When I was much younger, anytime I writhed in pain while having my hairdo, my mom would say to me, “It’s not easy to look beautiful, Victoria. Beauty comes with its price; pain is one of it and you must be ready to endure if you really want that hairdo.” Truly, it’s so. It’s one thing to choose any of the types of African braids, it’s another to sit, have it done and endure the pain. But if there really is no gain without pain, how about you learn how to relieve pain from tight braids? This way, you save yourself from unnecessary headaches whenever you wear these hairstyles?
Why Learn How to Relieve Pain from Tight Braids?
Imagine coming back from the salon and realising that when you laugh it feels like your scalp is protesting? That’s what happens when you wear braids that are too tight.
Why then should you avoid tight braids in the first place, or at least, know how to relieve pain from tight braids? The answer isn’t far-fetched. Read on:
1. They Can Lead to Hair Loss
Braids that are too tight often result in a condition called traction alopecia. This is a condition whereby you lose your hair as a result of chronic pulling in the form of tight braids. For example, after wearing the beautiful hair, you loosen it and realise your edges are gone.
Oops! That’s bad.
2. You can Fall Sick
You know, your hairstylist can actually make you look beautiful without making those braids tight. If you think otherwise, you stand the chance of feeling a headache which can even make you fall sick as a result of pain.
3. They Make Your Hair Weak
Regular pulling of your hair to achieve tight braids won’t just make your hair break, it’ll also weaken your hair. And this means that your hair will be prone to damage in the form of split ends and breakage. If you don’t want that to be your lot and you really like that hairstyle, you have to learn how to relieve pain from tight braids. This way, you don’t sacrifice the health of your hair for a fleeting, beautiful coiffure.
How to Prevent Tight Braids
As they say, prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, before you go ahead to see how to relieve pain from tight braids, how about you learn how to prevent tight braids in the first place?
1. Talk to Your Stylist
You’re paying for the hair, aren’t you? So, don’t be afraid to open your mouth and complain to your stylist if their hands are too tight on your scalp. Let them know it hurts. Let them know you value your edges and you don’t want to hurt them. Let them know your hair means a lot to you and you can’t afford to lose it to tight braids.
Once you air your grievances to your hairstylist, they’ll make adjustments immediately if your satisfaction is their priority.
In addition, you should speak up once you notice the braids are tight. Don’t wait for it to be all over before you talk.
2. Never Go Back to a Hairdresser who Braids too Tight
For the sake of your hair, don’t return to any stylist whose hands make you feel pains. If after doing the first point above and they don’t make adjustments, just know they don’t deserve your patronage. Simply check out a better stylist who’ll do your hair according to your taste and needs.
3. Settle for Another Hairstyle
If you know you can’t stand the stress of braids, then settle for another look that won’t give you headache. Life is that easy; we just make it complicated with the decisions we take sometimes. However, if you still want a braided look, then ensure you adhere to the aforementioned tips.
How to Relieve Pain from Tight Braids
Here we are.
If you’re currently on braids or you plan to have this hairdo soon, here are simple ways on how to relieve pain from tight braids:
1. Apply Leave-in Conditioner to the Root of Your Braids
To reduce tension and tightness around your scalp, apply leave-in conditioner to the base of your braids. Then use your fingers to massage the conditioner into your scalp.
Furthermore, you can also put your leave-in conditioner in the refrigerator for about five minutes before applying it to the roots of your braids and your scalp. The cooling sensation you get from this will relieve the pain immediately.
2. Massage with Hot or Cold Water
You must have noticed that most hairdressers do this on any braided hairstyle. They mostly apply hot water to the tip of the braids to reduce the weight and then massage the root with hot water too. This is because when you apply heat to attachment, they become elastic, thus relieving pains. And if you use hot water to massage the root of your braids, you loosen the hold at the root and cause it to relax.
Make sure you do this with a towel. Don’t let anyone pour hot water on your hair; not even you or your stylist.
However, if you can’t stand the heat from hot water, opt for cold water. You or your stylist can soak a towel in cold water and use it to massage the base of your braids. This will relieve pain instantly. Plus, you can always do this yourself in your house.
3. Use a Bobby Pin
You can as well use a Bobby pin to loosen tight braids. This is how to go about it:
Press the Bobby pin at the middle so both tips can touch each other. Afterwards, slide it into the root of your hair making sure that it’s close to your scalp. When you slide it in, don’t pull it back. Rather, slide the pin back and forth as though you are scratching your hair. Do this with the entire body and not the tip. In addition, do this three or four times before repeating the process on other braids.
Be careful not to pull the pin but rather slide it. This is because sliding ensures that you don’t pull out hair strands while at it. It is also a good tip on how to relieve pain from tight braids.
4. Don’t Style Your Braids as Updo
One good thing about African braids is that you can style them as you like. While this is exciting, if your braids are tight, be careful of the way you pack your hair. To be specific, avoid updos up until several days go by after getting the hair done.
This is because when you put your hair in a bun or in an updo fashion, you inadvertently increase the tightness. In other words, you feel more pain. To avoid this, after getting your braids done, wear it loosely for days. You can let it hang loosely around your shoulders. However, if you want to keep them off your face, use any of the types of hair accessories such as scrunchies or scarves to tie them in a low ponytail.
5. If You Can’t Deal with the Pain, Get Rid of the Braids
I know right. The title of this post said you can relieve pain from tight braids without loosening your hair. But then, if it’s not something you can handle, why don’t you just let it go? At least, for the sake of your mental health?
Of course, your money is involved and that’s why you should use all the tips we’ve given you to salvage the situation. Or better still, remove the braids if you find it difficult to handle the pains.
If you choose to remove them, it must mean you’ve resolved not to do business with that particular stylist who put you through the stress. They made you waste your money even after you learnt how to relieve pain from tight braids.
Don’t let this be your lot. Prevent the tight braids now or relieve the pain from the tightness yourself.