After many years of braiding, weaving and
adding extensions in one form or another, I still get asked what helps the pain after braiding hair? I wish the answer was as simple as the question sounds! Why do countless people get into toxic relationships? … because we hope it is going to be better–this time.
Many folks hear people
of African descent make jokes about growing up in a “black” household. Well, getting your hair braided is a staple in that environment. Though some mothers cannot braid, they will find someone who does and you get shipped over there regularly. I do not think many girls worry about it after the first time because you know crying or whining will usually not get you anywhere. Luckily for me, schools at the time I was growing up banned the wearing of braids to eradicate incidents of lice, so I had my hair combed daily. When I got older, I actually started braiding and after each install, right after admiring myself in the mirror, I would wonder what helps the pain after braiding hair!
The answer is: there is not much since there are a few factors that impact what happens:
- Firstly, the braiding hurts more if you are getting it done within less than at least 3 days after you took out the last ones. And, if you have them done the same day after you have taken them out, prayer is a good thing.
- If your braider has “tight hands”, even if you tell her to do it less tightly, for some reason it seems to make it worse so you need to be on constant watch for any pulling.
- The front and sides always seem to suffer the most, so hold the braid at the beginning as the braider is doing the length.
- if after a day the braids do not feel any better, you should look closely at the roots of the braids. If your scalp around the braid looks like it was pulled up by a string, you might have to consider removing them. I know you do not want to hear this after forking out big money to have your hair done but rarely do you see this and there is not a lot of breakage indicated by lots of red hair bumps. Sometimes, you are just sensitive and the hair bumps occur anyway, but you have know what is comfortable for you.
I have met many who have at least one incident where they had to swallow the loss and take braids out the same night it was done. The joy of having their peace of mind back far superseded the money they paid.
Over the years as a hairstylist, clients who refuse to ever do braids again have explained to me in great detail the efforts they made to relieve the pain from having braids done. Forget the fact that you will not find a comfortable place to put your head all night, the first day. These are some of the ways they tried:
- soaked their heads in the shower;
- took headache meds;
- massaged the scalp (this helped if the braid was ok but scalp was just sensitive from the being redone so soon);
- spraying braid spray on the roots.
- Removing the braids as a last resort!
Braids make it easy to get out of the house in the morning and you have freedom with care for up to two months.
By Paula Barker, Silkie Locks Hair Design
Buy my e-book: Dreadlocks: A Hairstylist’s Manifest