How To Stop Box Braids From Itching: The what and the how

How To Stop Box Braids From Itching

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How To Stop Box Braids From Itching?

To stop box braids from itching, you can try the following remedies:

  1. Moisturize your scalp: Gently massage coconut, castor, or jojoba oil into your scalp to stimulate blood flow and lift dead skin cells. This helps to moisturize and soothe the scalp, reducing itchiness.
  2. Spot-clean your scalp: If your scalp feels itchy, spot-clean it without fully immersing your hair in the water. This method helps relieve itchiness without compromising the style of your box braids.
  3. Use tea tree oil: Tea tree oil has anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties, making it effective for treating dandruff, itchiness, and a flaky scalp. Dilute a few drops of tea tree oil in carrier oil, and apply it to your scalp to alleviate itchiness.

Remember to be gentle when applying these remedies to avoid disrupting the braids.

Preparation Before Braiding

Clean and condition your scalp

Before you start braiding your hair, it is crucial to have a clean and well-conditioned scalp. This helps to remove any dirt, buildup, or product residue that might be present. Use a gentle shampoo or cleanser to thoroughly cleanse your scalp. Remember to focus on massaging the scalp to stimulate blood circulation and remove any flakes or dead skin cells. After rinsing out the shampoo, apply a moisturizing conditioner to nourish and hydrate your scalp.

Use a clarifying shampoo

To achieve the best results when braiding your hair, it is essential to use a clarifying shampoo. This type of shampoo helps to remove any impurities or product buildup on your scalp, which can hinder the styling process. By utilizing a clarifying shampoo before braiding, you ensure that your scalp is clean and ready for the braids.

Apply a scalp treatment

Apply a scalp treatment

If you struggle with dryness, itchiness, or dandruff on your scalp, applying a scalp treatment before braiding is beneficial. Look for a treatment that contains natural ingredients such as tea tree oil, peppermint oil, or aloe vera. These ingredients are known for their soothing and moisturizing properties, which can alleviate any discomfort or irritation during the braiding process.

Moisturize your hair and scalp

Before starting the braiding process, it is essential to moisturize both your hair and scalp. This helps to prevent dryness, breakage, and itchiness while ensuring that your braids last longer. Use a lightweight moisturizer or leave-in conditioner to add moisture to your strands. Ensure that you massage the product into your scalp as well to keep it hydrated throughout the braiding process.

Choosing the Right Hair Extensions

Opt for lightweight extensions

When selecting hair extensions for your braids, choose lightweight options. Lightweight extensions are more comfortable to wear and put less stress on your scalp, reducing the chance of irritation or discomfort. Look for extensions made from fibers such as kanekalon or toyokalon, which are known for their lightweight and soft texture.

Select high-quality synthetic hair

If you prefer synthetic hair extensions, make sure to choose high-quality ones. High-quality synthetic hair has a more natural appearance, feels softer, and is less prone to tangling. It is crucial to invest in good-quality extensions to ensure that they last longer and maintain their look and feel.

Consider human hair extensions

For a more natural and versatile look, consider using human hair extensions. Human hair extensions blend seamlessly with your natural hair and can be styled, washed, and treated just like your own hair. While they may be more expensive, they offer longevity and a higher degree of customization compared to synthetic options.

Proper Installation Technique

Avoid tight braids

When installing your braids, it is crucial to avoid braiding them too tightly. Tight braids put excessive tension on your scalp, which can lead to discomfort, hair breakage, or even hair loss. Opt for a comfortable level of tension when braiding to prevent any adverse effects on your scalp and hair.

Ensure proper tension

While avoiding tight braids, it is equally important to ensure that your braids have enough tension to stay in place. Be mindful of the strength of your sections and the tightness of your braids. Balancing these factors will help your braids last longer while preventing discomfort or scalp damage.

Don’t braid too close to the scalp

When braiding, make sure to leave a reasonable distance between the base of your braids and your scalp. Braiding too close to the scalp can cause tension, irritation, and even hair breakage. Depending on your hair’s thickness and texture, leaving about 0.25 to 0.5 inches of space at the roots is usually recommended.

Secure the ends properly

To ensure that your braids stay intact and prevent any unraveled ends, it is crucial to secure them properly. You can achieve this by using small rubber bands, hairpins, or even hair glue. By securing the ends of your braids, you minimize the chances of them unraveling or getting tangled.

