause hair loss?

Braids do not cause hair loss if worn for an appropriate amount of time and not done too tightly. The longest time you should have braids is up to 8 weeks. After the 8 week period, curly hair starts to dread, which can cause damage. 

Breakage can also happen if the braids are kept too long. If the scalp is irritated while braids are in, scratching the scalp also causes hair loss. It is best to take out braids once the scalp becomes very irritated, to prevent any further scratching or pulling. 

The Final Word

It’s important to take the proper steps when taking your hair out of braids, to avoid any damage to the hair and scalp. There are many ways you can revive your hair after it has sat dormant, that will both keep it looking healthy and show off its growth. 


I have always had a love for writing and have been blogging for about 3 years now. I have a passion for teaching what I have learned over the years, especially about hair. I have had almost every hairstyle - typical of a cosmetologist’s daughter- including the big chop in 2015. With all the knowledge I have gained, I feel it is my duty to help others on their healthy hair journey. I believe education can be fun, and I strive to make it fun to learn about beautiful black hair.

Read More

Leave a Comment

Fact checked

Afro Lovely is committed to delivering content that adheres to the highest editorial standards in terms of accuracy, sourcing and objective analysis.

Every article is written by topic experts who have relevant experience in the area of Afro hair. Cosmetologists, those on their own natural hair journey, and other hair enthusiasts. All of our writers are determined to provide accurate and helpful information. 

Before going live, each article is thoroughly reviewed and fact checked by a qualified member of the editorial team.

Furthermore, we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding any level of plagiarism or malicious intent from our writers and contributors.

Afro Lovely articles adhere to the followings standards:

  1. All referenced links must be from reputable websites and sources.
  2. All quotes, studies, data and significant claims must be referenced to its original sources.
  3. All commentary must maintain a high level of objectivity and provide balanced views.
  4. Content should avoid making claims or recommendations that would put readers’ physical well-being at risk.
  5. Any potential conflict of interest must be clearly indicated and disclosed to readers.

We are aware that our editorial process is not perfect, and we are constantly improving our editorial quality through readers feedback and internal review.