Got heavy box braids? If you’re reading this article, chances are you do. I bet they’re gorgeous. I also bet you’re two seconds away pulling them all out.
I’ve been there.
I know all about getting that fresh braid install and regretting the decision hours later.
Braids are designed to be protective styles, but sometimes they have the opposite effect.
Heavy braids are a result of the braider adding too much extension hair to each braid.
Couple that with the tension that comes from actually braiding the hair and you have a perfect recipe for disaster.
Here are five ways to alleviate the pain of your heavy box braids right now.
1. Take them out . . . NOW!
I know, I know. You don’t want to hear me say this, but it’s the truth. Box braids that are too heavy will only cause you more pain in the long run. It’s not easy to hear someone state the obvious, especially after you’ve shelled out hundreds of dollars for box braids. I know. As I said, I’ve been there.
But, ask yourself these three questions:
- Is the price you paid to install those box braids worth risking the health and integrity of your hair?
- What’s more important . . . the money you paid or your edges?
- And finally, girl, do you want to get a good night’s rest or what?
While I adored the style of my braids, I couldn’t get a good night’s rest thanks to my jumbo extensions.
My braids were not only thick and heavy, but they were stiff, too, making it difficult to manoeuvre each plait.
2. Cut the braids into a cute style
If you’re sporting knee-length, waist-length box braids or even braids that are bra strap length, they can be really heavy. Especially if they are jumbo braids. So, this is when you want to pull out the scissors and cut those braids shorter, perhaps into a bob length style.
That will significantly lessen the weight on your head. I’ve had to do this on a number of occasions and it works like a charm.
3. Don’t let your braider put too much hair in the braids
Unfortunately, some braiders are more concerned with aesthetics than the health of their customer’s hair. They want to be able to snap photos at the end of the braiding session that they can post on their social media accounts. So, they want your hair to look great.
That doesn’t always augur well for the client.
So, no matter how much they insist, keep the lines of communication open and tell them what you want.
During my most recent braid installation, I asked my braider to stop several times because I felt like the braids were too heavy. She insisted that they weren’t. (I don’t know how she can tell me what’s too heavy for my head, but that’s another story).
She also insisted that they only felt heavy because I wasn’t used to the new style. I took her at her word because to be honest, that has happened in the past where I thought they were heavy, but they turned out not to be.
But, after two weeks, I realised that I never got used to it. So, I removed the braids.
4. How to sleep with heavy box braids
What has worked for me in the past is piling my braids on top of my head in a loose bun. That usually gives my neck instant relief.
If the braids are still too thick and heavy and hurt after trying to put them on top of your head, then split your hair into four parts and do light twists. Cover your hair with a silk or satin bonnet.
5. Opt for two-strand twist styles over box braids
I’ve found that two-strand twists, particularly the kinds that use kinky hair, are much lighter than the regular kanekalon braiding hair. Twists are also less strenuous on the hair than braids. They’re also much easier to remove.
I hope these quick tips help you to get some much-needed relief. Braids are beautiful; they’re stylish and they’re fun to wear, but they can also hurt pretty badly.
This Bahamian Gyal