Keeping Your Scalp Clean

Wash your scalp regularly

Keeping your scalp clean is essential for maintaining your braids and preventing itchiness. Wash your scalp regularly, especially if you have an oily scalp or engage in activities that cause sweat buildup. Use a gentle shampoo specifically formulated for braids to cleanse your scalp effectively without stripping away its natural oils.

Use a mild shampoo or cleansing spray

When washing your scalp with braids, it is crucial to use a mild shampoo or cleansing spray. Harsh shampoos can strip away the natural oils from your scalp and contribute to dryness and itchiness. Look for a shampoo that is gentle, sulfate-free, and specifically formulated for braided hairstyles.

Gently massage your scalp while washing

While cleansing your scalp, be sure to gently massage it with your fingertips. This stimulates blood circulation, removes any dirt or product residue, and helps to relieve scalp tension. However, be careful not to be too rough or aggressive, as this can lead to friction and scalp irritation.

Avoid heavy oils and greasy products

When it comes to maintaining a clean scalp while wearing braids, it is best to avoid heavy oils and greasy products. These can weigh down your braids, attract dirt and debris, and contribute to the clogging of your scalp pores. Instead, opt for lightweight oils or moisturizing sprays specifically designed for braided hairstyles.

Moisturizing Your Scalp and Braids

Apply a leave-in conditioner

To keep your scalp and braids moisturized, use a leave-in conditioner. Apply the conditioner to your scalp and gently work it into your braids. This helps to replenish moisture, prevent dryness and itchiness, and promote healthy hair growth. Look for leave-in conditioners that are lightweight and contain moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera or shea butter.

Use a moisturizing spray

A moisturizing spray is another great option for keeping your scalp and braids hydrated. These sprays are usually lightweight and can be easily applied to your scalp and braids whenever you need a quick moisture boost. Look for a spray that contains natural ingredients and is specifically formulated for braided hairstyles.

Apply natural oils

Natural oils such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, or argan oil are excellent for moisturizing your scalp and braids. Apply a small amount of oil to your fingertips and gently massage it into your scalp and along the length of your braids. These oils help to nourish and condition your hair, preventing dryness and promoting a healthy scalp.

Avoid over-moisturizing

While it is crucial to keep your scalp and braids moisturized, it is equally important not to over-moisturize. Over-moisturizing can lead to product buildup or greasiness, which can cause scalp itchiness and even odor. Follow the recommended usage guidelines for your chosen moisturizing products and listen to your hair’s needs to strike the right balance.

Relieving Itchiness with Natural Remedies

Relieving Itchiness with Natural Remedies

Use aloe vera gel

Aloe vera gel is known for its soothing and cooling properties, making it an excellent natural remedy for relieving scalp itchiness. Apply a small amount of aloe vera gel directly to your scalp and gently massage it in. The gel provides instant relief and helps to calm any irritation or inflammation.

Apply tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has natural antifungal and antibacterial properties, which can help to alleviate itchiness and combat any potential scalp infections. Dilute a few drops of tea tree oil in carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba oil, and apply it to your scalp. Massage it gently, ensuring that it reaches the roots of your braids to soothe any itchiness.

Try a vinegar rinse

Vinegar rinses are excellent for balancing the pH levels of your scalp and removing any product buildup. Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, and use the mixture as a final rinse after shampooing your braids. This helps to soothe itchiness, reduce inflammation, and promote a healthy scalp.

Use witch hazel

Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can provide relief from scalp itchiness and irritation. Dilute witch hazel with water and apply it to your scalp using a spray bottle or a cotton pad. Witch hazel helps to soothe the scalp, reduce inflammation, and keep your scalp feeling fresh and comfortable.

Avoiding Common Irritants

Protect your braids while sleeping

When going to bed, it is crucial to protect your braids to prevent discomfort and maintain their integrity. You can do this by wrapping your braids in a satin or silk scarf or using a satin or silk pillowcase. These materials provide a smooth surface for your braids to glide against, reducing friction and preventing frizz or breakage.

Avoid excessive heat and sweating

Excessive heat and sweating can lead to an uncomfortable and itchy scalp. Try to limit your exposure to heat sources such as direct sunlight, hair dryers, or hot styling tools. Additionally, consider wearing protective styles or using sweat-wicking materials during workouts or other activities that cause sweating.

Limit exposure to chlorine

If you enjoy swimming, it is essential to protect your braids from chlorine, as it can cause damage and dryness. Before entering the pool, coat your braids with a waterproof conditioner or oil to create a barrier between your hair and the chlorinated water. After swimming, rinse your hair thoroughly and cleanse your scalp to remove any chlorine residue.

Avoid scratching or picking at your scalp

While it may be tempting to scratch an itchy scalp, it is crucial to avoid scratching or picking at your scalp, as this can irritate it further and cause potential damage to your braids. Instead, try gently patting or massaging your scalp to alleviate the itchiness. If the itch persists, try one of the natural remedies mentioned earlier.

Preventing Allergic Reactions

Perform a patch test

To prevent allergic reactions or scalp irritations, it is essential to perform a patch test before using any new products on your scalp or hair. Apply a small amount of the product to a small area of your scalp and monitor it for at least 24 hours. If you experience any redness, itching, or inflammation, refrain from using the product and seek alternative options.

Choose hypoallergenic products

If you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergic reactions, opt for hypoallergenic products specifically formulated for braided hairstyles. These products are designed to minimize the risk of irritation and are typically free from harsh chemicals, fragrances, and known allergens. Read the ingredient labels carefully and choose products that are gentle and suitable for your skin type.

Consult with a dermatologist

If you frequently experience scalp itching or irritation, it is advisable to consult with a dermatologist. A dermatologist can assess your scalp health, identify any underlying causes for your discomfort, and recommend appropriate treatments or products specific to your needs. They can also provide personalized advice on how to care for your scalp and braids.

Taking Care of Your Braids

Protect your braids at night

To preserve the longevity and appearance of your braids, it is important to protect them while you sleep. Avoid rough surfaces and friction by covering your braids with a satin or silk scarf or using a satin or silk pillowcase. This helps to prevent frizz, maintain the shape of your braids, and minimize any potential damage.

Avoid excessive manipulation

While it may be tempting to constantly touch or manipulate your braids, it is best to avoid excessive handling. Frequent touching and manipulation can cause frizz and disrupt the integrity of your braids. Instead, try to leave your braids alone as much as possible and avoid unnecessary pulling or tugging.

Don’t keep braids for too long

As much as you may love your braids, it is essential not to keep them in for too long. Leaving braids in for extended periods can lead to hair breakage, matting, and even traction alopecia. Depending on your hair’s texture and needs, it is generally recommended to keep braids in for about 6-8 weeks before giving your hair a break and allowing it to rest.

Remove braids properly

When it’s time to remove your braids, it is crucial to remove them properly to minimize damage and breakage. Start by carefully cutting the extensions at the base of your braids. Once the extensions are removed, unravel the braids gently, using your fingers or a wide-toothed comb to detangle any knots or tangles. Be patient and take your time to prevent unnecessary hair loss or damage.

Proper Aftercare and Maintenance

Wash and condition your hair after removing braids

After removing your braids, it is important to give your hair a thorough wash and condition to remove any product buildup and promote a clean and healthy scalp. Use a clarifying shampoo to cleanse your scalp and a moisturizing conditioner to restore moisture and softness to your hair. Follow up with a deep conditioning treatment to nourish and strengthen your strands.

Detangle your hair gently

Once your hair is clean and conditioned, it is crucial to detangle it gently to prevent breakage. Starting from the ends, use a wide-toothed comb or a detangling brush to remove any knots or tangles. Take your time and be patient, working your way up to the roots. Applying a leave-in conditioner or detangling spray can help make the process smoother.

Give your scalp a break

After removing your braids, give your scalp a break from protective styles and braiding. This allows your scalp to breathe, rest, and recover from any tension or irritation caused by the braids. Opt for low-manipulation hairstyles or let your hair down for a while before considering your next protective style.

Trim split ends

Removing your braids may reveal split ends or damaged hair. It is important to trim these split ends to prevent further damage and promote healthy hair growth. Regular trims every 6-8 weeks can help maintain the overall health and appearance of your hair, whether it’s in braids or not.

By following these comprehensive tips and techniques, you can ensure that your braiding experience is comfortable, itch-free, and lasts as long as desired. Proper preparation, installation technique, and aftercare all contribute to a healthy scalp and hair, allowing you to enjoy the versatility and beauty of braids without any discomfort.We wrote this article on How To Keep Box Braids From Frizzing: The Steps Check it out for all of the details.

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