How To Relieve Pain From Tight Braids And Soothe In 2024 – 7 Easy Steps

How To Relieve Pain From Tight Braids And Soothe In 7 Easy Steps

Step 5: Spray Some Braid Spray

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Braid spray can help soothe painful braidsBraid sprays are available for a variety of uses associated with the well-being and maintenance of healthy looking braids. There are those meant to relieve itching and dryness associated with braids, while others aid in braid removal.

Whichever braid spray you have in your possession, it can effectively offer relief to pain caused by tight braids. What it does is soften the hair making the braids healthier, looser and generally more comfortable.

There are also particular braid sprays that have been formulated to soothe the scalp. These sprays contain ingredients such as Aloe Vera, sulfur, tea tree oils or lavender essential oils.

If you have Aloe Vera gel or spray, you can also apply it directly on your roots. This should be done daily until the pain diminishes.

Step 6: Massage Your Scalp

Massaging brings scalp relief from tight braidsWant scalp relief from tight braids? Then gently massage the exposed parts of the scalp. This will relax your head muscles and bring a certain amount of relief and relaxation.

You can use essential oils such as tea tree oil or lavender which contain soothing properties. Ensure that you warm the oil before using it, then massage gently.

Be careful not to get carried away and spoil your braids. Ask for help if you can’t do it alone. That way, you can sit back and relax as you experience the relief you desperately need.

Step 7: Take Painkillers For Relief

If your braids are too tight and hurt use mild pain killersWhen all else fails, the best way to get rid of pain is by taking painkillers. However, if the pain is intense and you cannot handle it any longer, the best option is to undo the braids.

The pain indicates that there is immense stress on the hair roots which can lead to traction alopecia (hair loss resulting from stress or over manipulation of hair roots). Beauty comes at a price, but it should not be at the cost of having intense pain or causing permanent damage to your hair.

How To Relieve Pain From Tight Braids

Before I got, here’s one final tip. If you want the great look of braids but don’t want the tightness, you might want to try yarn braids.

As they’re made out of yarn, they’re generally not as painful as when you use 100% of your own hair. This won’t be for everyone, but it’s an option worth exploring.

Now it’s your turn. What are some of the experiences you’ve had with tight braids? What did you do to relieve the pain? Feel free to comment and share about your experience.

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143 Comments

    1. You should rub your fingers on your scalp with some leave in conditioner. Plus you should also do that because a healthy scalp contributes to your brain relaxing instead of it over reacting, and it gives you a longer lifetime.

    2. Thank you Kennedy. That worked for me. I thought I had to take them down but the patting worked for me also. Thanks a bunch. I have a tender head and everytime I get braids I have to take them back down. A waste of money but this time I tried your remedy and it actually worked. Thanks dear.

    3. This really did work. I have been tossing and turning for over an hour and decided to search the web for solutions and this one worked best for me. Thanks.

      1. I used the Suave Shea Butter leave-in conditioner and experienced immediate relief. Then I used a damp, warm towel and voila! Black girl magic!

    4. I’m shocked that worked! I didn’t doubt it, but it sounded a little silly. Thanks so much Kennedy, this helped a bunch! I was about to sleep without anything on my head to relieve the pain and waste 80 bucks, but this helped! Thanks!!

    5. Oooo yes that helped a lot I’m going to keep doing that and get my Qredew to steam them bad girls into relaxation because my roots are killing me.

    1. I just used regular “extra virgin olive oil” thank God my mother in law is Italian and she had some in her cupboard. INSTANT relief! This white girl was dying for three days! Lol.

  1. I just got faux locks installed and OMG I been home 20 minutes and the front of my head is killing me!!! HELP😈😈😈😈😢😢😢😢

    1. Thanks Apryl, your suggestion to use the olive oil sheen was a life saver. Thanks for helping a gal out before I totally lost my mind and took off my new braids – lol.

