I would keep it braided. But an old fashioned way to clean hair (learned from my Great aunt Grace born 1878) is to take you stiff bristle boar brush(very old fashioned) and wrap a light amount of gauze around the bristles. So they can still punch thru. Brush your hair firmly-the gauze pulls a lot of the oil out of the hair. You can also use baby powder(on deck-downwind) and sprinkle it at scalp-work in with fingers and again brush out.