What are Some Braid Styles That Are Suitable for Sensitive Scalps

Braids are considered a protective hairstyle that protects your hair from environmental factors while making you look fashionable. However, braids can be taxing for people with hair and scalp-related issues.

One such issue is a sensitive scalp. And as braids exert quite a lot of tension on your scalp, having a sensitive scalp can add to the pain and discomfort of having tight braids. So, what are some braid styles that are suitable for sensitive scalps?

Of all the braiding styles you can get, knotless braids and two-strand twists are some of the best options for you if you have sensitive scalps. 

But how do you get braids done if you have a sensitive scalp? And how do you take care of it after? We’ve put up all the information you need about braiding on a sensitive scalp, so let’s dive into it! 

What is a Sensitive Scalp 

What is a Sensitive Scalp 

A sensitive scalp is a common clinical condition that can hassle many people. When you have a sensitive scalp, you’re more prone to feeling unpleasant sensations related to the skin. 

These sensations might include itching, tingling, soreness, and redness. It can cause extreme discomfort, distracting you from your daily activities. So, it is important to take care of your scalp.

How Do I Make Sure My Scalp is Healthy When Wearing a Braid Style

How Do I Make Sure My Scalp is Healthy When Wearing a Braid Style

A healthy scalp should be free of any infection or inflammation. Bumps, redness, sores, and scabs are signs of inflammation and can harm your scalp in many different ways. 

Extreme itchiness, flakiness, and irritation can also indicate your scalp isn’t healthy. Besides, excess exposure to the sun can ruin your scalp too. 

What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing Braids for Your Sensitive Scalp

What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing Braids for Your Sensitive Scalp

Choosing a braid for your hair can be very hard; it gets more complex and confusing when you have to choose one for your sensitive scalp. Here’s a list of things to consider before choosing your braids for your sensitive scalp. 

1. Scalp condition

Don’t get your braids in if your scalp is too irritated or inflamed; let your scalp and hair rest for a while. Oiling your hair before the braids can soothe your scalp, ensuring your braids are neatly done. 

2. Type of hair extension

The type of extension you get will heavily impact your braids and scalp conditions. 

3. Technique

The technique with which you get your braids matter; too loose or too tight braids will not only impact your looks and scalp.

4. Material

Ensure the materials used are suitable for sensitive scalp and don’t cause build-up in your hair. Check it out with your hairdresser before going in. 

5. Size and length

Don’t keep your braids in longer than the recommended time; it’ll cause build-up and breakage, ruining the quality of your hair and scalp. 

Also, try to keep your braids as short as possible, and don’t tie them up in a ponytail. 

6. Style and look

Don’t select your braids by considering the looks; consider scalp condition. It’d be best if you got low-tension styles for your sensitive scalp. 

7. Tightness of the braid

Never get tight braids. They put too much tension on your scalp and can cause bumps on the scalp. It’ll worsen the condition of your sensitive scalp. 

Immediately let your hairdresser know if the braids feel too tight. They’ll adjust it based on your needs. 

8. Comfort

You have to think about your comfort while getting the braids in, talk to your hairdresser and find a solution to your discomfort. 

Getting a scalp massage or gently rubbing some oil in the area you’re facing discomfort might help. 

9. Protection

Make sure to protect your scalp to prevent hair breakage and scalp damage. Moisturize your scalp to prevent itchiness or flakiness. More importantly, use heat protectant sprays.

10. Quality of hair products

It’s essential to use high-quality hair products, depending on your hair type and condition. Using the wrong products will only destroy the quality of your hair.

11. Tangling and knotting

Tangled or knotted hair can be problematic, they make your scalp sore and worsen your sensitive scalp condition. Make sure your hair is detangled before you get the braids. 

12. Care during braiding process

Keep your hair moisturized and detangled throughout the process using a quality braid spray or oil. Make sure your hairdresser uses a very gentle touch and doesn’t make your braids unnecessarily tight. 

If the process is very time-consuming, take frequent breaks to avoid discomfort in your scalp. If you notice any itching or redness during the process, address your concerns immediately. 

13. Scalp irritation

Keep in mind how quickly your scalp gets irritated. Don’t get braids that will worsen your irritation. 

14. Scalp tenderness

If your scalp feels tender very often, do not get braids that will exert extra tension on your scalp. Choose something simple and short.

15. Scalp dryness

Dry scalp causes dandruff which makes your braids look and smell unpleasant. Take the necessary steps to prevent dandruff to improve the quality of your scalp and hair.  

