Do Box Braids Hurt

Have you recently installed your box braids? Then you must be having headaches or neck pain pretty often that made you wonder do box braids hurt.

Generally, your box braids aren’t supposed to hurt, but it may happen. Some reasons like too tight braids, sensitive scalp, or improper braid installation can make your box braids hurt crazily.

But is it normal? Can my neck and head hurt simultaneously due to box braids? Is there any way to reduce the pain from braids? Thankfully, we’ve got your back. Read along to find all your answers and tips to reduce pain.

What Are The Benefits Of Box Braids?

What Are The Benefits Of Box Braids?

Here are a few benefits of wearing box braids:

  • Protect your real hair from sun, wind, and environmental damage.
  • Long lasting and require low maintenance.
  • Box braids are a versatile option for hair styling.
  • Braided strands look pretty similar to natural hair from far.
  • Helps your hair grow healthily.

Is It Normal For Box Braids To Hurt?

Do Box Braids Hurt

When it comes to wearing a protective style, almost all protective braiding methods hurt more or less. Therefore, it’s normal for box braids to hurt and feel uncomfortable. If the pain becomes unbearable, consider talking to your stylists.

Do Big Box Braids Hurt?

Do Big Box Braids Hurt?

Yes, big box braids hurt, but they’re less painful than thin box braids. When you go for thin braids, it means it’ll add more hair extensions and make your head feel extremely heavy. In that case, big box braids will cause less discomfort and pain in your head.

Can Box Braids Make Your Neck Hurt?

When you wear box braids, it makes your head feel heavy due to adding hair extensions. So keeping your head up for a long time can cause pain in your neck, especially during shower time.

Do Box Braids Hurt Your Head?

Box braids start from the scalp, which creates tension between the hair and scalp. Hence, it can make your scalp hurt. In addition, the heaviness of the hair can also cause headaches besides neck pain.

Why Box Braids Hurt And How To Solve It?

Why Box Braids Hurt And How To Solve It?

There are a few reasons that can make your box braids hurt. Here are the reasons and solutions:

1. Tight Braids

This is the most common reason why your box braids hurt. If you or your stylist installs the braids too tightly, the process of pulling and tugging creates tension on the scalp and makes your head hurt. It can also cause your hair to fall out.

  • Contact your stylist and ask them to make your box braids loose.
  • Give your scalp an essential oil massage as massage can soothe down the itchiness and reduce tension between hair and scalp.

2. Improper Braid Installation

Your box braids must be installed properly. Otherwise, it can hurt your scalp and entire head; it can even lead to traction alopecia.


If your box braids are installed improperly, then there is nothing but correctly redoing the whole braid installation process.

3. Sensitive Scalp

Now, if your braids are installed correctly and not excessively tight, but your box braids still hurt, then you probably have a sensitive scalp. In that case, you have to give your braids and scalp some time to adjust with minimal tension and added weight.


The only way to help your scalp, in this case, is to prepare your hair and scalp beforehand. Use a clarifying shampoo and deep conditioner, detangle your hair, and dry hair naturally.

Additional Ways To Relieve Pain From Braids

Additional Ways To Relieve Pain From Braids

If the above solutions don’t help, you can try these alternative methods to relieve pain from box braids.

  • Use warm water while showering and massage your scalp gently to loosen the braids.
  • Don’t keep your bun or pony hairstyle for a long time; let the box braids down too.
  • Use steam to release the tension created by tugging tightly.
  • Spray leave-in conditioner to keep your hair moisture and manageable.
  • Lastly, remove your box braids if none of the above pain relieving methods works.

What Braids Are Hurt Less?

Here are some braiding methods that hurt less than box braids:

  • Knotless braids
  • Faux locs
  • Crochet locks
  • Twisted chignon
  • Goddess box braids


Do tight braids damage your hair?

Yes, tight braids can damage your hair by creating too much tension on your scalp and hair roots. It can lead to hair breakage, shedding, and even damage to your edges.

Do box braids damage natural hair?

Yes, it can, but only if you install the braids improperly or remove the braids aggressively in the wrong way.

Do box braids cause breakage?

Leaving your box braids for more than 8 weeks can start damaging your hair, including breaking and shedding.

Do box braids grow your hair?

No, box braids don’t help your hair grow in any way; they just let it grow without pollution.

Do box braids add weight?

When you install box braids, you need to use hair extensions. Hence, box braids add additional weight to your head.

Can you swim with box braids?

Box braids can get wet in the water without frizzing your hair. Therefore, yes, you can swim with your box braids.

Can a white girl get box braids?

Of course, box braids aren’t only limited to Africans; any woman from around the world can opt for box braids hairstyles.

What happens when you leave braids in too long?

When you leave braids in too long, they can become uncombed and tangled. This can cause the hair to pull out, which can lead to bald patches or even hair loss. Additionally, the braids may start to stick together, making it difficult to style them in a way that looks good.

Related Articles:

  • Can Mexicans Wear Box Braids
  • Where Did Box Braids Originate
  • Are Box Braids Cultural Appropriation
  • Who Invented Box Braids
  • Can You Dye Box Braids


So, do box braids hurt? Is it normal? Can you reduce the pain? You now have all the answers you were looking for! However, no matter whether you have a sensitive scalp or normal, it may feel super uncomfortable at first, but don’t give up and keep the hairstyle. The pain will eventually pass away.

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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