Having your hair professionally braided is a great way to embrace a new style. However, the braiding process can bring about some discomfort. There is a pulling sensation when the stylist is working, and when the braids are brand-new, they can feel quite tight. Thankfully, there are some ways you can minimize and manage this discomfort when getting your hair braided.
Wear a hat before your appointment.
The process of having your hair braided will hurt less if your scalp is warm. When your scalp is cold, the skin contracts, and you'll notice any pulling sensations more. Wearing a hat prior to your braiding session will help keep your scalp warm, thereby minimizing your pain. Whenever your stylist takes a break, make sure you either put your hat back on or ask for a warm towel to be placed over your head so that your scalp doesn't get cold as you wait.
Moisturize your scalp beforehand.
In the days leading up to your appointment, you should use plenty of conditioner after washing your hair and really work that conditioner into your scalp. Let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing it away. This will ensure your scalp is well-moisturized, which should make it more pliable so that the braiding process is more comfortable.
After braiding, wear your braids down.
When your stylist is done braiding, you may be excited to shape your newly braided hair into a fun, new style. But it is actually better for you to wait a few days before doing this. Bending the braids to put your hair up or pull it back will just place more pressure and strain on your scalp. If you let the braids hang naturally for a few days, your scalp will adjust and the pulling will subside.
Take a steamy shower.
The first few days after having your hair braided, spend some time in a steamy shower. The steam will loosen the pores of your scalp and also make your hair softer, which will help the bases of the braids loosen up a bit. You don't even have to get your hair wet. Just stand there in the steamy shower for a few minutes.
Having your hair braided may be a bit uncomfortable, but it is so worth it! Your hair braiding stylist should be able to give you some additional tips and tricks for managing your newly braided style and any associated discomfort.