Don't Let Your Boho Braids Turn Into Dreadlocks! Keep Them Detangled

Boho braids are one of the hottest protective hairstyles right now. With their effortlessly chic, bohemian vibe, it’s no wonder so many people are jumping on the boho braid trend. However, as gorgeous as these braids may look when first installed, they do require some TLC to keep them from morphing into a matted, tangled mess.

If you want your boho braids to maintain their beautiful and “undone” look, you’ll need to establish a regular detangling routine. While it may seem tedious at first, getting into the habit of thoroughly detangling your boho braids is the only way to prevent them from locking into messy dreadlocks. With some knowledge of proper products, techniques and maintenance tips, keeping your boho braids tangleless is easy.

Why Boho Braids Tangle So Easily

In order to keep your boho braids from tangling, it’s helpful to understand why they matt and knot in the first place. There are a few key reasons these braids tangle faster than other protective styles:

The Braiding Pattern

Boho braids are styled into free-flowing, uneven plaits that are intentionally loose. By design, the looseness means the braids can easily rub up against each other, creating knots and tangles. The random braiding pattern also encourages tangling as the ends twist and wrap around each other.

Hair Texture

Those with highly textured hair may find their boho braids tangle faster. Kinky, curly and coily hair textures naturally have a tendency to twist up and around themselves. When sectioned into loose boho braids, this can lead to easier matting.

Hair Length

Boho braids are usually left long and loose well past the shoulders. The longer your boho braids are, the more likely they’ll tangle towards the ends. There are simply more inches for the hair to knot up on itself.

Product Buildup

As boho braids start to get product buildup from gels, creams and oils, this residue accumulates and causes matting. Lack of proper cleansing while wearing the braids exacerbates the issue over time.

Friction During Sleeping

Friction while you toss and turn at night can cause massive tangles by morning. The back braids especially tend to knot as they rub against your bedding and back while you sleep.

Now that you know why boho braids tangle so easily, let’s get into the best ways to keep them tangle-free!

tangled hair

How To Prevent Boho Braid Tangles

Maintaining your boho braids to prevent matting and dreads involves consistently detangling them throughout the duration you wear the style. This ensures knots don’t have a chance to set in and tighten over time. Here are some key tips:

Deep Condition The Braids

One of the best things you can do is regularly deep condition your boho braids while you have them installed. The moisture and nutrients will help the hair stay smooth and less prone to tangling. Focus the deep conditioner on the ends where tangles most often form.

Thoroughly Detangle After Washing

Always allot time to fully detangle your boho braids after every wash. Start detangling from the bottom ends and make your way up to the roots. Use a wide-tooth comb, brush or your fingers to gently remove every knot.

Sleep With a Silk Bonnet or Pillowcase

Silk minimizes friction against the braids while you sleep, preventing wake-up tangles. A silk bonnet or pillowcase allows the braids to smoothly glide rather than getting pulled and tangled.

Lightly Mist Braids with Water

If your boho braids start to tangle or mat throughout the day, lightly misting them with water can help smooth them out. The water resets the hair and makes knots easier to remove. Just don’t oversaturate.

Avoid Too Much Product

While oils and styling creams help seal in moisture, using too much will lead to buildup and matting. Use products sparingly on your boho braids to avoid this.

Regularly Inspect and Detangle Braids

Aim to check your braids every 1-2 days and detangle as needed. Don't allow knots to set and tighten. Frequently removing knots prevents them from getting unmanageable.

Braid Loose Ends Together

Section off the very ends of your boho braids and braid them together loosely. This helps keep them from unraveling and twisting into knots.

tangled hair

Best Products for Detangling Boho Braids

Having the right products to loosen knots and tangles makes a huge difference. Here are some must-have detangling solutions for boho braids:

Leave-In Conditioners

Lightweight leave-ins with ingredients like glycerin, aloe vera and argan oil help hydrate braids and make detangling easier. Some top options are Kinky Curly Knot Today, Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In and Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In.

Detangling Sprays

These specially formulated sprays contain emollients that lubricate and loosen knots in bohemian braids. Some well-loved detangling sprays for braids include Tangle Teezer The Ultimate Detangler, Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Detangling Spray and Design Essentials Natural Daily Detangling Spray.

