Having a protective style can make hair care a bit easier. However, you can’t just put your hair away and abandon it. It’s not a “set it and forget it” style. There’s a small amount of work one should do to maximize the benefits of having braids. My maintenance routine has two major components: washing and moisturizing.
When I have braids installed, I usually wash and condition them every 2 weeks. My scalp normally has build-up at that time and shampooing gets rid of it for me. Some people use rubbing alcohol or methylated spirit and cotton balls to clean the scalp but I find it a bit too drying. For washing, I follow a similar method as Journey To Waist Length.
 Dilute shampoo in a spray bottle or any other container. I usually dilute it 1 part shampoo to 2 parts water.  Apply the diluted shampoo to your scalp. Use the pads of your fingers to rub the shampoo on your scalp. Rinse and repeat but the second time add some shampoo to the length of the braids.  Rinse the braids thoroughly. Then, applied diluted conditioner to the braids and keep it on for about 10 minutes.  Rinse again. Make sure all the conditioner is rinsed out. Squeeze out the excess water and towel dry. Leave to air dry. The braids will drip a bit so you may want to keep a towel around your shoulders to catch the excess water.  Once the braids are mostly dry, spray the hair with braid spray (protein and moisture based) and seal with oil. Tie a scarf around your head to prevent frizz
Moisturizing my hair when it’s in braids is very simple. I spray my hair with my braid spray. My braid spray is diluted Cantu Shea Butter Creamy Hair Lotion and African Pride Braid Sheen Spray. After spraying my hair, I seal it with oil. The oil you normally use for sealing in moisture works fine. I moisturize every few days. If the weather is dry, I will increase it to every day or every other day. In order to maintain a moisture-protein balance, I spray my hair with a protein-based leave-in at least once a week.
Having you hair in braids doesn’t mean you have to lose it all once you take it out. If you do some minor upkeep, your hair can flourish with this protective style.