7 Simple Ways To Relieve Tight Box Braids

Box braids are a great protective hairstyle, but if you’ve noticed that your box braids are too tight, you might find it tricky to relieve them without messing up your hair. It’s actually quite simple, though.

7 Simple Ways To Relieve Tight Box Braids

Here are 7 easy ways to relieve tight box braids without making things worse, including using a pencil, using a leave-in conditioner, and not wearing your box braids up.

1. Oil Scalp Massage

Oil Scalp Massage

Massaging your scalp, particularly with essential oils, will soothe tension and improve blood circulation. It can also help to relieve migraines.

When you’re suffering from tight box braids, rub the essential oils into the area you think is causing the most tension. Apply the oils with your fingertips, and massage the area for at least a few minutes.

The oils most recommended are tea tree oil and lavender oil, as they contain properties that help to soothe inflammation. 

2. Consult With Your Stylist

Consult With Your Stylist

You’ll have a lot less to worry about generally if you have a relationship with your stylist. Make sure you’re noting how your hair feels before you’ve left the salon, and let them know if your box braids are feeling stiffer than you think they should.

If you have any doubts, tell your stylist, otherwise you could be living with pain for days. 

3. Shower


Here’s a simple one- take a shower. Showering in cold water will provide instant relief, but you can also shower in warm water in order to open your cuticles, which will make your hair looser.

Rub your box braids with the water and, afterwards, wrap them in a towel. You can also use a spray bottle to moisten your hair, and this method will work in much the same way. 

4 – Take Painkillers

Take Painkillers

Tight box braids tend to loosen up within a couple of days, but if you’re experiencing more pain than you’re comfortable with (such as persistent headaches), take some painkillers.

If the pain continues after more than a couple of days, you may need to take the braids down if it’s getting too much. 

5. Use Leave-In Conditioner

Use Leave-In Conditioner

Tight box braids can be irritating if your scalp is particularly dry. Using leave-in conditioner will help to soothe the affected area, loosen your braids, and moisturize your hair.

Only apply a small amount of conditioner with your fingertips, in order to avoid extra residue. Spread the conditioner evenly. There are also leave-in conditioners that come in spray bottles, so you won’t have to worry about using too much. 

6. Use A Pencil 

Use A Pencil 

You can also use a pencil or other cylindrical household object like a skewer in order to relieve tight box braids. Simply stick the object into the center of your braids one at a time and attempt to loosen the braids in order to minimize the irritation. 

7. Don’t Wear Tight Box Braids Up

Don’t Wear Tight Box Braids Up

Wearing any hairstyle up is going to cause more tension, so if your box braids are feeling stiff you should leave your hair down, rather than putting them in top knots, ponytails, or buns.

You might get away with half up, half down styles after the first couple of days. 

Conclusion: 7 Simple Ways To Relieve Tight Box Braids

There are multiple ways to relieve the pain of tight box braids. What’s most important is being open with your stylist if you notice stiffness or pain after getting your box braids done, as this could save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Bear in mind that not every method will work for everyone. You may have to experiment with a few before you find the one that works, but something on this list is bound to help. 

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Box Braids

Should I Get Box Braids If My Hair Is Shedding Or Breaking?

If you have any doubts about whether your hair could handle box braids, or any kind of braids, you should probably steer clear. Shedding or breaking is simply not a good state for braids.

We recommend using conditioner regularly, as well as trimming your hair, if you’re getting box braids with hair that’s not quite ready for it. Consult with your stylist if you’re unsure.

Do Box Braids Damage Your Hair?

If they’re implemented with care, box braids will not damage your hair. There are several factors at play, though, so make sure the stylist doing your box braids is experienced.

Box braids installed too tightly can cause damage to both your hair and your scalp, and if your hair is breaking or shedding, this can also cause more damage. The braids shouldn’t be too long nor too heavy.

How Long Should You Keep Box Braids For?

Most people keep their box braids for between four to six weeks, but they could last for as long as eight weeks. They can be left longer, but it’s all down to maintenance.

If you have box braids for more than eight weeks they’ll be at greater risk of getting tangled or matted, both of which can lead to hair damage. Another thing that will affect how long your box braids is how you sleep.

If you’re someone who’s regularly tossing and turning at night, then your braids will be more likely to get tangled over time. 

How Many Packs of Box Braids Hair Should I Be Using?

The amount of packs of box braids hair you should be using depends on the length of your hair. If you have long hair, you’ll probably be needing between 10 to 12 packs.

Hair on the longer end might need even more than 12 packs, so if you fit in this category then you might want to buy more than 12 just to be on the safe side.

Medium length hair will usually need about six packs of box braids, and if your hair is short you’re only going to need between two to four packs. Some box braid hairstyles are longer than others, and will naturally require more packs. 

Where Do I Get Jewels For My Box Braids?

You should be able to find accessories for your box braids in most beauty supply stores. If you’re unsure you can ask in-store. Most of these accessories tend to be very affordable, and can be reused often if you take proper care of them. 

Can Kids Get Box Braids?

Kids can get box braids, and they’ll usually last between two to six weeks. It depends on the thickness of the child’s hair. 

Tanya Taylor