8 ways to stop your scalp from itching with braids
Most African women choose to do braids because it requires less maintenance and represents their culture and personal style preference. However, braids can be a troublemaker if not maintained well.
- Loosen up the braids: Do not be under the impression the tighter the braids, the long-lasting they would be. Always braid with the correct tension to avoid itching, headaches, and hair loss.
- Use a gentle shampoo: Shampoo braids two times a week to avoid the buildup of dirt and grease. Use mild shampoos to prevent drying of the hair.
- Conditioning the hair: Nourishing is the key to a healthy braid. Condition the braids after shampooing to lock in the moisture. Gently massage the conditioner in circular motions to avoid scalp dryness.
- Apple cider vinegar rinse: For hair extensions, soak it in apple cider vinegar before installation. Make an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse by mixing half water and half ACV. If there are no extensions, spray this solution several times a week. Leave it on or rinse it off once it dries.
- Medicated shampoo: Shampoos with coal tar as an active ingredient can be suitable if a person has excessive itching. To prevent scalp dryness, use a conditioner after shampooing.
- Moisturizing hair with oils: For extremely dry hair, applying jojoba or coconut oil would be an ideal option. Apply a few drops of oil onto damp hair and leave it on for a few minutes. Wash out the oil with a shampoo and conditioner. Avoid blow-drying to dry out the hair. Adding essential oil to the carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil, and applying it to the hair can prevent dryness.
- Never leave your braids for too long: Avoid leaving your braids for too long because they can irritate the scalp. Before donning the next braid, give the hair a break to prevent irritation and hair thinning.
- Use scalp serums: Serums containing urea and ceramide balance the scalp pH and avoid drying and itching. Apply serums daily so that scalp is not irritated.
8 tips to maintain braided hair
Here are some tips for the proper maintenance of braided hair:
- Maintain enough space between the braids
- Apply shampoo between the braids and massage the scalp lightly
- Apply mild shampoo and rinse with running water
- Dry your hair naturally and avoid the use of a blow dryer
- Apply the correct tension to braid the hair; braiding too tightly can cause headaches and hair loss
- Use synthetic or human hair appliques to the natural hair to add volume to it or increase hair length
- Never cut braids or extensions
- Always avoid drying of the scalp
7 complications associated with braided hair
Some studies have reported that the use of braids can cause the following complications:
Tanus A, Oliveira CC, Villarreal DJ, Sanchez FA, Dias MF. Black women's hair: the main scalp dermatoses and aesthetic practices in women of African ethnicity. An Bras Dermatol. 2015;90(4):450-465. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4560533/
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