husband helps wife take down braids

5 Things You Should Do After Taking Out Braids

Braids. We love to get them, either during the winter for some extra body warmth, during the summer to make vacations easier, or anytime we simply get tired of doing our own hair. But wondering what to do with your hair after taking out braids six weeks later? Keep reading for five tips that will keep your hair healthy post protective styling.

1. Finger Detangle

The first step to making sure your hair remains strong after taking out braids is to gently finger detangle your hair. I know your gut instinct is to take a comb and work through all the knots, tangles, and shed hair, but chances are you’ll end up ripping out perfectly good and healthy hair in an effort to get out all the kinks and shed hair. Finger detangling is better for your hair (I explain why here), and it’s not that hard! After removing each braid, gently separate the roots to loosen buildup, then finger detangle as you wash.

2. Clarify Your Scalp

People often forget to clarify and detox their scalp after a protective style, perhaps because it was the part of their hair they paid the most attention to during the previous 6+ weeks. However, our scalps have been working overtime trying to keep the rest of our natural hair moisturized, and are likely full of oils, both natural and added, that we used in effort to relieve dryness, itchiness, and flakiness. To clarify your scalp, choose an intense shampoo (avoid things like curl cleansers and co-washes as those aren’t strong enough), or you can even use an ACV or other scalp rinse. If you’d rather not wash immediately (my hair always looks AMAZING after taking out braids), you can use this dry shampoo to hold you over for a few days.

3. Deep Condition

Your hair hasn’t gotten any love for 6-8 weeks, and you think a quick co-wash will leave it moisturized? Girl, please. Use the thickest, most luxurious deep conditioner you own, sit under a steamer or just a shower cap, and restore the moisture to your hair that it’s been missing for weeks while it was braided up. These are some of my favorites:

4. Trim

If you didn’t do so before your protective style, your hair is most likely ready for a trim immediately after keeping it hidden for several weeks. Trimming is an essential part of healthy natural hair, so don’t hesitate to trim as needed. If you’re not confident in your scissor skills, please head to a professional, but if you’re in a pinch you can try to trim your hair on your own using one of these three methods.

5. Let Your Hair Breathe

This means not to go ahead and reinstall braids in 2 days, or worse, the same day! When our hair is braided, though it is not being manipulated frequently, it is still under stress by the weight, friction, and synthetic nature of the extensions. Even though hair is dead, it needs access to water and air, and needs to regroup after being tucked under braids. Wear your hair proudly in it’s natural state for at least two weeks  – whether a wash and gotwistout, or a pretty updo – before reinstalling braids. Or you can do another low maintenance protective style like a low bun, wigs, or a puff (easy on the edges though!)

There you have it – five things to do after taking out your braids to keep your hair healthy!

Wondering how to wash your hair to reduce breakage? Check out this video!

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  1. hi in like Febuary I had got a relaxer in my hair but then I had to go on vacation in June so I had got box braids that are crotched into ruberbands and yesterday I had took them out and well my hair is straight at the bottom but towards my roots its somewhat curly and now I have no idea what to do.

  2. I am getting box braids and I have a lot of gray roots. Is it safe to use a root touch up spray on my hair?

  3. Hello,

    During the pandemic I decided to try a protective style (knotless braids) so I could start transitioning from heat – flat ironing my hair. My hair is natural in the sense that I don’t have a relaxer and I’d say is sorta soft and fine.

    After taking the braids out (I had my hair braided twice over the course of 5 months – also only the 3rd time I’ve had my hair braided in my life) I’ve noticed that my hair is unusually frizzy!

    My hair is never like this as it lays down usually with just a little water (never needed gels or anything). Now I can’t seem even with gels, oil etc to get my hair to lay down smooth since taking the braids out.

    I’d love your thoughts? Thanks

    1. My hair isn’t soft or fine so I’ve never experienced that, but it might just be seriously lacking moisture which is what is causing it to be frizzy. Try doing a series of deep conditioning sessions.

  4. Do you ever feel the want to take your braids out as soon as you put them in?

    I’m beginning to do crochet box braids but whenever I put them in I love them but then I’m like nah I wanna rake them out!! I’m still learning to fight the urge. Maybe it’s cause I’ve ever had braids growing up and now that I’m in my 20s is new and kinda shocking!!

    1. Haha yes everytime! I usually get used to them after a week or so, and start to love them once I remember that I don’t have to detangle or think about my hair.

  5. Hi. I just removed my hair from knotless braids and i noticed after i washed and flat ironed that is alot thinner. It grew though but i dnt like how thin it is. I had them in for 2 months. Any suggestions?

    1. It’s hard to diagnose hair issues over the computer so hopefully you went to a salon to have it checked out. Could have been the braids, could have been the take down process, could have been the heat from the flat iron.

