Hello Ladiesphere Fam,
It all started with this picture of my friend Debo (Hot mama of 2 soldiers)
This "kinky braids" obviously looks gorgeous!
So I decided to get this done without thinking about the headache/pain before, during and after.. whew! The pain is from another planet!
This got me thinking like "Is it remotely possible to have pain-free braids?" We have been suffering from the days of "kiko" (threading the hair) to "adimole" (matting the hair) and of course weaving . A big shout out to those of us that sat on small stools and had some old woman put your head between her legs just to get your hair done..
Beauty should not hurt, if it hurts then it means the braids is too tight or the extension is too long and that isn't good for the scalp and hairline. Some even get so bad that you start to see tiny bumps around your edges. Please do not do this to your gorgeous, thick, full, and healthy hair.
I have identified a few tips to have a pain-free braids experience, especially for the naturalistas who may feel the pain more (big ups to you ladies, I want to be like you when I grow up).
#1. Never let an amateur braid your hair
Some people come across like they are the best braiders in the world but please if they do not come verbally recommended or you have seen some of the braids they have done please do not let them touch your head especially if they promise home service *rolls eyes*. Quite a number of them are amateurs and these guys in a bid to make sure the hair meets your expectations will exert their power and might on your scalp! this results in nothing but TRACTION ALOPECIA.
#2. Call out if it hurts
If you eventually get a professional who wouldn't uproot your skull please work with him or her. Ensure the strain on your scalp is minimal and if it hurts please call out immediately!
#3. Dab with warm water or take a warm shower
This isn't the time to bother about how much money you have spent and how you don't want to get your braids wet, let warm water run through your braids and work your hands through your scalp to help loosen the roots. Alternatively you can put a small towel in warm water and dab round your edges as well as the whole hair just to help loosen the roots (that's where the pain is from anyways)
#4. Take Painkillers
Painkillers are a must! Take them ahead of time and even after. I don't blame the scalp for hurting o! You tie your hair into multiple knots and for each knot you pull the scalp tight such that when you are done there is no flesh left to pull.....an Ibuprofen or a Panadol is not too much to take please.
#5. Remove them!
Yes I mean it, remove the braids if the strain on your scalp is too tight. Average strain is just perfect. I understand that you don't want to sit down for 6 hours getting your braids done and have it on for just 2 weeks but if you have the braids on for 8 weeks and your hairline starts receding when you take the braids down then there is a problem. Every lady values her edges...can I have a witness in the house?!
Traction Alopecia is real ladies, let no stylist or hairstyle make you bald....
That's it people, if you have more tips please feel free to leave a comment or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet at @ladiesphere.