For those of us who prefer braids and weave, you know that a sore scalp is almost always guaranteed – it just comes with the territory. And of course, our go-to trick to help loosen tight braids is to give our scalp a little (love) tap. Except sometimes, even that doesn’t work. But who says that means you have to live with the pain? Certainly not!
Ok first things first, we need to expel a myth QUICK! Many women (guilty!) believe that the tighter we have our braids, the longer they’ll last. Makes sense, right? Wrong! The tighter the braids, the more tension on your scalp, which is the worst thing you can do to your head. It can cause pain, inflammation and even thinning or hair loss. So if you find that your braids are a little too tight mid-style, open your mouth and say something to your stylist, for the betterment of your scalp!
SPEAK UP TO YOUR STYLIST:
First things first, make sure you learn to communicate with your stylist at your appointment. Before you even weave the first braid, make sure you mention what you like and don’t like when styling your hair, including anything you might know about your own head of hair in particular, especially regarding breakage or pain. Be sure to point out concerns you may have, and ask for advice or suggestions. But most importantly, if it’s feeling painful mid-weave, say something to your stylist, before your entire head is finished.
No, we’re not talking about ditch-the-weave-and-rock-your-natural-curls, although we’re always supporters of that. We’re referring to opting for 100 percent human hair for your braids. The reason? Fake hair extensions are made of synthetic fibres that can irritate and inflame your scalp, especially because most faux hair tries to mimic the look and feel of real hair by using modacrylic fibres. While going au naturale is always the first preference, it’s definitely the more expensive option. But consider it an investment for your scalp!
OIL IT DOWN:
When it comes to making your braids more comfortable, oils are essential. In fact, using essential oils, especially ones like peppermint, lavender or castor oil, can help to sooth inflammation, cure itchiness and ease tightness. Massaging your head regularly increases blood circulation, which will help your hair with both pain relief and hydration – a total win/win! Oils like coconut or chamomile also contain ingredients that will help to sooth and condition your scalp, helping with relief and repair.
SPRAY, SPRAY, SPRAY:
When all else fails, there’s a product for that. Yes, thanks to the increase in black haircare companies over the years, there are a number of sprays available to take care of your hair – especially ones for scalp relief. Braid sprays help to ease the tightness by softening your hair, in turn slightly loosening the braids to make it a little more comfortable. There are also sprays especially made to sooth the scalp, using ingredients like lavender essential oils, tea tree oils, aloe vera and more.