What’s That Stink?
Aww stink, are your braids bothering you? Do they have a weird smell? This funky aroma could be due to a build-up of dirt, sand, oil and the mix of your real and natural hair together. While braids are a fantastic protective style, they can also be a grounds for creating other issues such as smelly braids.
What Is Causing The Smell?
Braids obtain a stench when dead skin cells build up on the scalp; natural hair oils are in abundance and dirt is sticking to the hair.
The kind of braiding hair used can also have a lasting impact on the smell and feel of your braids. One of the most significant contributors to braids musky scent is sweat caught in the scalp.
A mildew smell can occur if braids are washed and not appropriately dried; wet braids cause a lingering stench just like damp clothes.
How To Prevent Stinky Braids This Summer
To maximize the health of your hair and prevent smelly braids, it is essential that you be mindful when washing your braids. The cleanliness of the scalp, your natural hair care regimen and the upkeep of your braiding hair all play a part in preventing the stench exuding from braids.
First, Begin with a Pre-Poo
Pre-shampoo your hair using oils to help seal in moisture and prepare your hair for shampooing and conditioning. Tie a scalp around your braids after massaging the oils into your scalp, to allow them to absorb into your hair and lock into moisture.
Shampooing Your Braids
Shampooing your braids starts with the pre-poo and moves onto the scalp.
Add a decent amount of shampoo to your wet fingertips and work your hands through the parts in your braids, to thoroughly clean your calp. It’s essential to wash and scratch the scalp without digging to roughly; this ensures that you do not make the roots of the braids frizzy but that you get rid of that stubborn “dirtball” that can form at the base of yours.
Another way to prevent smelly braids is to dry your braids thoroughly! After a good wash, it is essential to dry the roots of your hair to prevent a build-up of product or wet and itchy braids.
Either air dry your hair during the day, or use a blow dryer concentrated at the roots of your individuals.
Here are a few shampoo products we’d like to share that you can try to overcome the stench:
Maple Holistics DeGrease Shampoo
It’s totally normal for your scalp to produce oil. How else would you have that healthy, shiny natural hair? What isn’t normal is if the production of oil from your scalp becomes excessive. It creates a “stable” environment for bacteria to thrive and contribute to your scalp’s awful smell!
Maple Holistics Degreasing Shampoo works against too much oil production while restoring the scalp’s ideal pH balance. This is a 100 percent natural product with lemon essence, so you’ll feel healthier and cleaner while it leaves your hair smelling super fresh!
Tru Moroccan Clarifying Shampoo
If you can wear vegan makeup, eat vegan food, why not use vegan shampoo too?
One being Tru Moroccan Clarifying Shampoo, though, it is more than just your regular shampoo. Of course, clarifying shampoos are great for purifying, detoxifying and offer deep cleansing by lifting. It works similarly like Maple Holistics Shampoo, which includes treating an itchy, dry scalp.
But it’s a lot better to use if you already have color-treated hair even with protective styles. So you not only resolve your stinky hair but also keep your beautifully colored locks maintained. We’ve talked about clarifying shampoos before.
They’re great for ridding your hair from build-up, hard water deposits, and damaging chemicals.
Neutrogena Anti-residue Shampoo
We all know Neutrogena because of its outstanding brand and products created.
This is a brand that has never done consumers wrong when it comes to skincare and haircare products. The anti-residue shampoo is perfect for all various hair types. Whether you deal with a frizzy hair which can happen with protective styles or you decide you want to color your hair later, it doesn’t really matter!
It can handle the manipulation and tension, so to speak. And it removes around over 90 percent of the hair residue from all the products you’ve applied to your scalp. How awesome is that?
Therapro Mediceuticals TheraRx
This shampoo is highly recommended by dermatologists if you suffer from scalp folliculitis, which is basically inflammation of the follicles that have become ingrown.
This frustrating condition can leave you with painful, itchy, and red skin of the scalp, as well as lesions. Therapro Mediceuticals TheraRx removes all kinds of bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms that may be causing the inflammation. Can you see why this can be great for a protective style like braids and twists? Wearing these styles for long periods of time can extend the invitation for unwanted things listed before.