16. Scalp health

Overall, scalp health determines the quality of your braids, especially if you have a sensitive scalp. 

17. Scalp sensitivity

A hypersensitive scalp will cause extreme discomfort and impact the quality of your braid. The scalp might be irritated, flaky, and even infected, which will be a barrier to getting flawless braids. 

 18. Styling

Styling your braids will help you bring a slight change to your look without installing new ones, but you need to style it the right way. Use heat protectant spray to protect your hair and leave-in conditioners and serums to hydrate your hair. 

19. After care routine

Again it is essential to keep your scalp hydrated. Use a light, water-based moisturizer to prevent dryness and itching. Keep the braids loose and give them the proper nourishment. 

If you notice a persistent scalp issue causing more discomfort than usual, consult a professional. 

The Best Braid Styles for Sensitive Scalps

The Best Braid Styles for Sensitive Scalps

1. Knotless braids

One of the best braid styles for the sensitive scalp is knotless braids. They’re basically box braids done with a different technique that puts less tension on your scalp. Since little tension is exerted on your scalp, these braids don’t further irritate or harm your scalp. 

2. Two Strand Twist braids 

Another option is Two Strand Twist braids which are just as good, these braids are like your regular braids but done by wrapping two strands of hair. They’re lightweight and flexible and lock in moisture. 

They are also very easy to put in and take out without causing too much hair breakage. 

What Braiding Hair Extension is Good for Sensitive Scalp

What Braiding Hair Extension is Good for Sensitive Scalp

Choosing hair extensions is just as vital as choosing the perfect hairstyle. The safest option is to select a hypo-allergenic and non-toxic hair extension to prevent any infection from a toxin or an allergen. 

Hand-tied extensions are always better than tape-in ones, the adhesives from the tape-in extension can further irritate your scalp. Additionally, use a lightweight extension that will not weigh down your hair due to extra tension. 

How to Style Braids on a Sensitive Scalp

To begin with, use a gentle sulfate-free shampoo to remove product build-up or excess oil from your scalp. Followed by a lightweight leave-in conditioner to give some extra hydration to your hair before detangling it, this will minimize friction and tugging at the scalp. 

Always choose a braiding technique that is gentle towards your scalp and is less likely to harm your scalps like knotless braids or crochet braids. 

Additionally, secure your braids with an elastic hair tie instead of a metal one while also being mindful of the tightness of your braids. 

For further hydration, use a scalp oil or moisturizer with soothing and natural ingredients such as tea tree oil or rosemary oil. 

Most importantly, take your braids out every 2-3 weeks to give your scalp a break and always be gentle while detangling or taking out your braids to avoid soreness of the scalp. 


What type of knot is used in knotless braids?

For knotless braids, a method called the feed-in braid technique is used where the braid is started with actual hair and a few extensions are added in between. 

How can I reduce scalp tension when braiding my hair? 

Your braids shouldn’t be too tight because that’s what creates scalp tension. 

Are box braids or cornrows better for sensitive scalps? 

Cornrows are better as they prevent breakage and moisture loss which keeps your scalp healthy. 

What type of braids hurts the least?

Knotless braids will always give you a pleasant and pain-free experience.

What type of braiding hair doesn’t itch?

Synthetic fiber braids, Kanekalon braids and braids are done with just human hair are the least likely to cause itching. 

Can I be allergic to braiding hair?

It is possible to be allergic to braids. If you notice typical signs of an allergic reaction after getting your braids, you might be allergic to synthetic hair.

What braiding hair is antibacterial?

Extensions that have fibers to fight bacteria and the spread of bacteria will work as antibacterial.


Protective hairstyles can upgrade your look while protecting your hair, so whether you have a sensitive scalp or not, you deserve to get protective hairstyles if that’s what your heart wants.

With the right hairstyle like a knotless braid and proper hair care, you can look and feel effortlessly beautiful without hurting your scalp. 

We hope this helped you to understand what are some braid styles that are suitable for sensitive scalps, and moving on you’ll have no dilemma regarding braids in your sensitive scalp. 

By Cindy Mahlangu

Hey there! I'm Cindy Mahlangu, a pro hairstylist with a serious passion for natural hair care. My mission? To inspire and educate others on the beauty and benefits of protective hairstyles. Through my creative writing, aim to empower individuals to embrace their unique hair texture and confidently care for their locks. So, whether you're rocking locs, braids, or twists, join me on this hair journey and let's achieve healthy, fabulous tresses together!

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