Best Braid Sprays

Updated November 2020
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

35 Models Considered
12 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best braid sprays

When you interlace multiple strands of hair in a particular pattern, you create a braid. At one time, braid patterns were used to express a wealth of information, such as an individual's age, marital status, social position, religion, and more. Today, when someone wears braids, it’s to make a style or fashion statement. To help keep braided hair healthy, clean, itch-free, and fresh smelling, you need to use a quality braid spray.

While braids may seem like they would be an easy style to take care of, there are a number of challenges that, if disregarded, could damage both the hair and the scalp. Braid spray was developed to address these issues.

If you'd like to learn a little about hair care, braiding, and what to look for in a braid spray, keep reading. If you just stopped by for a few recommendations, consider the braid sprays that we've spotlighted on this page.

I1 
While it’s important to wash and condition your hair (and extensions) before braiding, only begin braiding after your hair is fully dry.

Key considerations

Why use braid spray?

When your hair is twisted into braids, you can’t brush your hair or wash it as easily. While that might not be an issue if you’re only wearing a French braid for an evening, if you wear your hair in braids every day, you’re going to want to use braid spray for a variety of reasons. Here are the top reasons to use braid spray:

  • To add or enhance the natural sheen of your hair
  • To keep braided hair soft and conditioned
  • To increase the amount of time you can wear braids
  • To moisturize hair and scalp to help keep your hair healthy
  • To reduce friction and protect your braided hair from damage
  • To ease some of the tension on too-tight braids
  • To reduce itching
  • To get rid of the buildup around roots
  • To add a gentle fragrance
  • To reduce breakage that normally occurs when removing braids

Before you braid

To get the best results and keep your braided hair healthy, you need to prepare your hair. Properly preparing your hair before braiding not only makes the process easier, but it may also enable you to wear the braids for a longer period of time.

Clean your scalp: You want to start with the cleanest scalp possible, so it's best to remove all dirt, oil, and other buildup around the hair follicles. If you have clogged or damaged pores, it can stunt hair growth and make it harder for braid spray to penetrate your scalp.

Deep condition your hair: Once your hair is braided, you won't be washing it as much, so it’s vital that your hair is moisturized before you braid it. First use a deep-conditioning treatment (including balancing your hair's pH) to make sure your hair is as healthy as possible.

Dyk1
Did You Know?
Hair grows from the roots, not the ends.
Staff
BestReviews

Features

Braid spray and your hair

Not all braid sprays are the same. The following is a list of what a braid spray may be able to do for your hair. When shopping, choose the one that has the best features for your needs.

Moisturizes: One of the primary functions of a quality braid spray is to moisturize your hair without weighing it down. Moisture is the key to keeping your hair healthy so there is less breakage when braiding or unbraiding your hair.

Prevents buildup: Since you won’t be washing your braided hair as often, oil and bacteria can create buildup around the roots when you have braids. The best braid sprays have ingredients such as tea tree oil to help fight bacteria buildup to keep hair clean and healthy.

Relieves itching: A common problem with braids is an itchy scalp. If this is a concern for you, look for a braid spray that indicates it provides itch relief.

Refreshes: Besides providing itch relief, some braid spray formulations leave a cool, refreshing tingle, like what mouthwash does for your mouth. If you'd like that crisp feel, look for a braid spray that can deliver.

Softens hair: Softening hair isn’t just for aesthetics. Braids put your hair and scalp under tension, which can hurt your scalp and damage your hair. A braid spray that softens hair also reduces tension and helps soothe a sore scalp.

Adds luster: Shiny hair looks and feels healthy.

Maintains proper pH: If your hair has a healthy pH level, the cuticles can better retain natural oils and moisture. A healthy pH adds elasticity to your hair, helps guard against breakage, and can even help protect your hair from bacteria and fungi.

Adds fragrance: Some individuals prefer a braid spray that infuses braids with a pleasant scent. But scent is personal, so check user reviews to see if the fragrance is as advertised.

Omits chemicals: Not all braid sprays use all-natural ingredients, especially medicated versions. If it’s important to you to use an all-natural product, read the label carefully.

Is synthetic safe: If you wear synthetic extensions, make sure the braid spray you’re considering is safe for use on synthetics.

