Two Surprisingly Easy But Effective Homemade Braid Sprays

In the run up to our protective styling challenge which I hope that you will be joining us in, you may have noticed that we have been sharing quite a few articles that pertain to protective styling and maintenance.

These articles are to nudge you into deciding on which protective style you would like to choose and to help you with maintaining it for the duration of the challenge.

In among all the protective styling options I enjoy wearing braids and twists the most. Not least because they are easy enough to install but because you are not constantly manipulating, your hair remains protected and you retain length like crazy!

One of the biggest mistakes that ladies make when wearing braids or twists is not taking the time to maintain the moisture-protein balance in their hair for the duration of the style. This may not seem like a big deal, after all protected hair is protected hair right? Not really.

You see when you do a protective style without ensuring that your hair is effectively moisturized daily, it can and does lead to some serious breakage during take down. This is particularly evident in those who wear styles using synthetic extensions which suck moisture away from your own hair leaving it drier than before.

You can certainly wash and deep condition your braids weekly using the method outlined in our micro braids article. Twists will be trickier to wash because there tends to be more potential for tangling when they are agitated so many ladies choose to just keep twist moisturized without actually washing them for the duration of the hairstyle.

Having a protective style however is no excuse to avoid your daily moisturization routine and this is where braid sprays come in.

I have used numerous braid sprays in the past with varying levels of success. Some I found contained way too much oil which led to build up and that gunky stuff at the base of the braid when taking them down. This as you know leads to matting which is not a good idea if length retention is your ultimate goal. Another thing is that I never found a braid spray that I liked the smell of so I was constantly on the lookout for something else.

As I always do when I can’t find anything at my local BSS that exactly matches my needs, I find a way of hacking a solution from ingredients or a mix of products that I already have at home.

I can’t believe that I haven’t shared these recipes of mine with anyone until now but here are two easy but very effective home made braid sprays that I use when my hair is in protective styles:

pH Balanced Moisturizing Braid Spray

ph balanced moisturizing braid spray

Ingredients:

1/2 cup vegetable glycerine

1 cup aloe vera juice

1 1/2 cups water

5 drops tea tree oil

I never actually measure my ingredients, I just do everything by eye but my final recipe comes to around 12 ounces or so. Just add all the ingredients into a spray bottle and shake to combine them. That’s it!

This recipe is deceptively simple but it is loaded with moisture boosting properties. Glycerine is a humectant that pulls water out of the atmosphere keeping your hair soft. Aloe vera juice is wonderfully pH balanced which allows your cuticles to close thereby keeping the moisture in your hair for longer and the tea tree oil with it’s antimicrobial properties soothes the scalp keeping itchiness and dandruff at bay.

When in braids, I have always found that a focus on increased moisturization rather than the moisture and sealing method works better. Oils as you know will tend to cause build up pretty quickly so lightly misting your hair twice daily with this moisture boosting spray works pretty well at keeping your hair soft but build up away!

Protein Strengthening Braid Spray

protein strengthening braid spray

Ingredients:

1/2 cup vegetable glycerine

1/2 cup Infusium 23 leave in

1 1/2 cups water

2-3 drops hydrolyzed protein (optional)

5-8 drops Sandalwood essential oil (optional)

As with the previous recipe, just add all the ingredients into a spray bottle (I reuse old leave in conditioner spray bottles) shake, shake, shake and it’s done.

This is hands down my favorite braid spray and I use it liberally! The glycerine and water provide the moisture for your hair and Infusium 23 leave in conditioner, a favorite among us hair growers, is rich in amino acids which strengthens your hair.

I also like to add a few drops of pure hydrolyzed protein that I always have lying around. Please only use 2-3 drops of the hydrolyzed protein or else you risk your hair getting stiff. The recipe will work just as well without the extra protein so if you don’t have any to hand don’t worry. The Sandalwood essential oil in this recipe is there just for fragrance, it smells wonderful!

So there you have it, these two braid sprays are very simple to make and they will serve all your needs while wearing braids or twists. Hand on heart I have not purchased a commercial braid spray since I created these two recipes almost 4 years ago!

Originally posted 2013-07-14 15:00:15.

About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

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Comments

  1. Aniesha

    Can the Infusium 23 be substituted for a different leave in conditioner?

    1. Alma Ruddock Post author

      I haven’t tried any others but I would imagine that any liquid leave in with some hydrolyzed keratin would work just as well.

  2. GiGi T

    I have always had relaxed hair as far as i can remember because i was always told i have “bad hair” very tight dry kinky coils. after i had my own baby girl last year i decided i wanted to go natural so that my child can have some one to look up to. i found this page and i have been here for 3 days now reading and reading and reading! very informative thank so much i have sure learnt a lot of things i never know about black natural hair.
    i did my BC this January and my hair is about 2 inches i don’t know what to do with it and i probably don’t know how to moisturize it either as it is always dry and tough and still breaking. i don’t even know how to style it.
    i really want to grow my own hair and my baby’s please help from shampooing to sealing. by the way my daughter’s hair is different from mine her father is mixed race so she took some of he’s hair type but its dry like mine.

  3. Berry

    Quick questions: in the second recipe can I substitute the sandalwood oil for the tea tree oil? OR can I alternate the two sprays (every other day) to receive the benefits of both?

  4. Bettina

    Is there anything I can add to help it smell better? An oil or conditioner?

    1. Alma Ruddock Post author

      Don’t you like the smell of sandalwood essential oil? It smells like perfume! Otherwise you can pick whichever oil you want for fragrance, vanilla, coconut, orange…

      1. Bettina

        I used the first recipe and it smelled horrible! I don’t know if I added too much of something! Sandalwood it is! Thanks so much!

        1. Alma Ruddock Post author

          More than likely it was the tea tree oil because it’s the only one of the ingredients that has a smell. I use very little of it, it’s purpose really it to prevent itching so if that’s not a problem for you then swap it with another oil, peppermint or rosemary. But always put more of the fragrance oil (vanilla, sandalwood) so that is what you will be smelling 🙂

  5. Nyree

    I made this solution and added, what I know now to be, way too much Tea Tree Oil. I didn’t have sandlewood oil so I used the almond oil that I had on hand. Needless to say, I smell like a walking advertisement for Tea Tree Oil. Help! What can I do to tame the smell?

  6. Ianthe

    For the protein strengthening braid spray can I substitute the sandalwood essential oil for rosemary or lavender essential oil?

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