Oil Blends

Natural oils like coconut, olive, avocado and almond oils gently help to loosen knots when applied before detangling sessions. You can DIY your own oil blend or use premade hair oils like CAMILLE ROSE Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter or Mielle Organics Mongongo Oil.

How To Detangle Matted Boho Braids

If a lack of regular detangling has allowed your boho box braids to become tightly matted, don’t panic. While very challenging knots take patience and care to remove, you can restore your braids to their original smoothness. Follow these steps:

Prep the Hair

Start by softening the knots and hair with an overnight pre-poo of coconut oil. Then, shampoo the braids with a moisturizing cleanser. Smooth on a hydrating mask or deep conditioner, add a plastic cap and let it penetrate the hair for 30-60 minutes.

Section the Braids

Part your hair into four sections to make the process more manageable. Start with the back braids first as that area faces the most tangling.

Saturate with Detangler

Liberally mist the section you’re working on with a detangling spray or water to thoroughly saturate the knots. Let it soak in for 2-5 minutes so the product can penetrate. Reapply frequently.

Gently Remove Knots with Fingers

Use your fingers to very slowly pick apart and loosen the knots, working in small sections no bigger than 1 inch. Take your time and be extremely gentle to avoid breakage.

Follow Up with a Wide-Tooth Comb

Once the knots have been broken up with fingers, go through each braid with a wide-tooth comb starting at the ends. Again, be gentle and don’t rush this step to avoid ripping hair.

Moisturize the Hair

After detangling, smooth a moisturizing leave-in and oil over the braids to rehydrate. Braid together any loose ends. Set your maintenance schedule to regularly repeat detangling steps 1-2 times a week moving forward.

While removing severe boho braid knots takes time and care, staying on top of it ensures you maintain the beautiful, carefree look of this stylish protective braid style.

braided wigs

When To Take Down Boho Braids

To truly keep your boho braids from locking into one giant knotted mess, know when it's time to take them down. Plan to remove boho braids after 6-8 weeks max. Any longer and the amount of shedding and matting reaches unmanageable levels.

When you notice your boho knotless braids looking overly fuzzy, frizzy or shrunken, that's your sign it's definitely time for removal. Other red flags include extreme difficulty detangling knots or seeing broken hairs when you detangle.

Some people can stretch well-maintained boho braids to 10 weeks, but err on the side of caution. Damaged ends and excessive matting become unavoidable after 2 months.

If you’re looking to transition your boho braids into another protective style, braided wigs make the perfect follow-up. These allow you to give your natural hair a break underneath while maintaining a boho braid look externally. Popular braided wig styles include faux goddess locs, jumbo braids and half-up half-down braids.

Maintain Your Boho Braids

Achieving beautifully chic, tangleless boho braids over their lifespan is simple with consistent maintenance. Take the time to properly detangle after washing, sleep with silk protection, moisturize often and gently remove knots as they form. Set aside weekly dedicated time to care for your boho braids.

With this proactive braid care routine, you'll keep your boho braids looking fabulously fresh long after installation day. So go ahead and install those breezy, boho braids without fear of ending up with one giant knotted dread. Use these tips and you can rock the braided style you love with peace of mind.

boho box braid


Boho braids are the epitome of chic, carefree styling. But without proper maintenance, these braids can quickly become an unmanageable, knotted mess. By establishing a regular detangling routine, using the right products, and taking preventative measures, keeping your boho braids smooth and tangle-free is totally achievable. Put in the time and care to nourish and detangle your boho braids, and you’ll be able to flaunt your stylish plaits for weeks on end.

uBraids is a brand under the JALIZA Wig Store that specializes in creating high-quality braided wigs for black women. The wigs are designed to emulate beautiful bohemian braid styles like small box braids, knotless braids, and half-up half-down braids. uBraids uses quality synthetic fibers and innovative construction methods to produce braided wigs that are natural-looking, long-lasting, and easy to maintain.

Whether you want braided wigs as a protective follow-up to installed boho braids or simply love the look of breezy boho braids, uBraids has options to match your style. Browse the brand's collection on the JALIZA website to explore the variety of boho braid wigs available.

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