Contains nutrients: With all the attention you’re putting on moisturizing, don’t forget the importance of nourishing your hair with vitamins and minerals.

Fights dandruff: If you have dandruff, look for a braid spray that can help treat that condition.

Container

Nozzle: If you purchase the best product that has everything you need but it doesn't apply easily because of the nozzle, you aren’t going to get the most out of your braid spray. Check consumer reviews for notes on the nozzle.

Quantity: While most braid sprays come in 12-ounce bottles, some bottles are considerably smaller. Check the fine print in the listing.

The most important thing you can do to care for your hair while wearing braids is to keep it hydrated with a quality braid spray.

Staff
BestReviews

Braid spray prices

Inexpensive: If you find a bottle of braid spray that costs less than $6 or $7, chances are it's a small bottle of less than 12 ounces. Budget braid spray may also include fewer active ingredients and only be formulated to tackle a single issue, such as itching.

Mid-range: In most instances, a mid-range braid spray is formulated to be effective for a broad range of conditions. The right product can moisturize and enrich hair while reducing itch. These cost roughly $8 to $10.

Expensive: Spend more than $12 per bottle and the braid sprays feature higher-quality, natural ingredients. Also, these braid sprays may have a medicated formula to help treat a condition such as dandruff. If you're considering an expensive braid spray, read the label to be certain you’re not paying for additives or formulas you don’t need.

Dyk2.
Did You KNow?
If your scalp aches after braiding, the braids are causing too much tension on the roots and damaging them. Over time, this could lead to traction alopecia
Staff
BestReviews

Tips

Caring for braids isn't as easy as you might think. You can damage your hair if you don’t properly take care of it. Here are a few tips to keep your braided hair strong and healthy.

  • Minimize tension on the hair. Be careful about pulling on your braids, especially at first because they’re still very tight. Added tension can damage both the hair and the roots. Also, wearing heavy charms or beads on your braids can add to the tension on your scalp.
  • Keep hair trimmed. Cut off split and dried ends.
  • Hydrate your hair. To avoid breakage, keep your braids moist with shea butter, olive oil, or coconut oil.
  • Wash braided hair carefully. You want to minimize damaging friction when washing your braids. Soak your hair and apply diluted shampoo to the roots and gently work it down the braids. Rinse thoroughly. It can be tough to keep braids clean and fight bacteria buildup. The antifungal properties of a few drops of tea tree oil can help keep bacteria, yeast, and fungi from developing.
  • Dry braided hair carefully. Drying braids can be tricky. If you don’t have access to a bonnet hair dryer, use a blow dryer on a low setting held away from your hair. You can air-dry your hair, but it may take a day for some hair types to dry this way. It’s important to note that air-drying can be more damaging to your hair than using a blow dryer. Don’t go to bed with wet braids because this encourages the growth of mildew.
  • Apply braid spray correctly. Don’t hold the bottle too close to your hair when spraying. It’s better to gradually build up with a light mist than oversaturate with a heavy application.
i2
While it’s important to trim and neaten up your braids to keep them looking good for a short period of time, eventually this won't be effective. When braids look messy, it's time to let them go and give your hair a breather.

FAQ

Q. How long does it take to braid hair?

A. There are several factors that go into determining how long it takes to braid hair. For instance, the size and length of the braids affect the time it takes. Two thick braids might take a few minutes. Additionally, the skill of the person doing the braiding is also a factor. If it's your first time doing box braids, for example, it can take as long as 10 hours.

Q. How long can I keep my braids in?

A. The answer to this depends on your hair type and how healthy it is. An individual with thin, brittle hair should probably think twice about braids as a styling option. If you have healthy hair, the recommended maximum length of time to wear braids is two months. Even if you take exceptionally good care of your hair, after that amount of time most hair grows about an inch, so it will begin to tangle, knot up, or even break.

Q. Is it better to add human hair or synthetic hair to a braid?

A. Human hair braids are the most durable. They hold up better to product usage than synthetic hair. Human hair is more costly, however. If you're looking for a brief styling change, braids made from low-grade acrylic are a much more affordable option.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
See more

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey

Our Top Picks