    1. I’m stocked up! I have boxes worth of hair products and I didn’t want to throw them away so just brought them all with me!

  6. Hello, I don’t perm my hair but I braids my hair every 3 years. Now how do I treat my hair after braids been in my hair for 3 years! Yes I keep braids in my hair for 3 years! I don’t like to do my hair. Please help what should I do.

    1. I personally wouldn’t keep braids in for 3 years, so I don’t even know where to begin to advise! I feel like your hair would lock by then so detangling would be impossible.

      1. Thank you for replying! But now I treat my hair with hair mayonnaise (the old fashion way)to get the strength back in my hair. And cut my split ends! So now my hair is much better!

  7. After i take out my shoulder length box braids, i always wash and condition it and then blow it out and leave it be. I don’t put anything in it for 2-3 days. I wet it and put a leave in conditioner and then let it go back to its natural curls.

  8. Is it okay to trim my hair right after taking the braids out and then washing it, or is it better to wash and then trim?

  9. Loved this article, especially since I will taking my braids down in a few weeks. I don’t know what to do with my hair afterwards. I don’t have the confidence and ability to wear my hair down naturally. Can you suggest hairstyles or methods on how I can style my hair after taking out my braids.

  10. HELLLPPP! I have mixed hair (3B). I just let my braids out & omg, soooooooooooo much of my natural hair came out. After the wash it is SO much thinner and still keeps coming out as I am finger combing. I had the braids in for about 3 weeks.

    1. If hair type matters to you then my advice should be taken with a grain of salt but anytime I experience excessive breakage a trim or protein treatment usually rectify it

  11. Hi,
    I have been on small braids for 5 weeks now and I want to take them till 8 weeks or thereabout but my front hair is kinda pulling out and I don’t know what to do. I also want to steam my hair the next day after loosing my braids. Is it adviceable? I need some advice on what to do concerning my front hair

  12. Looooved this article I always enjoy your videos on YouTube. So helpful especially now I’ve Been rocking braids since March and planning to take them down on wensday. So will surely following this step-by-step guide to the T!!☺☺

  13. I just unbraided my hair I had plaits, I have straight hair lol, I shedding a good amount. I used head and shoulders you know for the flakes. Should i deep condition my hair? I had braid for only a week but still shedded quite a lot lol dont plan on braiding my hair again.

  14. Hello, I need your advice on my hair
    I just removed my braids and I’m not sure if I should relax it or just steam it or condition it because it’s falling when I try to comb it, so I stopped doing that and I last relaxed my hair around March or April. So what should I do?

  15. If I were you I would stop coloring my hair put good products in my hair massages take care of it maybe twisted up put it up in the night but don’t be breaking now getting new products so your hair breaks off and coloring your hair and doing all nappy nappy s*** with your hair if you want to do something good to your hair and leave it alone for a couple

    1. Oh dear Clyndi. But you are not me. I use punctuation in my sentences. I’m not sure what nappy nappy things you are referring to (I actually laughed at that part because that was the only punctuation you remembered to use), but thanks for your advice that has NOTHING to do with what to do with your hair after taking down braids.

  16. Hi, I had a perm to make my hair curley, but then it had started to damage my hair so I stopped and stated to put braids to make my hair natural and strong again but it is like the roots are natural but the ends and soft like the perm, how do I make my hair completely natural ? ( I had the perm from august to June)

    1. Hi Bella! There are two ways to make your hair natural: 1. cut off all the perm now or 2. grow your hair out and then cut off the permed ends. The permed part isn’t going to magically change back into natural, it is *permanently* permed. It has to be cut off for you to be fully natural. Check out some of my posts on transitioning to natural hair, which is what you’re doing!

  17. I have my old braids that I took out and I wanted to wash them and put them back in so I wanted to know how you wash your old braids properly without damaging it or ruin the hair so it doesn’t work no more

  18. This article helped a lot! but i’m still dreading the thought of taking my braids out. Its to much to handle! I know ya’ll can relate.

  19. Hello, I’ve have box braids for about 4weeks and I’m ready to take them out is it okay to saturate my scalp in wild grow and take out a week later?

  20. So confused. I had braids in for one day and my hair texture is not the same, wavy, curly( justwet, grease gel and go type) know its brittle, frayed, dry, frizzy and my curls are as not as defined just frizzy. I had braids before and my hair bounced right back, but this girl used eco gel and gingsing wonder 8 oil spray. I feel a burn on the back nap of hair line.

    What do you think, did she put something in the gel to change my texture or did the gingsing burn nap and change texture. I dont want to cut it off again because someone messed up my hair. Please help.

    1. Eek this doesn’t sound good, so sorry! Hopefully she didn’t add anything. I know it’s a late response but I would suggest clarifying your hair with a clarifying shampoo to make sure you wash all the product out, and then deep conditioning. If your hair doesn’t bounce back after that, it is possible that something was added. Please leave a yelp review or something for the stylist to warn others about your experience!

