Scalp Sores from Tight Braids: What You Need to Know

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Braids are a popular hairstyle for many African American women, but tight braids can lead to scalp sores, also known as tension bumps, bump braids, or bumps from braids. These sores can be painful and unsightly, and can even lead to hair folliculitis, a condition where hair follicles become inflamed. In this post, we'll explore the causes of scalp sores from tight braids, the consequences of wearing tight braids, and steps you can take to avoid getting sores and soothe a sore scalp.

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Can Tight Braids Really Cause Sores?

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Yes, tight braids can cause sores on the scalp. When braids are too tight, they can pull on the hair roots, causing the hair follicles to become inflamed. This inflammation can lead to the formation of sores, which can be painful and even become infected.

The Risks of Over-Tightening our Braids 

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The primary risk of wearing tight braids is the development of scalp sores, hair folliculitis, and neck tension bumps from braids. All which not only cause discomfort but can also lead to itching, redness, and difficulty in managing your hair. In severe cases, this can progress to permanent hair loss making it difficult to comb, wash, or style your hair.

Neck tension bumps from braids, a similarity to folliculitis, are small, irritated bumps that can appear on the scalp near the neck. These bumps are typically the result of tension and friction from braids that are too tight, sweat, bacteria, or product buildup, which can occur when the scalp is covered by braids and not properly cleansed or ventilated. Braid your hair gently and keep the scalp clean to prevent these bumps.

Go here to understand the cause of dead hair follicles.

Hair folliculitis is another common consequence of wearing tight braids. This condition occurs when hair follicles become infected, causing them to become red, swollen, and painful. Hair folliculitis can lead to scarring and permanent hair loss if left untreated.

How to Soothe a Sore Scalp Caused by Tight Braids

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If you have scalp sores from tight braids, there are several steps you can take to soothe your scalp and reduce pain and discomfort. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Gently massage your scalp to improve blood flow and reduce pain and itching.
  • Use a medicated shampoo or lotion specifically designed for the treatment of scalp sores
  • Avoid wearing tight braids or other hairstyles that put pressure on your scalp.
  • Keep your scalp clean and dry to avoid infection.

Braiding While Avoiding the Pain

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If you want to avoid getting scalp sores from tight braids, it's important to braid your hair in a way that minimizes tension and pressure on your scalp. Here are some tips to help you get started: 

Choose braids that are not too tight or too loose. You should be able to fit a finger between your scalp and the braid without feeling any discomfort.

  • Make sure that the braids are evenly spaced and that the braiding technique used does not pull on your hair roots.
  • Avoid braiding your hair too tightly, especially near the hairline or temples, where the skin is more delicate.
  • Consider braiding your hair in a looser style, such as box braids or cornrows, to avoid putting too much pressure on your scalp.
  • Take breaks from braiding your hair to give your scalp time to recover.


You Might Have Braid Bumps

Braid bumps are small, raised bumps that can form on the scalp as a result of tight braiding. They can be caused by pulling the hair too tightly while braiding, which irritates and inflames the hair follicles.

How to get rid of hair bumps from braids:

  • Loosen the Braids: Try to gently loosen them without causing more damage to your hair or scalp.
  • Apply a Soothing Treatment: Use products with aloe vera or tea tree oil to soothe irritation.
  • Avoid Tight Hairstyles: Give your scalp a break from tight hairstyles to prevent further irritation.
  • Keep the Scalp Clean: Maintain a clean scalp to prevent infection.
  • Consult a Dermatologist: If the condition worsens or doesn't improve, seek advice from a healthcare professional.


Recovery Timeline for Hair Folliculitis

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The duration of hair folliculitis recovery varies, depending on the infection's severity and the treatment approach. Typically, a combination of medications, including antibiotics and antifungal drugs, can resolve the condition within a few weeks to months. It's crucial to adapt your hair care practices to prevent recurrence.

In conclusion, scalp sores from tight braids are a common problem for many African American women. By understanding the causes and consequences of tight braids, and taking steps to soothe a sore scalp and avoid getting sores, you can keep your hair and scalp healthy and pain-free. If you experience any symptoms of scalp sores or hair folliculitis, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent further complications.

Edge Naturale Follicle Enchancer