  2. I just got my hair braided yesterday at 12:30pm and now this morning at 3am I am unable to sleep. The braids are entirely too tight, I am literally on the verge if tears. I want to take them down but can’t because I paid $290 to get them done and I’ve been wanting them forever. I think I regret it. But getting to the point, I’m hoping these tips work 😭

    1. I concur. I picked up my daughter from her mother earlier today. It’s 3 am and she was in pain from the braids she received. She couldn’t sleep. I was almost about to take the braids out myself because my baby was in so much pain. She was trying to sleep sitting up! I am up at 3am googling ‘how can a concerned dad relieve braid stress’, lol! the hot towel worked really well and now she is asleep, snoring and I’m wide awake!! Thanks a million for the article.

      1. I feel you. My daughter was in tears. I never had braids but I wanted a protective style for soccer. I was about to take them out. Read about the hot towel. I had already added oil and given her Motrin. She said the relief was instant.

      2. WOW!! You are a FABULOUS Father!!! I know this was over a year ago. I got knotless braids yesterday. They are light as a feather and look Fabulous! Try these on your Daughter.

    2. You regret when you first get your braids but when a week passes you will love them. I got my hair done last night and it’s the next day. I couldn’t sleep either but in a week I will love them.

  3. I have a sew in I didn’t realize how tight it was. It hurt and throb so bad. I tried leave in conditioner and ibuprofen. Worked for a little while. I can’t even sleep. Help!

  4. I’m with you Thina, every time I say, this is the last time I’m getting braids I always go back for more. Now I’m sitting here with Goddess Locs about to cry from pain 😭 I use tons of Leave In Conditioner (the spray kind) I’m going to try the warm towel method next week though. This is my last time FR.

  5. My head hurts sooooooooooooooo much. Can someone please tell me a way to get my braids loose that actually works.

    1. You have to take a shower, let the water run on you hair and then put the leave in conditioner in your hair.

  6. Take your leave in conditioner and put it in the freezer then after 5-10 minutes spray your roots, it relieves the pain and burn, it cools your scalp!

    1. I told my mom to do this because I was in a lot of pain. I put the leave in conditioner in there for 5-10 minutes and instantly I was great again thank you so much Jaynisha.

  7. I always get my hair braided ever since I was six and it hurt all the time, now it gets better I can handle it but it’s still terrible. 😑. This article helps a lot. Thx.

  8. Please I have a question, no hate… ever since I was young, the schools I went too was a co-ed with many nationalities. I loved the beautiful different styles of braids and dreads, my favorite are the spaghetti dreads (I think that’s what they are called – if not educate me please). I have always wanted my hair with double dreads and extensions of color. Yes I am a white girl! But I was looking for answers on how to prepare the scalp and hair for better longer results. Thank you for all of your time.

    1. No. Spaghetti dreads, girl bye. More research is required and absolutely necessary. When you feel like you’ve learned something, come back and the answer will then be no.

    2. I’ve got rainbow box braids with cornrows in the front and I love them! I’m considered white but I am mixed. I have only received compliments. I hope you’re not tender headed! I’m not at all but my scalp was on fire so much the first night.

  9. I got my hair braided yesterday. The style is going to the side with thick braids. They are so tight, my head feel like it’s going to bust. Please help me find a solution to this problem. Thank you.

    1. Cathy if you have a cover for your braids get it and put it over your braids or just go swimming the water losses it.

  10. I got my hair braided (twist) on 3/12 and I’m a very tender headed woman. They got tighter when I got home. I couldn’t sleep and when I take the rubber band off the weight of them hanging down is HORRIBLE!! I’m seriously considering taking them out. $160 down the drain.

    1. Exactly! Same situation here! I’ve had weaves in the past and this pain is worse. I felt better when I took the elastic out, but yes the pain of them hanging is horrible. I tied my head down with a silk scarf and it feels much much better now.

