Dos and don’ts of washing cornrows
5-step guide to washing cornrows
Wet your hair: Stand under the shower with low water pressure or use a spray bottle to dampen your hair thoroughly. Ensure that your scalp and braids are completely wet before applying shampoo.
Shampoo gently: Use a sulfate-free shampoo designed for braids or textured hair. Dilute the shampoo with water in a squeeze bottle or an applicator bottle with a nozzle. Apply the diluted shampoo directly onto your scalp, in between the rows of your cornrows. Gently massage your scalp with your fingertips, taking care not to disturb the braids too much.
Rinse carefully: Rinse out the shampoo with lukewarm water, ensuring all the product is removed from your scalp and hair. Use low water pressure and let the water flow in the direction of your cornrows to avoid tangling.
Condition and moisturize: Apply a lightweight, water-based leave-in conditioner or spray to your cornrows, focusing on the hair rather than the scalp. This step will help to moisturize your hair and prevent dryness. Once your cornrows are dry, apply a light oil or hair butter to seal in moisture and add shine.
Dry gently: Gently squeeze out excess water from your cornrows using a microfiber towel or an old t-shirt. Avoid rubbing the hair, as this can cause frizz. Allow your hair to air-dry or use a hooded dryer on a low heat setting.
FAQs on washing cornrows
How often should I wash my cornrows?
Aim to wash your cornrows every 1-2 weeks or as needed, depending on your hair type, scalp condition, and lifestyle. Over-washing can lead to dryness and hair breakage.
What type of shampoo should I use for my cornrows?
Use a sulfate-free shampoo specifically designed for braids or textured hair to avoid stripping your hair of natural oils and causing dryness.
Can I use conditioner on my cornrows?
Yes, you can use a lightweight, water-based leave-in conditioner or spray on your cornrows. Focus on the hair rather than the scalp to moisturize your hair and prevent dryness.
Should I use a regular towel to dry my cornrows?
Avoid using a regular towel, as it can cause frizz and disturb the neatness of the cornrows. Instead, use a microfiber towel or an old t-shirt to gently squeeze out excess water.
Can I use heat styling tools on my cornrows?
Avoid using heat styling tools like flat irons or curling wands on your cornrows, as this can cause damage and compromise the style. If you need to dry your hair quickly, use a hooded dryer on a low heat setting.
How can I maintain the neatness of my cornrows?
Sleep with a satin or silk scarf, bonnet, or pillowcase to reduce friction and maintain the neatness of your cornrows. Avoid pulling or tugging on your cornrows while washing, drying, or styling.
What can I do to prevent scalp itchiness and dryness?
Use a gentle sulfate-free shampoo, moisturize your hair with a lightweight conditioner, and apply a light oil or hair butter to seal in moisture. If you experience persistent itchiness or dryness, consider using a scalp treatment with soothing ingredients like tea tree oil or aloe vera.
How long can I keep my cornrows in?
The duration for which you can keep cornrows in depends on your hair type, growth rate, and how well you maintain them. Generally, cornrows can be worn for 4-6 weeks. However, keeping them in for too long may cause hair breakage and damage due to tension and accumulated product build-up.
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