Braids are a popular hairstyle for many people, particularly those with textured hair. They offer a low-maintenance, protective style that can be worn for weeks at a time. However, tight braids can often lead to a sore, itchy scalp. In this article, we’ll explore the causes of sore scalps and provide tips on how to soothe the discomfort.
What Causes Sore Scalp?
A sore scalp is usually caused by tension or pulling on the hair follicles. When braids are pulled tightly, they can cause inflammation of the scalp and pain. Some other factors that can contribute to the sore scalp from tight braids include:
- Overly tight braids: Braids that are too tight can put excessive tension on the scalp, causing pain and discomfort.
- Heavy hair extensions: When hair extensions are used to add length or volume to braids, the extra weight can pull on the hair and cause scalp soreness.
- Long-duration wear: Wearing braids for an extended period can also contribute to scalp soreness.
- Improper braiding techniques: If the braids are not done correctly or the tension is not distributed evenly, it can lead to soreness and pain.
- Allergic reaction: Rarely, some people may have an allergic reaction to the hair extensions or braiding materials used, which can cause itching, inflammation, and soreness.
Ten Tips for Soothing a Sore Scalp from Tight Braids
Too-tight braids are a major contributing factor to scalp pain, yet there are clear telltale symptoms when a braid is fitted too tightly:
A long-lasting, excruciating pain that is occasionally accompanied by distracting headaches that can last for a very long time. Moreover, there are also tiny white bumps near your hairline and at the nape of your neck.
If you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms, don’t worry. The following advice will help you manage your pain and discomfort:
1. Use a Soothing Scalp Treatment
Once the braids are removed, it’s important to use a soothing scalp treatment to calm any inflammation and reduce discomfort. Look for products that contain natural ingredients such as tea tree oil, peppermint, or aloe vera. These ingredients have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce itching and irritation.
Scalp soothing treatments such as After All: Scalp Soothing Care Treatment are a real deal when it comes to relieving braids pain and easing discomfort.
2. Apply a Warm Compress
A warm compress can help to increase blood flow to the scalp and reduce inflammation. Soak a towel in warm water and wring out the excess water. Place the warm towel over the scalp and hold it in place for 10-15 minutes. Repeat this process several times a day to help soothe the scalp.
3. Avoid Scratching the Scalp
Scratching the scalp can further irritate it and lead to further discomfort. Instead, use your fingertips to gently massage the scalp. This can help to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation.
4. Moisturize the Scalp and Hair
When the scalp is sore, it’s important to keep it moisturized to prevent further dryness and irritation. Use a lightweight oil such as jojoba or argan oil to moisturize the scalp and hair. This will help to reduce flakiness and prevent further itching.
Massaging the oils to the scalp is not only soothing but it stimulates blood circulation to the hair follicles and facilitates healthy hair development.
5. Apply Tea Tree Oil
The antifungal and antibacterial properties of tea tree oil make it useful for cleaning the scalp and preventing dandruff. It helps to eliminate excess oil and grime from the scalp, making it particularly useful for persons with oily or acne-prone skin.
While wearing braids, tea tree oil can be a terrific all-natural approach to cleaning and calming your scalp. Spray your entire head with a mixture of tea tree oil and water that is around a 1:1 ratio, making sure to do so frequently in between washes and for up to a few days after getting your hair braided, which is when the scalp is most sensitive.
6. Wear Your Hair Down
The first course of action should be to refrain from wearing your braids up for a few days if they are excessively tight. You will have more discomfort if you style your hair in any way other than totally down, such as a ponytail, bun, or updo. You reduce the strain on your scalp by wearing your hair down.
7. Apply Heat Using A Hair Steamer
Another fantastic method for easing some scalp strain is to apply moist heat to the braids. Using a hair steamer is the simplest way to heat your braids.
This not only reduces stress but also allows for better absorption of moisture by opening the pores on the scalp. This is useful for keeping your scalp healthy as well as for relaxing braids.
8. Use A Leave-In Conditioner
A lesser-known approach to easing the pain from tight braids is to use a leave-in conditioner. Applying it to your scalp and hair roots may cause an immediate pain reduction.
However, it’s important to be aware that using too much leave-in conditioner at the roots might be harmful. This frequently results in the accumulation of residue, which can weigh down your roots and make your braids look grubby.
Spray the leave-in conditioner onto your hands first rather than your scalp to prevent overusing it. Leave-in conditioners also help in providing all-day long hydration and maintaining hair health.
9. Remove the Braids
Removing the braids is an essential step to take when using effective treatments but still experiencing a sore scalp caused by tight braiding. To stop further harm to the scalp and hair, you should take this action as soon as you can. If you don’t feel confident taking out the braids on your own, ask a stylist if they can help.
You are not a wimp if you experience pain and remove your braids; in fact, you are doing the right thing regardless of any potential pain that results from spending money and time on those braids.
You must never go back to the hairdresser who puts in excessively tight braids or any of such, and always makes inquiries and sees reviews before booking an appointment.
10. Take a Break from Styling
If you’re prone to a sore scalp from tight braids, it’s important to take a break from styling. Give your scalp and hair a chance to rest and recover. This can help to prevent further damage and promote healthy hair growth.
Keep in mind that installing box braids might not be the best option for you if you are tender-headed. If you must, let your stylist know the position of your hair and ask for looser braids—but not so loose that your hair becomes a frizz ball after two weeks or so tight that your scalp aches. It simply must blend in.
A sore scalp from tight braids can be a painful and uncomfortable condition. However, with the right care and treatment, it can be soothed and healed.
If you’re experiencing a sore scalp from tight braids, follow the tips outlined in this article to help reduce the discomfort and promote healthy hair growth. Remember to always choose a stylist who is experienced in braiding and communicating if you feel the braids are too tight.