#TackleThatFro| Wash Day for Box Braids

photo cred: pierre_artista

Previously on #TackleThatFro:


Last week, I talked about Protective Styling, so while I have my hair in box braids I thought I would share my wash day routine while wearing a protective style. Keep in mind that my routine is a little different compared to how I normally take care of my natural hair. But still all the while, I like to keep my products to a minimum. I like to wash my hair once a week no matter the style and I’ll explain why.

Background on My Hair

My dad had this weird thing about him where he would sweat from his scalp. Unfortunately, genetics played out and I inherited it from him. It may be a little TMI, but hey I’m just being honest. I’ve been doing physical therapy three times a week and I’m usually there for about two hours each time. As you can imagine, with a nickname like “Pain & Torture” there’s a lot of sweat that gets built up over the week from going to physical therapy.

As strange as it may sound, sweat aside, my scalp can also be quite dry. So I will usually look for a cleansing shampoo and I’ll pair that with a deep conditioner. Honestly, today I was being kind of lazy. If you read my #WhatTheHealth| Bathtub 2 vs Me 0- Severe Ankle Sprain, you’ll know I’m currently nursing a severe ankle sprain. My orthopedic doctor put me in a boot on Tuesday, and I’m still pouting about that. But I was able to wash my hair, I just had to make modifications on how I did it.

Hair Products & Tools

I tried to hobble around and grab most of the products I would need. Eventually, I got tired of that and I decided that whatever was close to me, was what I was going to end up using. There are only two things not pictured here: the scarf that I used to tie down my edges, and the spray bottle containing my oil and braid spray mix.


As I mentioned before, I usually go for a cleansing shampoo but this one was close by. With a cleansing shampoo, I know that all of the dirt and build up from the week is gone. This Pantene Repair & Protect boasts that it can restore smoothness, shine, and manageability when used daily. I’m not sure about all of that, but it did get my hair clean. I pride myself on being a person of integrity and honesty, I will say that this may be my last time using this shampoo and I will explain why.

I know some naturals are careful about the products they use because of the ingredients. Some only use natural ingredients and try to stay away from modified ingredients or chemicals. These things don’t bother me that much. I’ve learned through my major in Graphic Design and taking Advertising classes that the first ingredients listed on the back of a product are the main component of that product.

So to my dismay when I looked up the ingredients of Pantene’s Repair & Protect Shampoo the first four ingredients were: Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Citrate. Water is obvious. Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Cocamidopropyl Betaine are used just to produce more foam and bubbles. Sodium Citrate is supposed to help with the pH level of the shampoo and help smooth the surface of the hair cuticles.

Now once again, my issue is that these ingredients are the main component or the foundation of this shampoo. Its main ingredient is a filler that makes foam, and that’s not really something I’m looking for to get my hair clean. I kind of went on a tangent there, I apologize, I promise that this is still a wash day routine, moving on.


After the ingredient shock from the shampoo, I decided not to look up Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner. I admit that I’m turning a blind eye, but in my defense, I’ve gotten spoiled by this conditioner and I don’t feel like changing to a different one. I use this as my staple conditioner, no matter what hairstyle I’m prepping for. The directions say to leave it in for 3 minutes, but I honestly don’t think anyone leaves it for just three minutes.

Eco Styler

When I’m wearing a protective style, I only use this gel to slick down my edges. I’ll apply it then put on a scarf until the gel dries.

Hair Dryer

This one is probably self-explanatory. I used to do the t-shirt method, but I found that my hair would still be a bit damp even after the t-shirt had absorbed all it could. And I don’t particularly like walking around with wet hair so using a hairdryer was the next solution. I sat down while I dried my hair. We have a garden stool in our bathroom that we put in there for decoration, but I end up using it more for a chair.

Getting in the Shower & Body Acne

I won’t say how long I was in the bathroom doing all of this, but I made sure I had something to drink and music to keep me distracted. Now standing in the shower would have killed me, so I did all of this sitting down because I knew it would take me a long time. Just as a tip, always make sure you wash your hair first, then wash your body. You can avoid developing body acne this way. I learned this tip from Jackie Aina. I linked that video below so you can watch it.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0Ddl1DI-go&w=560&h=315]

My Steps

  • I don’t immediately wash my hair when I get in the shower. I like to let the water run on my hair. This way I’m getting a chance to massage my scalp and loosen the build up from the base of the braids. I do this for a few minutes, then I’ll proceed to shampoo.
  • While I’m shampooing my hair, I try my best to avoid using my nails. And I do this so I don’t disturb the braids or frizz up my hair. I’ve had these box braids in now for a month, my limit is about two months. While my hair is in the style I want to maintain its form as much as possible.
  • I shampoo twice, and then I move on to the conditioner. It’s kind of tricky maneuvering around braids, but I do my best to apply the conditioner to my scalp. Because the conditioner is thick I dilute it a bit with water. Today, I only let it sit for what I think was five minutes before I rinsed.
  • After finishing my shower, I sat down again and blow dried my hair.

So just like last week, I want to know about #TackleThatFro wash day routine. Do you have a different routine for your hair depending on the style? How many products do you use? And, do you care about the ingredients in your hair products?


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  1. My wash routine is the same . Pre poo wash and condition .sometimes deep condition . My hair is a thirsty unruly mess . I prefer products with no parabens etc but I am a product junkie . Here in Barbados cant stick to one thing because good products are hard to find and my hair does not behave with everything lol . When I can I order online . The aussie I have tried and I love

  2. I heard so much about it and one day I found it at my local Walmart. I thought, “Why not try it and see what it’s about.” I just about fell in love that first time. I’m more of a creature of habit, if I find something I like, I tend to stick with it until I find something better.

    1. I wash mine bc if not I start scratching like crazy and then I’ll have to take them out. So in a way, I guess it can help them last longer. It depends on the style and how long you want to wear them for mainly.

      1. Oooh now that’s the thing, when I start scratching/ sweating I undo them that’s usually in a span of 3 weeks. Maybe if I wash I’ll be able to stay with them for 5-6 weeks lol

    1. lol You get used to after awhile. This routine was nothing compared to what I do when my hair isn’t in braids. And thank you so much! I truly appreciate it. I’m off to read the post now 🙂

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