Tight Box Braids: Top Tips for Finding Relief

Relieve scalp pain from tight box braids with these tips.

When it comes to protective styles, box braids are one of our go-to looks. This style can be a great way to protect your strands and also reduce the amount of styling time you have to spend on your hair. However, one thing about box braids that many dread is the long process to get them installed. Depending on the size of your braids, it can take anywhere from two to five hours to complete. While box braids are a great option for natural hair, they can come with a bit of pain, often caused from being too tight.

Tight box braids is such a common issue, keep scrolling to learn how to relieve tight braids.


To help you find relief from tight box braids, here are a few tips you should use.

1. Talk to your stylist.

tight box braids: half up style
Keep your scalp healthy and pain-free!

Before getting your hair done you should let your stylist know if you are tender-headed. This way they’ll know not to braid your hair too tight. If you feel uncomfortable as they are styling your hair, don’t be afraid to speak up.

2. Use warm water.

To help loosen up your braids you can wet a cloth with warm water and gently rub your scalp. We suggest using warm water as cold water may feel a bit uncomfortable on your scalp. Do this for a few days until you find relief.

3. Use an oil concoction.

Oils are a great way to condition your scalp and to find relief with tight box braids. You can create a mixture of your favorite oils or use just one like coconut oil. In addition, you can use Love Beauty and Planet Sandalwood & Grapeseed Natural Oils Infusion at the roots to help protect your hair from damage due to the tension from your braids.

4. Give yourself a scalp massage.

Try giving yourself a scalp massage to create some blood flow to ease the tension. This doesn’t have to be anything special, just rubbing your scalp in between your braids to help loosen things up a touch can make all the difference. Use some Dove Amplified Textures Hydration Boost Tonic to make the massage smoother and add hydration to your scalp.

tight box braids bob
Painkillers can be a good solution for the first few days after getting box braids.

5. Take a painkiller.

Tight box braids do loosen up over time. Usually, it can take 1 to 2 days before you find relief with tightly braided styles. If you want to wait it out, you can opt for taking a painkiller until you can tolerate the tension on your hair.

6. Wear your hair down.

Sometimes you really just need to keep it simple and wear your hair down. Putting your hair up can slow the relaxation process down, and you will end up feeling the tightness once you put your hair down. Keeping your braids down and allowing your scalp to adjust is better than messing around with your style to find something that feels more comfortable in the moment.

7. Use a leave-in conditioner.

Adding a little bit of leave-in conditioner to your roots can help loosen up your braids and hydrate your scalp. Try out a spray leave-in conditioner like TRESemmé Curl Refresher Leave-In Conditioner to evenly coat the area.

8. Try a hair steamer.

Yes, you heard us right, there is such thing as a hair steamer! Adding hot steam to the mix can help open up your scalp pores and speed up the process of loosening your braids. This hair tool is great for relieving tight box braid pain and it also helps restyle and refresh natural curls.

From steaming your hair to giving yourself a scalp massage, these top 8 tips to help relieve your tight box braids. Once you find what works for you, getting braids will be a treat, with no painful side effects.

Prev Article
Next Article
Decoration image
Decoration image
Hair Quiz
All Things Hair
All Things Hair US
Need some style inspo? Let's chat! I'm Athena, your personal Hair Assistant.
Chat with All Things Hair in Messenger