Considering this is a strong shampoo, it’s best to have a consultation and your condition diagnosed first before you consider using this product.
Head and Shoulders Clinical Strength Shampoo
This shampoo is great if you have seborrheic dermatitis, which is basically a scalp infection characterized by the appearance of red rashes. It can be caused by a whole lot of reasons from stress to genes, yeast, depression, and poor immune system. Either way, it can lead to excessive production of dandruff, which in turn can contribute to stinky hair. Head and Shoulders Clinical Strength Shampoo contains selenium sulfide, which a potent dandruff treatment.
Selsun Blue Medicated Shampoo
This is pretty similar to Head and Shoulders as it deals with itching and bad-smelling hair caused by dandruff and skin condition. It contains only 1 percent selenium sulfide, so you don’t need a doctor’s prescription to buy this. The menthol helps keep your scalp feeling cool and refreshed, as well as smelling great.
Altering Your Braiding Preference
Changing the kind of braids you get could help to ensure your hair lasts longer and reduce the chance of a stout smell clinging to your twists. Smaller braids dry quicker than large poetics are more accessible to wash and are not as heavy on the hair shaft.
Watch The Products Used
Use products that do not have an extremely heavy smell like black gel or sulfur grease. Coconut and jojoba oil moisturize the hair, and will help strip the hair of dirt, however, using too much of either will make your hair hold a more heavy smell.
How To Get Rid Of Braid Stench?
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
To get rid of a braid stench use an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse.
The rinse made of Apple Cider Vinegar and water; the rinse works as a cleanser and a sealant for braids. The mixture uses three cups water and one cup Apple Cider Vinegar, it is used to balance PH, flush out dirt and oil, and can dry out hair if used too frequently.
Be sure to not to use the rinse more than twice a month. Usually, it is recommended once a week, but since hair may already dry out due to the braiding hair and lack of exposure to moisture along the hair shaft, twice a month is more than enough to cleanse hair without overdrying it or causing irritation to the scalp.
Another way to utilize the ACV rinse is to allow your braids to soak in the mixture, pulling out the dirt and oils. It’s also good to use this rinse to soak the braiding hair before installation to cleanse it for installation.
While ACV is good for cleansing the scalp and braids, it can add to the unpleasant odor you are experiencing if not rinsed with water afterward and allowed to dry properly.
Cleansing with Witch Hazel
Using your fingers or a cotton ball, add one part water and two parts witch hazel to the roots of your hair. Cleansing your scalp with witch hazel is quick and easy to do in between washes; witch hazel has a natural ability to balance PH and alcohol-free. A perfect, natural solution to keep stinky braids at bay!
Use Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo on your braids will clean your hair and hold you over between washes. This method takes up less time and offers a great alternative to soaking or scrubbing your braids and scalp.
Must-Haves to Fight Smelly Braids
Keep A Spray Bottle
Spray bottles are essential for keeping your braids fresh and clean. Carrying around a container filled with the Apple Cider Vinegar rinse or witch hazel and water will make it easy to refresh your hair on the go.
Have A Scarf
Utilizing a scarf while sleeping or working out (Check out this article: working out with weave) will shield hair from environmental influences that can cause your hair to sweat more or lock in dirt.
A Good Edge Control and Shampoo
Any style needs an effective edge control.
Braided styles can benefit from a right edge control because it will cut down on the number of times you are applying the hold to your hair while you are unable to wash it, and reduce the chances of the edge control building upon the roots of the braids.
A quality shampoo that is sulfate free has a light smell and focuses on cleansing, and moisturizing hair can go a long way when ensuring that your hair stays funk free.
Having Smell Free Braids
Preventing and keeping your braids from smelling is an easy job.
It takes a small commitment that will pay off in both the longevity and freshness of your braided style. Pay attention to the needs of your hair, follow washing instructions, dry your hair thoroughly, and opt for smaller braids that are easier to clean and maintain.