  11. I got faux locs done and the pain was intense. The hair was stunning but it came at a price for a few days. I massaged it in with Shea butter and took pain relievers and the pain subsided on the first day. I’m not too keen on taking drugs so I kept massaging only until it felt better.

    Hope this helps 🙂

  12. Yo, sisters. My head was hurting so badly just a couple seconds ago so I looked up how to relieve the pain from braids, found this page and I just tried wrapping my hair and it worked somewhat. 😀
    I mean, it’s still a little sore but at least I can sleep on it without the pure pain and anguish.
    I took a big, long scarf (light weight one) and put it between the back of my neck and the hair, laid the hair flat down (no ponytails or nothing) and wrapped it gently a couple of times and tied it, now I can lay on it!! I’m going to try the shower thing tomorrow and I already have my leave in conditioner spray in the fridge.

    Hope I helped some of you beautiful sisters out there. God bless. 🙂

  13. I have a braided bob. The young lady who braided was heavy handed I’m hurting so much what can I do? Please help me.

  14. I got my hair braided April 14th. I put it up in a bun but it started hurting even more, so I took bun down. I used Apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water and tee tre oil to stop the itching and sprayed some Jamaican mango and lime no more itch Gro spray. It help to relieve the pain and stop the itching. Thanks to Kennedy’s advice on patting my head lightly, now I’m able to sleep.

  15. I️ got my hair into box braids for the first time in my life today and I’m crying. I’ve taken 2 ibuprofen and I️ have a newborn baby who needs so much attention. This pain is killing me!! Please can someone help?

  16. Numbing spray or cream is the answer. I got braids and couldn’t sleep. 1am I was in WalMart, pain was gone in less than 10 minutes.

    1. What’s the name of this numbing spray? I am not the best at styling my hair so I’ve been getting braids. I also do not like a lot of heat on my hair.

  17. Did an okay braid pattern…installed the Brazilian body, looks natural, but damn this weave is pulling on my edges like nobody’s business!! Beauty is pain.

  18. The hot water helps! I didn’t want wet braids, I used a wash cloth and applied to my scalp. Oh! what a relief from the pain.

    Thanks so much. Now I can get some sleep!

  19. I am mixed with curly soft hair. I got box braids for the first time and I’m very tender headed. My cousin told me that she didn’t even grip them the way she normally does. I can’t imagine what her other clients have to say but I noticed that keeping them out for a few days helps and massaging your scalp with coconut oil really helped too. Taking a hot shower loosens them a little. My scalp is not as sore as it was, and I can lay on my head.

  20. There are actually braiders who can braid securely without all the unnecessary tension. It costs a little bit more but for me, it is so worth it. My braider can put my Senegalese twists in a bun on top of my head with no pain. I only experience tenderness of my scalp because I’m tender headed in general. My stylist has referred any of her clients to this group of braiders because they protect our edges with their technique.

  21. I think it is s shame that we have to go through all of this just to have a nice braided look. If a hairstylist did this to someone of a different ethnicity they would probably be sued for pain and suffering. Why don’t the braiders look out for us? Is our hair health not important?

  22. This is my first time with box braides. They look so good on me but I couldn’t even turn my head around as I drove home. Sleep is a luxury tonight. I’ve been awake all night. Now my body is also in agony. I’m going to pat lightly and then apply cool refrigerated spray. Hope it works.

  23. Thank you That Sister! Got kinky twists yesterday. Didn’t sleep last night. The advice here works. Thanks lovely ladies!

  24. This is my first time with Senegalese twists! The back of my head feels so heavy!! I have natural mid back hair and my crochet are waist level. Patting isn’t working 😭 but the braids look so good 😞. Help!

  25. I’m getting braids tomorrow. I’m going to try numbing spray, maximum strength pain killers, and hot towels.

    Also, going to make sure I have a good meal before I go. I tend to forget to eat, which makes everything worse.

    Wish me luck!

