Do You Have To Blow Dry Hair To Braid It (Yes and No)

I know that I’m not the only one who loves to see braided hair! Sometimes when I take a walk, I see a couple of girls walking with beautiful braids that probably their moms have made for them.

But luckily it’s not only kids who I see walking by with braided hair. Adults can also make the most beautiful things and it makes me happy! 

I don’t tell you this for no reason, but because of what happened yesterday. I’m getting known for my blog here in town and one of my neighbors came up to me asking me about braiding her hair. Her question was “do you have to blow dry hair to braid it?”

I thought it was a good question that probably more people have. To blow-dry, or not to blow dry your hair before you braid it… Below you’ll find the answer to that question. Not only that, but I’ll also tell you how you should prepare your hair for braids and if it’s bad to braid your hair when it’s damp.

So, without further ado…

Do you have to blow dry your hair to braid it?

If you expected a straightforward answer, I have to disappoint you because this isn’t the case.

There are reasons why you should blow-dry your hair and also reasons to not blow-dry your hair before you start braiding.

When should you blow-dry your hair before braiding?

There’s a debate going on in the beauty world about whether or not you should blow-dry your hair first, and honestly… you can do both. So for me, it isn’t a question about whether or not you should. It all depends on preference and what your hair needs.

Night out, wedding and so on

Some people like to blow-dry their hair before they start braiding when they want to go out with their braided hair. This is because making your hair dry before you start braiding will leave your braid looking very smooth. Perfect for a night out or a wedding or stuff like that!

So if you like your braided hair looking smooth, blow-drying it first is a great way.

Personal preference and what your hair needs

For some people, it is an absolute must to dry their hair before they braid it. Some women tell me that they need to braid their hair before getting it braided under their wigs. They do this because otherwise it will make the braid too heavy and the wig doesn’t “sit” as nicely as it should.

When should you not blow dry your hair before you braid it?

When your hair is already a bit damaged

It can happen that your hair is a little bit damaged. This can because of a recent hair dye job, heating irons or your blowdryer (heat). Your hair can also be damaged from some products you’ve put in your hair.

When you notice that your hair isn’t as healthy as can be, it is better not to blow-dry your hair. You see, when your hair is not as strong as it can be, applying heat with a hair-dryer is a bad idea. Heat can cause damage to your hair and you don’t want any more of that.

What you can do, however (when you have the option), is blow-drying your hair cold. This way you can still blow-dry your hair, but you can do so in a manner that doesn’t damage your hair.

Is it bad to braid your hair when it’s damp?

Whether you want to use a blow-dryer or not, it is not a good idea to braid your hair while it’s still wet. Why you ask? This is because the excess water in your hair can make your hair (and therefore the braid) too heavy.

At first this doesn’t look like a problem, but imagine what water does to your hair length… Wet hair lengthens your hair at least 15 more than dry hair. So, when you start braiding your hair with damp or wet your, you might see that your hair starts clumping. 

The other bad thing that you can see happening while braiding with wet hair is breakage. Yes, your hair can break in a braid when it air drys.

There is a trick that might help you though when you want to braid your hair but it is still a little damp. When your hair is about 80% dry, you can apply a nourishing cream into your hair and braid it shortly after that. This can make your hair less porous and therefore less prone to breakage.

How to prepare your hair for braiding?

Preparing your hair just as important as the braids themselves and you should prepare your hair thoroughly before you start braiding. Curious about how to prepare your hair before you start braiding? Below you’ll find 4 things you need to consider before you start braiding.

1 – Fix the issues you have with your hair

For some, this step might take more time than it does for others. If you have dry hair, hair that breaks easily, or isn’t staying as moisturized as it should, you should first try to fix these issues. You want your hair to be in the best possible shape when you start braiding your hair, and fixing the issues will help with that. Does your hair feel weak? Try and strengthen it with a protein treatment.

2 – Washing your hair

Before you start braiding, it is a good idea to remove any residue, give your scalp a scrub and make it as clean as you can. You can use a clarifiying shampoo for thist. Also don’t forget to condition your hair deeply afterwards so that you put some moisture back into your hair. 

3 – Condition more

If your hair needs it, you can also deep condition your hair. This way you can give your hair some extra strength and moisture before your start braiding your hair. Take a conditioner with some extra good ingredients for your hair (the ingredients that your hair needs to be in an exceptional state).

4 – Detangle your hair

We are almost there! When you’ve done the above, it is time for you to detangle your hair as much as possible. You want to do this because otherwise the one who sets the braids will comb your hair with a fine-toothed comb. These combs can cause some serious breakage in your natural hair. Save the pain and time and detangle your hair yourself!

Detangling your hair well is also very good to make sure the braids come out easily too!

You’re ready

After you’ve done all the above, you’re ready to start braiding!

Final thoughts

I hope you learned today that there are several possible answers to the question, “do you have to blow dry your hair to braid it?” Anyway, it’s helpful to know why or why not to blow dry your hair like that. 

I also hope that the pieces in this article about when and why not to blow dry before you start braiding your hair have helped you make the right choice for your hair!

Following this article, did you braid your hair? If so, let me see it! Send a picture to me (via the contact form). I love to see every result!