      1. It was a friend who did my braids. She used a rat tooth comb and comb from the root all the way down the hair each time she took a section to braid. Therefore, she ruined my cuticle so it frizzy, brittle and dry. For any women out their with wavy, natural curly hair (just water and gel) dont ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, use a rat tooth comb use only wide tooth combs or detangle with your fingers. I may have to cut all of my hair off but I will have to wait six months because she rat tooth comb close to the roots. Im so upset! Some women are so jealous of other women they would do this. It will grow back, but thats another two yrs, and I cut off that low 2 1/2 yrs ago.

        1. No, but I’m going to a hair stylist tomorrow and she gonna give me a deep conditioner, but once the cuticle is damaged its damaged, either you put a lot of product or you cut it off. I choose to have the stylist cut it in a bob, so I can still were it natural and just put more product until another six months and cut again, then after wait 6 months and cut then I should be back to my hair, but it will still be a short bob. After a year I will not cut it anymore. I will never let any one friend or hair stylist use anything in my hair unless U give it to them. Traumatized for real.

      2. The nightmare is over now, I cut it all off. I spoke to the “friend” who did that to my hair, and she said, “this may sound harsh, but it will grow back”. That’s what jealous people say, no sympathy or apology, needless to say were not friends anymore. Women who have naturally wavy, curly hair DO NOT USE A RAT TOOTH COMB OR ANY COMB THAT’S NOT WIDE! It will rip your hair cuticle and your hair will be dry, brittle, and frizzy, and you can’t repair damaged hair. All the products out there that say that are straight lying to the customer. I tried about eighty dollars worth of different products, did a deep conditioner twice, and in the end I had no other choice, but to CUT IT ALL OFF, if I wanted my natural hair back. Beware of “friends”.

        1. Oh my goodness, she sounds so evil! I’m glad you let her go, but super sad you had to cut your hair in the process. Thank you so much for sharing your experience though!

      1. Can you please help me I washed my hair after taking the blood sugar down and it stuck together clumped up I have natural hair please tell me what to do

  21. Hi!! I wanted to know what will happen if I took my braids down today and got them back in tomorrow after deep conditioning it.

    1. I know my reply is a bit late but there’s no way for me to know exactly what will happen to your hair, there are a lot of variables including the kinds of braids you’re getting, your hair braider, and the health of your hair, etc. Good luck though!

  22. I have 3c hair and I got box braids. I recently took the braids out out and my hair became matted and tangled. I would try detangle braids and then they become matted again. I tried everything and my hair is now dry and I am loosing my hair and natural curls. Should I go to a salon and get them to care for my hair (without perms or chemicals) and have them detangle my hair and deep condition? I tried at home and it is not working.

    1. Latia,

      YES…..make an appt right away!

      If u weren’t able to do it, & u can afford it, find a hairstylist that deals with natural hair, or that still does press and curls (in my experience they know how to detangle). If u do not want any heat, just ask them to do loose natural twists for twist outs, because I know your head is real tender right now, for u to do it at home.

      I don’t comment, I just read for info, but I “saw your cry for help.”

      I hope this reaches u in time, and good luck!


    2. Sorry for the late response! I hope by now you’ve gone to a salon on your own. In the future, try to coat your hair in oil and conditioner to help detangle, and don’t leave your braids in for too long.

  23. Hi ijeoma..after removing my braids, they’re actually twists, I’d like to have it curly, but my hair isn’t completely natural. Plus I love your hair color! What did you put!?

  24. The timing of me finding this article is perfect!!! I’m in the middle of taking down Senegalese twists now. It’s been a slow 3 day process, but I’ll be done by today. I was planning on doing an ACV rinse anyways, but reading this reminded me to do a deep condition as well. I’ve been super lazy about doing them!!! Thanks for the reminder:)

      1. Hi
        I’m having trouble with my hair. I used to be a natural kinky when I was small but somewhere in my early teens my mum gave me a blow out.

        It took me years to go back natural but my hair kept falling year in year out. It was ok-ish for a while but it was too thin for my African face.

        So I tried perming it in my early 20s. It got its body but it later became expensive so i stopped and I had a phase 2 of the worst fallouts. I stuck to braiding to hide my mulnutritioned looking hair.

        I’m in my mid 20s and I keep perming it with “beautiful beginning” yet in my heart I desire to be a natural kinky.

        I really need to know what measures to take even if a big chop is one of them.
        And the kind of shampoo, conditioner, hair oil to use. Foods or supplements to take. And how to make it fuller again.


  25. I do everything listed but only trim if needed. My hair is usually super soft when I take down my twists since I spritz with my concoction while they’re in but a deep condition never hurt nobody! 🙂