  26. I got my faus locks done yesterday and I couldn’t sleep a wink all night. I literally had my heard twisted to one side where it hurt most. I tried a hot shower, pat down and hot oil treatment this morning and I feel better. The locks are still heavy though. How much longer do I have to wait for this horrible pain to pass?😢

  27. Got my hair braided yesterday and my night was horrible. Couldn’t sleep at all because the braids were too tight. I’m trying the patting method right now so I hope it works. Please say a prayer for me because this is very painful.

  28. I had faux locs in today. My stylist did a great job but tight scalp. Sprayed with braid spray when I got home. Then under a medium temp conditioning hood for a few hours. Tenderness nearly all gone.

  29. I got lemonade braids and the place where all the braids started was tight and throbbing. I used a pencil to loosen it but it’s still red and painful and I’m afraid that when I take it out I’ll have a bald spot. Any tips?

    1. Hey Natalie,
      I know I’m replying now. Just saw the article and needed help too. I read the article and the tips helps.
      I got the African Pride olive miracle braid sheen spray. I used a paper clip to loosen my braids. I sectioned my hair off and used the spray, then loosened my braids with the paper clip. Try this.

  30. Just got my hair braided last night could barely sleep and was in horrible pain all day today and last night. Tried the pat technique and hot shower, letting the water run down my scalp and braids. Major relief. Thanks.

  31. I haven’t had braids in a long time and I recently got some box braids yesterday so I’m going to try the patting method and a warm shower because that seems to work the best from the comment section. Hopefully this works. My birthday is tomorrow and I don’t want to be in agony 😂

  32. Got my hair in Senegalese twists yesterday. Up at 1am in so much pain. The patting method helped some. Going to try the warm towel next.

  33. I got triangle braids four days ago and it’s a miracle I am still alive. It looks so good on me but it’s expensive. I really don’t know what to do. I have literally tried the processes above but no changes. I need help.

  34. Thanks for the tips ladies! I just got some twists done yesterday with the rubber band method for the first time. They look beautiful, but boy are they tight! Managed to get 5 hours sleep laying down, but woke in pain. Defo trying the hot towel, cold spray and goodie powders.

  35. So it’s 11:01pm and I’m in pain. I got my hair done yesterday and couldn’t sleep. When I woke up I felt a little better. I hope these methods work because I feel like all my hair is about to fall out and I don’t even have weave🤦🏾‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️

  36. The way I solved my pain was spraying my entire head with warm water then rubbing my scalp gently, then doing the same thing one more time. Next I took a towel and sprayed it down with warm water then tied it around my head. Last I put on a shower cap (or u can use a bonnet).

  37. Thank you got the tips to relieve me of my braiding pain. The tea tree oil and an ice pack provided me some much needed relief. I was in a lot of pain at 4 a.m. The second day was worse than the first!

  38. Today I got small lemonade braids and soon as I got in the car my head was hurting. I tried a hot wet towel, a cold wet towel, patting, ice, rubbing, and nothing is working.

  39. Oh thank the lord, I am not alone! I was beginning to think I was the only one who experienced such pain! The second day for me is the worst! I have to take Benadryl and pain medication!

  40. I got long box braids, I’m 7 months pregnant and I’m in so much pain. Not only are they painful but oh so heavy. Please help. Can I get them cut shorter now or is it too late?

  41. Coconut oil, warm water spray and pain pills. It’s not only the tension, the scalp is dry as well which makes it worse. Keeping the scalp moisturized is key! Oil first, then spray warm water to lock in moisture. I do this for about 3 days then oil every other day with spray.

  42. I put my head in warm/hot bath water, got some peppermint tea tree oil warm in the microwave squirt through my scalp and sprayed a little oil sheen. My head still hurts but not as bad as the first two nights. Wear your hair down.
    Rewind, Monday I got my hair done, didn’t sleep all night. Unbearable pain I ran warm/hot bath water put my whole head in. Tuesday I took Tylenol and slept all day. Wednesday I got the oil I mentioned and let my hair stay down. I had been wearing it in a saggy bun because it seem to help but no, it’s better to wear it down.

