For work the one day, I decided to put my braids in a mid-high bun. By the end of the day, I couldn’t understand where the pain in my scalp was coming from. I’m a little tender headed, but I don’t ever remember having any pain on my scalp, that when I touch it, it hurts. So a little worried, I tried loosening up my braids, with little relief. Even when I got home and undid the braid bun, my scalp was still sore. Another issue I had to deal with, was an itchy scalp, which I had foreseen happening.
So this is how I dealt with my box braid issues:
- Realised that the braid bun was
a horrible ideanot so great for my head. The hairstyle and it’s weight stresses my scalp even when its not tight.
- Made a spritz of 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar to 2 cups water mixed with a few drops of tea tree oil, sprayed it onto my scalp and massaged my head with the pads of my fingers. Apple cider vinegar, has many uses due to it’s healing and clarifying properties. The pain had disappeared within a few hours of using this spritz.
- Moisturised my hair after this, with a mixture of water, a little glycerine and leave in conditioner.
- I again used my apple cider vinegar spritz to clarify and remove whatever buildup I had. (Note that apple cider vinegar can make hair feel dry due to its clarifying and cleansing properties, so make sure to moisturise afterwards.)
- Mixed a few drops of tea tree oil with some castor oil, and applied it to my scalp. I massaged my scalp and the itchiness was gone!
Other issues of which, thankfully, I didn’t have:
Overly tight braids
- You will realise your braids are too tight, when there is a lot of pain or/and there are little bumps around your hairline.
- Try loosening them by running warm water through your braids concentrating on the scalp, then with an oil, such as coconut oil, try manually loosening them.
- Remove them. Seems drastic, but to prevent damage to your hair follicles, hair loss and traction alopecia, this might have to be done. Oh, then never go back to whoever did your hair that tightly.
- Remember your hairline is way more important than a style.
- It’s easy to think that taking care of hair in box braids just entails oiling or greasing the scalp, but this often can make the scalp’s pores blocked causing more dryness.
- Our hair LOVES water. It is the best moisturiser. That is why the best moisturising products contain AQUA as the first ingredient. Make sure you are moisturising your hair with water in a spritz or use a moisturising product, including on to the braid where your hair is.
With that said, a lot of issues that come with box braids are to do with upkeep. Not taking care of your hair, not cleaning and moisturising it properly while it’s braided. Oiling or greasing the scalp directly with products which contain petrolatum, lanolin, etc that promote buildup and don’t moisturise the hair.