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How to Tell If Your Braids Are Too Tight

Braids and protective styles make for wonderful easy to maintain options. We all want our braids to last and look fresh for as long as possible. Many braiders look to achieve this by twisting your strands as tight as possible. However, is there a thing as too tight and if so, how can you tell? We’ll show you the signs that your need to look out for.

Braids Hurt Braids Too Tight Photo by Ogo on Pexels
Photo by Ogo from Pexels

They Hurt!

You leave your braider in pain. You walk through the day feeling like your scalp may come off. You can’t even enjoy the compliments you’re getting because you’re too focused on the pain. You’d love to just sleep it off, but even laying on your pillow is a struggle!

As you reach for a painkiller, it may be tempting to tough it out and fight through it. But braids should never be painful. If they are, that’s the first sign that you’re in the tightness danger zone.

Braids Too Tight Blog Photo by Ette Fidele From Unsplash
Photo by Ette Fidele From Unsplash

Bumps Appear Around Your Braids

Bumps on your scalp can appear for a variety of reasons. However, if they often show up after getting braids, that may be caused by extreme braid tension. You may notice these red and white, pimple-like bumps on your scale or nape. As your braids pull on your scalp, they cause inflammation around your hair follicles. These bumps are unsightly to look at, not to mention painful. At their worst, the bumps may break and ooze puss.

Are you seeing bald spots with braids? Braids traction alopecia  photo by Alex Green From Pexels
Photo by Alex Green from Pexels

You’re Seeing Bald Spots

Although you probably won’t experience this after getting your hair braided once, you may notice bald patches if you regularly get braids or protective styles. Known as traction alopecia, this condition is caused by the constant pulling of the hair follicles.

It is commonly seen on African-American women but can affect anyone who commonly wears braids, twists, ponytails, and other pulling hairstyles. This is most notable around the hairline where the baby hairs begin to thin out. Even if you don’t have traction alopecia yet, you may be risking long-term hair breakage for short term beauty.

Take a look at your braids now. Do you feel any pain, discomfort, or patchy areas? If so, you may have caught a case of the tight braids. But fear not! Now that you know your braids are too tight, there are ways you can loosen them and remedy the pain.

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