Thursday, 24 November 2011

Yarn Braids Maintenance Pt1: Washing with Shampoo

Hi all,

Every few weeks I shampoo my hair. I only shampoo my hair about once or twice a month. I used to shampoo a lot more in the past (which would result in dry hair and very dry scalp). I've been shampooing a couple of times a month over the past 6 - 8 months and this has really helped with the moisture levels of my hair and scalp.

Kinky Curly Knot Today is one of my favourite shampoo's
There are a number of shampoo's which I use and Kinky Curly Knot Today is one of them. I sometimes rotate between shampoo's depending on a number of factors. For example, if I shampoo much more often (such as in the Summer), I will use Giovanni's Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo. 

Now onto washing yarn braids. Some people who wear yarn braids, will choose to not shampoo their hair. These reasons may include wanting to keep their yarn braids looking neat or avoiding the daunting task of washing yarn braids. I'm one of those people who do need to wash their hair no matter what. 

I use the following steps to wash my scalp while my hair is in yarn braids;

  1. First I prepoo my hair. The length of time I do it, varies, but I try to keep this as short as possible because washing yarn braids requires a lot of time. 
  2. I divide my hair in four sections and I wet my hair under the shower head and I squeeze a few drops of shampoo into the palm of my hand. I work on one section of my scalp first, working the shampoo into my scalp using the pads of my fingers to cleanse it. I avoid shampooing the length of my hair to keep its moisture.
  3. I repeat step two for the other three sections of my hair.  
  4. I rinse after a minute or so and I repeat all the steps again for the second time.
After shampooing my hair, I squeeze the excess water out of the yarn. After this I put the yarn braids into a high ponytail and I wrap it into a microfiber towel (wet yarn braids can feel very heavy, hence why I squeeze out the excess water and put it into a ponytail. Remember to also handle your hair very carefully because the weight of the yarn braids can cause tension on your edges). 

Drying yarn braids completely can take hours (especially if you air dry it). Therefore washing yarn braids is something I really and only do during the weekends and I start this process in the afternoon. Improper drying of yarn braids and sleeping on it gives it a damp feeling the next day and a mildew/musty smell. To completely avoid this, it needs to be dried thoroughly. 

A couple of concerns which I know some people will have is, ''will the yarn braids still look neat?'', ''won't the yarn come loose at the roots?''. My answer to the first question is yes. The yarn will not be affected by this process, however, it may shrink during the washing process. It will return to its normal length after it has fully dried. Acrylic yarn will continue to look neat as the fibers aren't so much affected by washing. My answer to the second question is that it should not come loose at the roots provided you have installed them firmly and correctly (the yarn needs to be attached to the hair securely but keep in mind that it shouldn't be too tight or be installed in any way in which it can cause damage to your hair). I haven't had any issues with my yarn braids coming loose due to the washing process. Handling my hair on a daily basis, wearing the yarn braids for extended weeks, shed hair and hair growth, are factors which have made my yarn braids loose at the roots. 

Happy Hair Journey ^o^ 


  1. So interesting!!! I don't know how girls like you teach yourselves such intricate routines! lol :)

    Aya ♥ Strawberry Koi

  2. Thanks, I been having a hard time finding tips, especially regarding washing yarn extensions.

  3. I am super excited!!!! It took 2 days to complete my yarn braids. I used purple and black. Thanks for the tips!

  4. Thanks for this article. I am deciding on yarn braids for the first time and reading your articles is helpful.