Hair is like a fabric and let’s face it, sometimes it gets funky. Whether it’s after a night out at a smoky bar or an outdoor adventure weekend, or hair can hold onto unpleasant smells. For loose hair, a simple shampoo and condition easily washes away the funk. For mini braids and other protective styles, it’s not always that easy to rectify the problem. Here are a few tips for getting the funk out of braids.

Basically, you need to cleanse or clarify your braids but it’s more about how you do it, rather than what you do. That said, the products you use are entirely up to you, but I’ll make a few suggestions in a list at the end of this post.

How to Cleanse Smells From Mini Braids:

  1. Rinse hair with warm water. Make sure all your braids are thoroughly soaked. Turn off your water or stand away from the stream.
  2. Squeeze the water out of your braids.
  3. Take your cleanser of choice and pour about half of the solution over your braids. Your braids should soak up the cleansing solution like a sponge.
  4. Squeeze the solution out of the braids. It’s important to do several rinses with the solution and squeeze the braids in between each rinse. Your braids are like sponges, if they are already soaked with water, more water will just slick off of them. If they are free of water they can readily soak up water and therefore the bacteria causing the smell can be rinse out of the braids.
  5. Pour the remaining half of solution over your braids. Work the solution into the braids by squeezing in a pumping motion. Always work from root to tip, as not to disturb the hair cuticle or cause the braids to frizz.
  6. Rinse braids under stream of water. Squeeze continuously to rinse out the solution. Continue rinsing and squeezing for at least one minute.
  7. Continue your wash regimen by deep conditioning with your product of choice. Rinse, dry, moisturize, and style as desired.

Cleansing Solution Options:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar Solution– mix 1:10 ratio with water
  • Shampoo Solution– mix 1:5 ratio dilution with water
  • Baking Soda Solution– mix 1:10 ratio with warm to hot water, stir until dissolved; if using hot water wait until solution is cool enough to pour over your head.
  • Bentonite Clay Solution– mix with water  at 1:10 ratio; the clay will not dissolve so stir often and rinse very thoroughly.
  • Neem Solution– mix with water 1:10 ratio with water; neem powder will not dissolve so stir often and rinse very thoroughly.

Each solution has a very low concentration. For more thorough cleansing, follow with a regular shampoo. The mixes above are largely anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agents that will rinse away odor causing bacteria. I recommend using a deep conditioner after to combat any dryness.

Most importantly allow the hair to dry completely in a few hours to avoid more smells from dampness. Thanks for reading and as always, if you have any questions, please comment below. 🙂

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2 Responses to Getting Rid of Smells in Mini Braids

  1. dhaky says:

    Thanks! I have dome apple vinegar that I ll mix with my conditioner to see what it will do.

    • Jay says:

      I’m not sure if mixing it will have the same effect. The vinegar clarifies the hair and removes bacteria. I don’t know if conditioner plus vinegar will be strong enough to do that. When you try it out, let me know how it turns out!

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