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How To Maintain Your Braids The Right Way, According To An Expert

photo of woman with long braids

Love the bohemian look of braided hair but feel wary about the upkeep? One hair professional assures us that managing this fun summer hairstyle is actually much easier than you think! Jada Jenkins, expert stylist and brand ambassador for Mizani, shares her wisdom on how to properly maintain your braids with the right salon-approved hair care routine.

Stick to a gentle cleansing ritual.

With your hair twisted and tied up securely in braids, how exactly should you cleanse your hair?

Here’s a breakdown in 3 easy steps:

First, clarify your hair. The trick to clean braids is not a rigorous wash but rather a “pre-poo.”

“Rough shampooing loosens braids and sometimes can cause them not to last as long,” Jenkins explains.

Clarifying with pre-shampoo ensures that you tackle dirty hair without ruining the shape of your braids. Jenkins recommends Mizani’s Scalp Care system, which starts with the Exfoliating Pre-Treatment to help lift and remove excess buildup from the scalp. Infused with aloe, avocado oil, and eucalyptus oil, it works as the first step in the Scalp Care professional treatment towards caring for the scalp.

Next, gently shampoo your braids and scalp. You can’t go wrong with Mizani’s Scalp Care Shampoo, an antidandruff shampoo formulated with pyrithione zinc. The look and feel of your braids will always be linked to the health of your scalp.

Finally, hydrate your freshly cleansed braids. Finish off the cleansing part of your routine with a generous amount of Scalp Care Conditioner, which is formulated with peppermint oil and cucumber extract to help eliminate the recurrence of scalp flaking, scaling, and itching associated with dandruff.

Deeply nourish with conditioning treatments.

The key to keeping your braids soft to the touch is to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! The twists of braided hair may make it difficult to apply something creamy like a mask, but here’s another professional solution: You can keep Mizani’s 25 Miracle Milk spray handy for a nourishing, lightweight leave-in conditioner. Formulated with ingredients like sustainably sourced coconut oil and fennel seed oil, the product helps shield against external aggressors and aids in restoring softness. It even helps prevent heat damage and provides frizz control.

Know how to maintain your braids at night.

You may not know it, but tossing and turning in your sleep can actually create harsh friction against your braids—potentially compromising their shape. Luckily, there’s a professional solution!

After washing and hydrating your strands, always finish with this last step to prevent further wear and tear during the night:

“To protect your braids, you should a wear silk nightcap when sleeping,” Jenkins advises. “This helps with longevity.”

So make sure to wrap your hair in a silk scarf and invest in a silk pillowcase.

Now you can embrace healthy hair and fresh-looking braids for longer!