What To Do When Your Braids Are Too Tight


Braids are a beautiful and perfect way to protect your natural hair from constant manipulation. However, there can be a downside to braiding hair: too much tension. When your braids are too tight, you will feel pain. This pain could last for days and you may notice small bumps around your hairline that weren’t there before you braided the hair.

The truth is, beauty should not hurt. If your head hurts and you are in pain because you braided your hair, then your braids have been braided too tightly or they added too much extension to your hair. In either case, this is not good for the future of your edges.

The possible reason for some hairstylists to make your braids very tight is for the braids to last long but tight braids are bad news for your hair, hairline, and scalp. Medium tension is better for styling braids, they may not last as long as tight braids but you will be saving yourself a lot of pain and your hairline from thinning out.

If you have ever been a victim of tight, migraine-inducing braids, there are ways to alleviate the pain and also eliminate the potential damage tight braids could do to your hairline.

1. Wear your braids down: 

For the sake of your hairline, please do not wear your hair up in a bun or ponytail immediately after making them. Try as much as possible not to manipulate the braids by styling them into a ponytail or trying to style them at all. Wearing your braids down will help to loosen tension. It also ensures that the root or scalp is not tugged at for a period of time.

2. Use warm water: 

If your braids are too tight and painful, you can use warm water to alleviate the pain. You should either wet a washcloth with warm water and gently press it to your scalp or run your hair under warm water to loosen the braids up a bit. You should not worry about how much you paid to make the braids or how long you sat down to get the braids done. Be concerned about loosening the braids because this will cause hair thinning, breakage, and possibly hair loss in the short run.

3. Massage your scalp: 

Try to massage your scalp as it is not only stimulating but soothes tension. A quick scalp massage can increase blood circulation which in turn, alleviates the pain on your scalp. I usually apply this hair growth oil to my braids once I have them on. Gently massage in hair oil of your choice into the area where the pains are too much. You can either use an applicator cap to apply directly to your scalp or apply the oil to your fingertips before getting in-between your braids to rub it in for few minutes.

4. Apply Leave-in conditioner: 

With tight braids, your scalp feels the bulk of your braids. If your scalp is too dry, consider applying a leave-in conditioner to soothe the area and loosen up the braids. Be conscious of the amount of leave-in you are applying to your scalp to avoid build-up. A leave-in spray can also be used on the scalp.

5. Discuss with the hairstylist:

If the hair is hurting too much while she was making it, talk to her. Ask her to ease up on how she’s holding the root of your hair. It is easier to get them to take out the braids and redo any braid that is too tight during your appointment than when all the braids are done. It is also advisable to talk about how much tension should be used on your hair with the stylist even before she starts braiding your hair.

6. Remove the braids: 

I have done this more than twice with different stylists. Once the braids are tight and painful, I take them out. Sis; it’s not a do-or-die affair. If the braids are unbearably tight and painful, kindly take them out to avoid damaging your hairline. You may wonder why this is an option after sitting down for hours to get your braids done but tight braids are not normal. Do not subject yourself to unnecessary pain because of beauty. Tight braids will thin out your hairline. After removing the tight braids, apply hair oil to your scalp to soothe the pains, then go in with a leave-in conditioner to calm your scalp.

7. Stay away from tight braiders: 

Some braiders are well known for using muscles while braiding hair. I mean, this is not war, sister take it easy. Lol. If you happen upon such hair braiders once, do your hair a favor and stay far away from them. Your hair is delicate and should be handled that way.

Tight braids can cause permanent damage to your hairline and scalp, therefore try to avoid it at all cost.

What’s your recent tight braid experience and what did you do to alleviate the pains? Let’s read you in the comment section.