  43. Ladies, get the New and Popular Knotless Braids. I got them yesterday and I made sure she was extra gentle to all my edges and I absolutely love them. I have zero pain!

    1. You are absolutely right about the knotless braids! It costs a little bit more but it’s so worth it. No more pain. Period!

  44. I took an ice cube and rubbed it all over my scalp and I got instant relief. I felt so much better, try the ice cube ladies it works.

  45. Hey ladies and gentlemen,
    I love this and used some of them. I got box braids (not my whole head, just the top since I have a fade) the day before yesterday. Stylist put my hair up after braiding. A relief. But I took the ponytail down and I was in hell. Hurt like hell to sleep. This evening I tried the tips. I have faux hair in, so I was skeptical of putting the hair in water. Tried the other methods. I sectioned my hair off, and started working on the front. Spraying African Pride’s olive miracle braid sheen spray (life saver) then using a paper clip (extended) to loosen the top of the braid. It worked. I am sitting here now, after about half an hour, shaken my head back and forth because there isn’t any more pain. Please try the method. Also, it will take time when your doing this process for your hair to feel better. Loosely shake your braids. I had my head down while doing this and shook my head around to loosen the braids. Relax your scalp, this helps get used to the stinging pain and relax the hair follicles.
    Much love.

  46. I plan to get cornrows I already know from past experience I will have discomfort. I just ordered Dr. Numb it’s a numbing cream. I heard it works wonders. I will let you all know how it works.

  47. I cornrowed my own head to wear a wig but as I’m not skilled at doing them, my scalp hurts. Any suggestions to perfect my technique? I’m a beginner and really want to learn.

  48. I take Motrin before I even sit down to get my braids. Take more pain reliever as prescribed on bottle. Usually 4-6 hours later. Your head is inflamed so Benadryl works in the evening for inflammation and helps you sleep. Steam your scalp and oil it. I always tell my braiders not to make it to tight. I communicate, if I feel they are braiding too tight I tell them. They always ease up.

  49. I got faux locs today. Man oh man, my head is on fire. I will try the hot water compress. I hope it helps, will let you know.

  50. I got faux locs in a few hours ago and for someone with a relatively high tolerance for pain, I legit might break down in tears any second now. I’m trying the patting thing but when does patting hard become ‘too hard’? I need the fastest remedy that doesn’t involve drenching my head in water ASAP Please help a sister out!

  51. Just got box braids on Saturday, when I arrived home my head was burning. The pain got worse on Sunday evening and I told myself that I’ll never get box braids again. Couldn’t sleep at all and woke up at 5am on Monday morning. Three days have gone by and I’m still in pain. This is not normal. I don’t know about you all but I’m never putting myself through that torture again.

  52. I get the knotless cornrows or lemonade braids and I am very tender headed. Fortunately I found a braider who has a light hand. I ask the braider to put my part on the side, so the area where all the braids pull from always hurts. I’ve been getting braids for years and the following tips always work:
    1. I take 800mg Ibuprofen right before the appointment.
    2. I use the lightest weight braiding hair I can find.
    3. I use a hot wet towel and press on the painful areas.
    4. I plug in my heating pad and lay with the pad on my head (I try to put it directly in the scalp and press down).
    5. I put oil at the root of each braid – one by one and repeat as necessary.
    6. I’ve used the pencil or paper clip method to loosen each braid.
    7. When in bed, I lay face down for the first few nights.
    8. The “head squeeze” massage is good.
    9. In dire circumstances, I put my head in the kitchen sink and use the water spray nozzle to get into the braid roots. This can fuzz up the hair a bit.
    10. I take a sleeping pill or a tylenol pm type product the first few nights.

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