One of the best things about being a black woman is the ability to rock braids; long or short, beautiful, colorful braids. Our hair texture, whether relaxed or straight, is the perfect type for a hairstyle that is so much more than an ode to our ancestors. It’s a remembrance of our homeland culture. Braids, in short, are everything!

They are considered a kind of protective style within the natural hair movement. If you are not familiar with the term, simply put, a protective style gives your hair a break. Braids are a tried and true way to do that. They are simple, fun and super versatile. You can really never go wrong with them. Except for when it comes to caring for braids. A lot of women don’t take the time to properly maintain the style or clean their scalps and that can cause problems. From smell to feel, to look, you have got to give your braids some attention.

Now you can wash your braids. That is perfectly fine as a lot of women do that. The main issue with doing so, however, is that it can age them before you’re ready to take them out. The best way to clean and maintain your braids and keep your scalp healthy is with oils and sprays.

So here are a few for you to try.

Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey Clarifying Scalp Treatment

This is a great product. Carol’s Daughter is a trusted name in the hair care community. Her line includes all kinds of products for a variety of needs. Thank goodness she has one for braids, giving them the benefits of a stellar brand. Her Mimosa Hair Honey Clarifying Scalp Treatment is the perfect scalp cleaner with its fragrance and effectiveness. It will cost you about $12.

Phyto Phytopolléine Botanical Scalp

This is a powerful product that will benefit your hair in a big way. With all of its botanical ingredients, Phyto Phytopolléine Botanical Scalp clarifies, soothes and calms the scalp, especially if it’s irritated or dry. It’s a good choice and will cost you $40 at Sephora.

Aesop Sage & Cedar Scalp Treatment

One of the things that many braid-wearers experience is a dry and flaky scalp. I don’t need to emphasize how embarrassing and irritating that can be. The best way to combat flakes as you wear your protective style is to keep your scalp moisturized. Aesop Sage & Cedar Scalp Treatment is ideal as the herb-infused oil hydrates in all the right places. This little piece of heaven will cost you about $35.

Curls Blueberry Bliss Hair Growth Oil

Formulated with blueberry extract, the Curls brand is an excellent option when it comes to the tools you should have in your hair regimen. Their Blueberry Bliss Hair Growth Oil repairs and restores your hair and is so good to your scalp. It has certified organic blueberry extract, pomegranate seed, Argan and gardenia flower in it and will cost you about $9.

Vernon Francois Scalp Nourishment Braids and Locs Spray

The goal when you have braids is to give your hair a break while also making it grow. Vernon Francois Scalp Nourishment Braids and Locs Spray is nice for this with its dry-finish. The non-greasy formula locks in moisture and works wonders on braids and locs. It will run you $24.

Braids are a fan favorite. Just as you take precautions and put effort into maintaining your hair without the braids, you have to do the same thing when you have them. It all goes a long way.