Can Tight Braids Cause Sores

You may think that the tighter your protective braids are, the longer they’ll last. Although this narration is true, it can make your scalp hurt and leave you wondering can tight braids cause sores.

Well, tight braids can cause sore scalps. If you don’t treat this problem, it can eventually cause several other scalp conditions like hair shedding, hair breakage, flaky scalp, and fungus.

And these mentioned problems can lead to alopecia or hair folliculitis. Therefore, you need to know what a sore scalp feels like, what causes this problem, and how to treat it. Read on to find out the answers.

What sore scalp feels like

sore scalp feels like

The pain on your scalp will feel really annoying and unbearable. Initially, it will feel like your whole head is hurting, no matter how you put your braids on. But the truth is that a tender spot has formed on the crown of your head. That is the spot that will hurt the most and the nerves are also getting affected. 

sore scalp after getting braids

Flaking and scabbing are going to be with you all the time. At first, it will feel like they are just normal dandruff, but they are not. They will eventually cause inflammation and even slight bleeding. And tight braids are a major reason for this. They can cause several different skin diseases and sore scalps. 

Sore scalps occur when nerve endings feel any physical contact, heat, or cold from an external source. Also, if you have tight braids, then they can cause both scalp and hair damage. Later, ringworm like structures may be observed.

In terms of skin diseases, you are vulnerable to ringworms, autoimmune alopecia, contact dermatitis, discoid lupus erythematosus, impetigo, shingles, epidermal cyst, temporal arteritis, trigeminal neuralgia, scalp psoriasis, and the list will just go on. You don’t want any of these on yourself. 

1. Scalp sores can cause a wide range of diseases

Scalp sores can cause a wide range of diseases
I. Discoid lupus erythematosus

It is a viral auto-immune disease where the patches spread onto the ear and neck region eventually. Hair tends to fall from that region.

II. Impetigo

Impetigo is a bacterial disease that looks like red patches on the scalp and itches a lot. It can be treated with a tropical antibiotic cream as an interim measure, but long-term treatment is needed. 

III. Scalp psoriasis

Red and white patches on your scalp which initially feels like normal dandruff. They itch and eventually feel like inflammation. Your hair will get thinner if you have this problem.

IV. Trikotilomania

When you twist your hair a lot, it causes hair breakage. This is known as Trikotilomania. People often get bald as a result of this. Tying braids very tightly is another reason for headaches, scalp aches, and bumps on the neck.

V. Eczema and cellulitis

Eczema is a type of skin condition that can cause dry, red, and itchy skin, while cellulitis is a bacterial infection that affects the deeper layers of the skin. Tight braids can contribute to the development of both conditions in several ways.

2. What can cause sores or scabs on the scalp

cause sores or scabs on the scalp
  • An allergic skin reaction
  • Viral infections, such as chickenpox and shingles
  • A cyst, such as an epidermal cyst
  • Excessive use of dry shampoo
  • Dandruff
  • Contact dermatitis or eczema
  • Lichen planopilaris
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Insect bites and their secondary infection
  • Sunburn
  • Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
  • Measles
  • Infestation within the skin of the scalp
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Temporal arteritis Trigeminal neuralgia

3. natural remedies for treating a sore and itchy scalp post-braiding removal?

treating a sore and itchy scalp
a. Let Your Hair Breathe

You can undertake multiple steps to take control of such issues. The thing you should focus on immediately is reducing the usage of heavy styling products on your braids. This will allow your hair and scalp to breathe, and make you feel lighter.

b. Massage the area with oil

Secondly, start applying good hair oil on your scalp, like argan oil, or olive oil. This will heal your scalp as well as strengthen it.

This can help to relieve any tension in the scalp and promote circulation, which can help to reduce discomfort.

c. Soak in apple cider vinegar

Resorting to apple cider vinegar can be an option to address the flakiness. And to properly clean your scalp, the choice of your shampoo is going to play a decisive role. 

d. Clarify your scalp

Some shampoos will not suit you well, you need to figure that out for yourself. But in general, shampoos containing ketoconazole or salicylic acid are really good for sensitive hair and scalp. You can also use a damp cloth to clean your scalp and apply a cream or lotion that suits your skin the best.

e. Use a leave-in conditioner to soothe your braided scalp

Other than a good shampoo and hair oil, other moisturizing products like hair serums or hair lotions can also serve your purpose. The products should be low in chemical content, and high in nutrients.

