How to Loosen Tight Braids in 6 Ways

You get home after a day of braiding. Your head still hurts. You thought your braids would eventually loosen up on its own but it’s as tight as it was in the hair salon. Suddenly you wish you had the superpower to turn back time.

But you can’t, so how do you get rid of the pain?

There are ways to loosen tight braids. Ideally, you will want to loosen the braids without destroying the box braids, cornrows or other African braid styles that cost you time and money. Here are some things that can help:

  • Massage
  • Shower
  • A pencil
  • Moist heat
  • Leave-on conditioner
  • Braid spray

Lucky for you, there are ways you can loosen your braids. Simply follow any of these tips below.

Massage your scalp

The relief that comes from massaging is not foreign to us. By gently massaging the exposed areas of the scalp, we are effectively pulling hair away from the scalp and loosening the braids. However, try not to get carried away as you still want to retain those braids.

Hop in the shower

Taking a shower immediately after installing the braids can make you question the longevity of the braids. But isn’t it much better than thinking about how long your hairline will last? Get into the shower and let it rain on your braids. As warm water runs down your hair, rub your scalp gently but not vigorously. You can apply a moisturizing conditioner at this stage. Pat your braids with a towel and leave it to dry naturally.

Stick a pencil or other object in

To loosen braids individually, stick a pencil or something cylindrical and smooth into the center of each braid. Use a thinner object like a skewer for smaller braids. Alternatively, combs can also be used to loosen the braids that are close to the scalp.

Get some moist heat

One effective way to loosen those tight braids is to apply moist heat to it. By placing a towel wet with warm water, you separate the small braids that are very close to the scalp. Leave it on your head for an hour. Another way to do this is to apply steam onto your head directly. You can do so using a handheld steamer or by running hot water inside a closed bathroom and just standing there. Be sure to save the water and use it for something else, like watering your plants or washing your clothes.

Apply leave-on conditioner

A fuss-free way to loosen tight braids is by applying leave-on conditioner. The conditioner will smoothen hair and reduce the tightness of your braids. However, use moderately. An excess of it will make your scalp oily faster and cause itchiness later.

Apply braid spray

Braid sprays come with many functions. Some relieve the itchiness brought about by keeping braids; others help in the removal of your braids. Regardless of which type of spray you use, braid sprays will help to ease tight braids by softening your hair. As the main function of a braid spray is to alleviate the negative aspects of installing braids, introducing a braid spray to your hair care regime will ultimately serve you.

The easiest way to prevent tight braids is not let it happen in the first place. Don’t hesitate to let your hair stylist know that your braids are hurting and they are too tight!