• Fundiswa Ntoyi

Remedies that can help with tension caused by a protective style

By Phemelo Segoe

Every black girl knows that the first night after getting a new hairstyle is the absolute worst, but we also know that once you survive the three days you’re free. When your hair is braided too tightly, it’s not just uncomfortable, but it does a lot of damage to your hair.

In this article, we’re going to look at ways to manage the tension caused by fresh braids and how you can loosen your hair a bit.

  1. Apply heat

An itchy or painful scalp is usually a sign of dehydration. If you need instant relief but don’t want to destroy your do, give your hair some steaming. I know this sounds weird, but steam opens pores and, since the scalp is skin and skin equals pores, by opening them up and letting them breathe, we also make it easier for moisture to seep in. So before you bring out the hot water, prep your scalp by coating it with a deep conditioner for added hydration then, proceed to steam.

2. Hydrate

I know what you’re thinking, “how is this going to help?”.

Hydrating our bodies allows our brain to reallocate excess water to parts of our bodies that could do with the moisture. The skin is the last organ to get this reallocated fluid so, by increasing your water intake, you help your scalp out tremendously.

3. Use a Damp Wrap

Besides drinking water to hydrate from the inside out, you can also cover your head in a wet towel for several minutes to trap moisture. At night before bed, wet your satin scarf and sleep with it. The water will help in loosening up your hair as you sleep.

4. Massage your scalp

Massaging your head promotes increased blood flow, which as a result, promotes faster absorption of products and finally pain relief. Incorporating oils like peppermint oil into this practice will cure itchiness almost immediately and re-energize the hair follicles. Massages also relieve tension, it’s a win-win.

5. Get a spray


A good water-based spray can do wonders for a tense and itchy scalp. Make sure you are generous and massage it into your scalp after spraying it on. Sprays keep your scalp hydrated and that is the best way to keep your scalp calm after getting your hair done.


6. Unplait


When all else fails, take it all off. When your hairstyle is sewn in too tight or your braids are just too painful to move, chances are, you’re doing more harm than good by keeping them on. Excessive tension and hair-pulling not only damage your scalp but can also lead to hair loss so it’s really important to know when to take your ‘L’ and move on.

Let us know which tip works best for you!


Love MPL.

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