What are Braid Bumps

What are Braid Bumps

Braid bumps, also known as “pimples” or “zits”, are a type of irritation of the hair follicles that can occur when the hair is pulled too tightly or braids are left in for too long. They often appear as small, red bumps on the scalp that may be itchy or painful. In severe cases, the scalp may look red and inflamed.

1. Are bumps normal with braids

Bumps are a normal part of having braids. The bumps occur because the hair is prone to tangling. If you take good care of your braids, the bumps will go away.

2. what causes braid bumps

I. cause tension
cause tension

An interesting matter of fact is that bumps can be caused by tension. And this tension does not mean the extreme stretch on your hair by braids. This tension means anxiety. But such bumps last only for a short period of time, they are not a long-term issue. This is subjective to the person.

II. Tight braids
Tight braids

If you feel such pain after doing braids, then this means that your braids are very tight and they need to be taken care of immediately. In such cases, the best option will be to get rid of them completely. But some people consider loosening them to be an appropriate solution. 

III. Improper maintenance
Improper maintenance

Installing braided hairstyles is absolutely fine, but they also need to be maintained with extra attention. Improper maintenance leads to a buildup of dirt on the scalp contributing to the formation of bumps and pain. 

IV. dirty hands cause Bumps
dirty hands cause Bumps

We all are making a mistake every day that is heavily adding to our hair problems, and that is touching our hair with our hands. It does feel great flapping your hair, but our hands aren’t the cleanest all the time.

V. Hormonal imbalances

Hormonal imbalances can cause bumps on the head or neck due to the way the hormones are affecting the hair follicles.

VI. Infections and Allergy

Infections can cause bumps on the skin called braiditis. Allergy can cause an allergic response in the body that can cause bumps on the skin called angioedema.

3. How long do braid bumps last

braid bumps last

The answer to this question depends completely on the cause of the bumps. As mentioned just a while ago, bumps resulting from tensions are temporary. That means they will not last for too long.

However, the other ways could lead to long-term bumps and soreness. But effective treatment and care towards them will cure them in a month or two. Otherwise, they last for a few months before they are recognized as a serious issue. 

do braid bumps go away

Braid bumps are not permanent and can be treated with proper care and maintenance.

4. how do you get rid of braid bumps

get rid of braid bumps

Braids are beautiful, but wearing them too tight and for too long is not a good idea. Wearing braids beyond the span of two months will definitely take a toll on your scalp and hair. So you should get rid of your braids at least every two months to relieve the tension. 

Massaging your head and scalp is also a good option. If you have any pus, you need to drain them out for maximum comfort. The main objective is not to overstay with any hair extensions.

And beautiful hair calls for a good maintenance regime. Regularly apply organic or mild hair cream and oil on your hair and scalp. Doing so will keep your head moisturized and strong, avoiding any risk of dandruff, or bacterial diseases. 

Always keep your scalp clean. Wash them with a good anti-dandruff shampoo at least twice a week. Apply cortisone cream, lavender, rosemary or peppermint serums, and other essential oil on the roots to ensure they are smooth and healthy. 

Although all of these might look like a lot to do, they are not actually. The products you need also do not cost much. Keeping the head clean is key to avoiding any complications regarding braids. You work on these recommendations and you can happily flaunt your braids.  

Final Words

So there you have the answer of can tight braids cause sores. To avoid this problem, you need to follow three rules: not making your braids too tight, maintaining your hair care routine, and taking them off within 8 weeks.

If you ignore these rules, you may suffer from the mentioned scalp diseases like flacks, red or white patches, hair fall, scalp soreness, fungus issues, or bumps. In case you’re already facing these issues, we highly suggest consulting with hair doctors.

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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