Braids are often the style choice for many transitioning women. You can style it in an up-do or wear it in a braid out. Whichever way you choose to it, one thing remains the same. You do it hoping to keep it for at the very least a month. The problem then becomes how you keep it clean. You can wash it with shampoos but you run the risk of leaving in your hair shampoo residues if you do not properly dilute the shampoo in advance. So others like to go without washing at all which brings it’s own set of problems!
The happy medium would be to find a cleansing regime that would help you maintain the health of your scalp while keeping your hair clean. When I wore braids, my regime consisted of the following:
- Once a week shampoo with baking soda and water mixture
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda
- 1 cup of water
- place in a spray bottle and shake the mixture
-add two drops of rosemary essential oils for greater cleansing
- liberally spray your scalp and then your braids
-leave on for 10 minutes
- massage your scalp with the pads of your fingers
- get in the shower and rinse off
- ACV rinse
-Braids are notoriously difficult to dry and the last thing you want it your hair smelling like mildew.
-Try mixing two tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar (from Whole Foods or your local Sainsbury’s) with two cups of water.
-Place in a bottle and pour over your newly washed hair. Squeeze out the excess water.
- Air dry or give it a quick blast with your hairdryer.
- The ACV smell will disappear once the hair has dried.
I came across these old pictures of me when I was unintentionally transitioning :/. I can safely thank the ACV rinse for maintaining some semblance of scalp health because I was doing very little else.