The 10 Best Braid Sprays
This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in January of 2017. Having braided hair can save tons of precious time when getting ready every day, but because it's a semi-permanent look, it requires more diligent care than standard styles. The sprays we've included here address many of the common issues that plague this otherwise low-maintenance 'do, such as tightness, itchiness, and flakiness. These are also crafted to give your locks an attractive shine. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
November 05, 2020:
A federal judge ordered Keystone Industries, the manufacturer of Better Braids, to stop selling a variety of hair products because they did not inspect them for contaminants before putting them on the market. Needless to say, we removed this item from the list.
We added Ebin New York 24 Hour because it does a good job of soothing the scalp and works on wet or dry hair. The Bronner Brothers Tropical Roots Growth Oil helps strengthen the hair, eliminate frizz, and leaves a pleasant scent.
June 21, 2019:
Sheen spray can be a valuable tool for keeping your hair strong and healthy when it's braided, or when you've had extensions installed. Since these hairstyles are designed to last for up to two months, it's important to keep your scalp healthy and moisturized if you want to avoid feelings of tightness and itching — not to mention breakage and dryness. The products we've included in this list have ingredients that not only support scalp and hair health, but add shine to dull locks, too. In short, these sprays offer a simple and affordable way to care for your braids.
Salon Pro Shine and Better Braids Medicated have been added to the list, the former because of its nourishing ingredients and the latter because of its potent, dandruff-targeting formula. Strickland & Co Sulfur8 was moved all the way up to the top space due to its effectiveness in relieving itching and producing an attractive, yet weightless, sheen.
Africa's Best Nourishing This product contains beneficial ingredients like shea butter and keratin to strengthen weak locks and keep your hairstyle looking perfect for weeks on end. Plus, you can apply it as often as you want, which should come as a relief to those who have particularly sensitive skin. africasbesthair.com
Fantasia Herbal For an option that works well on both natural and synthetic strands, this spray is a smart choice. A blend of herbs including rosemary, sage, and nettle is what gives this formula such a pleasant fragrance. For best results, spray onto your roots each day and gently massage until it's fully absorbed fantasiahaircare.com
What To Know Before Getting Braids
Talk to friends or other women you see in public who have the look and are happy with it, and ask who they went to.
So you've decided to get braided up. It's not a bad idea if you're tired of trying to figure out what style to go with every day. But this do is a commitment and there are some things you should know before diving in. The condition of your hair, before even getting in your salon professional's chair, is important — particularly the pH balance. It's not uncommon to have tresses chemically relaxed before putting in the braids in order to make the process easier. But that treatment can actually alter your lock's natural pH balance, leading to a higher risk of breakage. In the months leading up to getting your new look, you should also stay away from high alkaline shampoos, as these can also damage the hair and make it more prone to tearing.
Before even scheduling your appointment, decide if you plan on using hair extensions, and thoroughly research the different varieties. Those made from human hair are the best quality, will always last the longest, and will stand up to product and appliances the best. That being said, if you only plan on keeping your braids for a short season, you can go with synthetic extensions. Typically made from low-grade acrylic, these are much more affordable. There will be a second phase to this research: the choice to bring your own extensions versus buying some from the salon. If you want to go with the latter option, visit the businesses first, and ask to see and even touch the product so you can test it for quality.
There are plenty of places that do playful braid hairdos, but not all of them are experts in the area. The process can take anywhere from four to eight hours, may cost a pretty penny, and is not simple to undo if you don't like the results. That being said, ask around before selecting your beautician. Talk to friends or other women you see in public who have the look and are happy with it, and ask who they went to. Ultimately, you want a hairdresser who has a reputation for repeatedly doing great braids, rather than one who simply knows how to do them.
How To Care For Your Braids
It's time to learn a bit about how to care for braids so you can keep them in optimal condition for as long as possible. There is a misconception that braids are a low-maintenance look, but that simply isn't true. First, there is the washing. You cannot just lather shampoo all over your hair the way you did when it was loose. You'll need to dilute shampoo with water and put it in a spray bottle. Soak your whole head in water, and then mist the roots with your cleansing product. From there, gently massage the shampoo down the full length of the braids. The idea here is to minimize friction, which can cause flyaways and breakage. You can also put a stocking cap over all of the braids before doing any of the aforementioned steps, to reduce friction further. When that process is done, thoroughly rinse the braids. Make sure to let your hair completely dry before going to bed, to prevent mildew growth.
Considering that hair grows about 1/2 an inch per month, your edges can start to look messy quickly.
Next, when it comes to styling, be very careful. Do not pull on your braids, especially in the beginning when they are still very tight. This can lead to breakage (and it's just painful). Updos and ponytails naturally put constant stress on your locks, so it's best to steer clear of these looks or limit them. If you really want to tuck your tresses away, like on a hot day, you can opt for a side twist, or throw them up in a headscarf loosely. Also, avoid heavy beads or charms on the bottoms of them, as these can pull on your scalp and, again, cause damage.
Braids can't last forever, but you can prolong their life if you take good care of them. Considering that hair grows about 1/2 an inch per month, your edges can start to look messy quickly. If you pop into your stylist's chair, she can fix these for you rapidly, and usually won't charge you much — it's just a touch-up. If properly cared for, you may be able to keep that look for four months, but it's more common to have it redone around every two months. Following these tips can save you some money and time in the salon chair.
Top Ingredients To Look For In A Braid Spray
With so many braid sprays to choose from, you need to think about your habits, preferred styles, type of hair, and more. Several types of ingredients can lend to the power of this stuff, but no matter what, moisture is key. So make sure yours contains a good natural hydrating ingredient, like shea butter (many studies have found this deeply hydrating), olive oil, or coconut oil. The moment your locks become too dry, they are more vulnerable to breakage and falling out. If you ever find a stray braid on the sidewalk, chances are somebody wasn't moisturizing their scalp.
Getting these ingredients onto your head will leave your hair looking stronger, rather than depleted when you remove your braids.
One major concern with braids is that, since it's harder to thoroughly clean this style than others, bacteria can easily accumulate between the bundles of hair. Tea-tree oil can do a wonderful job fighting bacteria. This tingly, refreshing oil also reduces inflammation, which can be caused by bacteria buildup, or the normal tugging that comes from this hairdo. Menthol is also very effective at alleviating the itching that can come with this look.
If you're worried that the stress of braids will leave your hair thin, you should look for a spray with growth-promoting ingredients. Peppermint oil is especially good for this — plus, it just leaves your head smelling intoxicating. Rosemary extract can also boost follicle production, and if you want to give your locks some TLC after repairing damage, you can get a product with restorative soy protein. Getting these ingredients onto your head will leave your hair looking stronger, rather than depleted when you remove your braids.