Does Oil Loosen Braids Or Is It A Myth

Having too tight braids can lead to irreversible damage to the hair and scalp. It can cause conditions such as hair breakage, damaged hair follicles, and traction alopecia, eventually resulting in permanent baldness. How to prevent this? Oiling. But how does oil loosen braids?

When you oil your hair and scalp, you moisturize and grease them. The oil’s texture and properties make your hair slightly greasy, which in turn helps loosen tight braids.

But just putting oil on your hair and leaving it will not help. To get the full benefits of oiling your hair, you need to follow specific steps, which we’ll tell you about. Let’s get into it.

Is Oiling Your Scalp Good for You

Is Oiling Your Scalp Good for You

Oiling your scalp is one of the best things you can do. Simply put, oiling your scalp is your best friend regarding hair care. According to Dr. Khushboo Garodia, “Oil helps in scalp health. When you gently massage the scalp, it helps in exfoliation, and sometimes that helps reduce hair fall.”

 The benefits of oiling your hair include but are not limited to the following:

  •  Oiling rehydrates your hair.
  •  Reduces hair fall.
  •   It moisturizes the hair, hair follicles, and scalp.
  • As oil settles in the cuticle cells of your hair, it prevents dirt and debris from getting in, preventing hair damage and inflammation.

Depending on the kind of oil you use, you’ll see different hair issues being resolved. We’ll touch upon this next.

What Does Oiling Do to Your Hair

What Does Oiling Do to Your Hair

Each oil has its properties and benefits. Depending on which oil you use, you can see the following benefits:

1. Coconut oil

With lauric acid as its primary fatty acid, coconut oil has a high binding capacity toward hair protein and bonds to protein, which your hair is made of, and easily enters the hair follicles.

It is an oil capable of deep conditioning and has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. All of these combined results in coconut oil help reduce the scalp’s flakiness, dandruff, and dryness.

2. Argan oil

Argan oil is enriched with vitamins A, C, and E, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. These properties enable it to condition and strengthen your hair.

3. Sesame oil

Full of vitamin B1, copper, calcium, zinc, iron, manganese, magnesium, and Phosphorus, sesame oil works wonders when it comes to deep conditioning and smoothening your hair and scalp. It also has antifungal and antibacterial properties that mitigate fungal infections and dandruff.

4. Almond oil

Enriched with vitamins B, K, and E, almond oil is a lightweight oil that reduces stress and promotes hair growth.

Depending on what you need, you can use any of the oils mentioned above as a part of your hair care regime and benefit from their properties.

How to Take Care of Tight Braids
How to Take Care of Tight Braids

One of the first things you can do when you notice your braids are too tight is to apply coconut oil. Coconut oil helps loosen tight braids by moisturizing your hair. You can also apply a leave-in conditioner for the same purpose, but coconut oil should always be the first choice due to its properties.

Oils are a Great Way to Loosen Tight Braids

Oils are a Great Way to Loosen Tight Braids

Oils moisturize and grease up your hair. This leads to hair being softer, smoother, and easy to maneuver. All of these, in turn, help you loosen your braids when they’re too tight.  

How to Loosen Up Tight Braids Fast

You can apply just one lightweight oil, like coconut oil, almond oil, or olive oil, to loosen up your hair in a jiffy.

Otherwise, make a mixture of coconut oil, tea tree oil, and castor oil and put the mixture in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on top of your braids to not only loosen them but also to benefit from the properties of the oils.

What to Put on Braids to Loosen Up

What to Put on Braids to Loosen Up

To loosen braids that are too tight, you can use the following products:

  • Coconut oil to loosen up and rehydrate your hair and scalp.
  • Sesame oil to reduce frizziness and split ends and to loosen your braids.
  • Braid spray.
  • And lastly, a natural leave-in conditioner will loosen your braids and moisturize your hair and scalp.

Does Warm Water Help with Tight Braids

Warm water opens up your hair cuticles and pores and softens your hair. This allows them to absorb moisture and natural oils, which in turn helps loosen tight braids.

How Long Will It Take to Loosen Tight Braids

How long it will take for your braids to loosen up depends on your method. If you let them loosen naturally, it might take 1-2 days for that to happen.

On the other hand, using hair products such as oils, conditioners, braids, sprays, warm water, and leave-in conditioners helps to reduce the tension and strain caused by tight braids instantaneously.

What Can Happen if Your Braids Are Tight

What Can Happen if Your Braids Are Tight

Tight braids can lead to a lot of hair-related issues. These include but are not limited to the following:

I. Hair breakage and hair fall

 The strain tight braids put on your hair can cause them to break and fall.

II. Hair follicle damage

Tight braids tugging and pulling on your hair can lead to hair follicles being damaged. This will prevent new hair from growing on your scalp, leading to baldness.

III. Traction Alopecia

Traction Alopecia is when your hair starts falling from the middle of your scalp and continues to fall until you are permanently bald.


What helps loosen tight braids?

Using a moisturizing hair spray or hair oil can help loosen tight braids.

How do you loosen tight box braids fast?

Applying a warm towel or using a hair steamer can help loosen tight box braids fast.

How do you relieve heavy box braids?

Massaging your scalp with a soothing oil, such as tea tree oil, can relieve heaviness from box braids.

What does olive oil do to braids?

Olive oil can help moisturize and nourish braids, reducing frizz and promoting healthy hair.

What oil should I put on braids?

Coconut oil or jojoba oil are popular choices for oiling braids due to their lightweight and moisturizing properties.

What is the best oil to take out braids?

A blend of coconut oil, almond oil, and lavender oil can be a great option for taking out braids as it helps to detangle and soften the hair.

How long does it take for tight braids to loosen up?

It may take a few days or a week for tight braids to naturally loosen up.

How do you make stiff braids softer?

Applying a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to stiff braids and gently finger-combing them can make them softer.

How do you soften knots in braids?

Using a detangling spray or applying aloe vera gel to knots in braids can help soften and untangle them.

Do tight braids help hair grow?

Tight braids can potentially cause hair breakage, so it’s important to avoid excessively tight braiding to promote healthy hair growth.


Keeping your hair healthy should be one of your top priorities, as it can make or break your appearance. We hope you now know the answer to “does oiling loosen braids” and will utilize your knowledge, as tight braids can damage hair health.

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!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *