how long to dip braids in hot water

Learning how long to dip braids in hot water can be the difference between adequately cleaned braids and damaged braids.

Everyone desires a set of show-stopping braids that can be worn anywhere and always look amazing.

Therefore, it is important to start with a high-quality braid and maintain it with regular cleaning and moisturizing.

While you have to pay attention to various aftercare guidelines, you can help maintain your braids simply by dipping them in hot water.

The problem is that if you overdo it, you may further damage your braids. So, what is the right duration for dipping braids in hot water?

You should dip your braids for no longer than 3 minutes to ensure they are not damaged because of hot water.

Tip: Always ensure your braids are not too tight or you may damage your hair and develop serious discomfort. 

How Long To Dip Braids In Hot Water For Cleaning?

dipping braids for cleaning

You cannot argue about the fact that braids are popular, and they are quite practical too.

First, they protect your hair from the damaging effects of friction and manipulation, and second, they can persist for weeks.

Furthermore, if you want your hair to grow longer quickly, braids are the way to go.

Why Do You Dip Braids In Hot Water?

One drawback with braids, though, is that they often come undone at the ends.

If you do not fix it, the entire braid may become untangled, requiring you to start over.

One of many ways to keep your braids from unraveling is to steam them or simply “dip them in hot water.”

Hot water (as opposed to warm or cold water) is best for maintaining straight, frizz-free braid ends and preventing unraveling.

It is a quick and simple method for settling freshly-done braids or revitalizing existing ones.

How Long Should You Dip Braids In Hot Water?

dip braids in hot water

Steaming your braids is an excellent technique to give them new life and boost their volume. Your braids will have a beautiful wavy appearance after doing this.

Your braids will need to be soaked in hot water for three minutes after you undo the ends.

All you have to do is use some braid spray afterward and wait for them to dry to flaunt those locks.

What To Do If Your Braids Feel Tangled After Dipping?

After dipping for long enough, the ends should not look raggedy.

If that is the case, you may consider dipping them in the same water as long as it is hot.  But this time, you should take a towel and use it to pull the braids out of the water. 

If that works, then everything will be fine.

But, if the problem persists, it may have something to do with the quality of your braids. 

Tip: Use essential oils for a thorough scalp massage to soothe tension and improve blood circulation.

How To Dip Braids In Hot Water Properly?

how to dip braids properly

It is frustrating to spend so much money and time getting your hair braided only to have those ends get frizzy, unravel, and curl in.

Thankfully, you can seal and straighten your gorgeous braids with a simple technique called “dipping.”

The whole process does not take longer than 15 minutes and is safe to do soon after getting your hair braided. 

Step #1: Dab The Ends With Glue

While it is optional, you may still want to consider doing it for better results.

For this, you can use super glue or nail glue to provide the braids’ ends with extra-staying power. 


These glues cure in a fraction of the time of traditional glues, but still ensure the braids are dry before immersing them.

Never use glue on your natural hair. If you decide to use this method, apply the product only to the ends.

Also, remember that you may need to snip off the excess when you pull out your braids. 

Step #2: Get The Water To A Boil

boiling water

All you need is hot water. It does not matter if you heat it in a bowl in the microwave, decide to use a tea kettle, or go with a pot on the stove. 

Step #3: Pour The Water Into A Plastic Bowl

Now, carefully fill a plastic bowl with hot water.

Put on an oven mitt or a cloth to ensure you do not end up burning yourself.

Also, avoid using containers made of glass or thin plastic, as they can break easily when exposed to boiling water.  


It is a good idea to add a couple of drops of baby oil into the bowl to give a nice shine to your braids. 

Step #4: Section Your Hair

If your bowl is too small to accommodate your braids at once, consider dividing them into sections.

Working in sections can be easier than treating all your braids at once. But, it ultimately depends on how thick your braids are. 


section your hair

To handle it properly, start at the bottom and tie up half of your hair first. Or, finish the right side entirely before moving on to the left side. 

Step #5: Dip Them Nicely

Alternately submerge and re-emerge the tips of your braids in the container.

Submerge the braids as far as possible; you have to go deeper to truly make your braids come out smooth.

There is no single “correct” rhythm to follow because everyone has their own preferences.

If you rinse your braids by dipping them in and out of water 4-5 times for ten seconds each time, go with it.


Be sure to protect your hair while handling the braids in hot water. When doing this for someone else, place a towel on their shoulders for protection and avoid spilling water. 

Step #6: Get Your Braids Out

Squeeze and pull on your braids with a dry cloth to remove excess water.

You may consider wrapping your braids in a towel after dipping the ends in the water. Do not forget to pull them down if you want to make your braids straighter.

dry hair in towel

You should rinse and re-braid until you can barely notice any water. 


Be super careful with this step because the pull and stretching can save your braids from getting matted. 

Step #7: Finish With Brushing

If you are worried about tangles in your unglued, moist braids, simply brush the ends.

This is not a problem if your braids are finished all the way or if you glued them shut.

However, brushing the ends of your unbraided hair can help maintain it straight. Opt for a hard bristle brush for good results.

Tip: Take a pain-reliever if you feel discomfort immediately after braiding your hair but talk to your stylist if the pain persists.

What Other Than Dipping In Hot Water Helps Maintain Braids?

maintain your braids

To ensure you continue using your braids for long without affecting their quality, you need to pay attention to proper aftercare guidelines.

Dipping in hot water will help them look tidy, but here is what else you can do to maintain your braids. 

Remember To Moisturize The Scalp

You should not expect your natural hair to thrive if you neglect your scalp. And it defeats the whole purpose of using a protective hairstyle in the first place.

You should use a daily or bi-daily moisturizer along your part lines and select an oil that suits your scalp and skin.

Do not forget to pick up a suitable braid spray to facilitate your work. You can always use the oil to lock in the moisture. 

Use Gentle Shampoos

For healthy hair and a clean scalp, it is essential to follow a regular cleansing routine that also takes care of the hair itself.

shampoo hair

You may want to use a clarifying shampoo every few weeks to keep your braids in good condition.

You have to concentrate on the roots to get rid of the buildup of debris on the scalp, but be gentle, or else you may mess up the braids. 

Tie It Down

We realize that box braids are a popular trend for women who are always on the go, but please remember to secure your hair.

It is a good idea to wrap yourself in a satin or silk scarf before bed.

Not only will it help you keep your edges set, but it will also prevent your hair from tangling while you snooze.

Remember to secure your hair the same way you would if it were not braided.

Check for the alternatives at your local beauty supply store for nighttime headgear designed specifically for braided and twisted styles.

tie hair braids
Tip: Do not leave your braids in hot water for too long or it will damage your natural hair and dehydrate it. 


Keeping your braids in perfect condition is essential, but that is when you have to learn how long to dip braids in hot water. 

Dipping is an important part of proper aftercare, but do not go overboard and learn to follow each step correctly. 

But, do not stop at dipping alone because steps, like moisturizing and shampooing, are equally important.

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