Navigating the Discomfort: What to Expect When Getting Box Braids?

Box braids are a timeless hairstyle embraced across various cultures for centuries. Known for their versatility and protective qualities, they involve sectioning the hair into box-shaped parts and braiding it with extensions to achieve length and fullness. As stylish as they are, one question that often arises for those considering this hairstyle is: Is it painful to get box braids?
deep gold medium box braid

Understanding Box Braids

Box braids are three-strand braids that are divided into square-shaped sections or "boxes" on the scalp. They can range in size from small and dainty to large and bold. This hairstyle is not only a fashion statement but also a means of hair protection, as it shields the hair from environmental factors and reduces daily manipulation.

Historically, box braids have been an integral part of many African cultures, often signifying one's tribe, marital status, wealth, power, and religion. Today, box braids are worn by people of all backgrounds and have been popularized by celebrities and fashion influencers, leading to many variations in color, length, and styling.

The Braiding Process

Getting box braids is a time-consuming operation that can last 4 to 8 hours or more, depending on the desired size and length of the box braids, as well as the texture and volume of your natural hair. The process involves:

1. Sectioning the hair into squares.
2. Adding synthetic braiding hair to each section for length.
3. Braiding the hair tightly to ensure the style's longevity.

The duration and complexity of the braiding process are influenced by the intricacy of the chosen style and the skill level of the braider.
braiding your box braids

Pain Factors

The degree of pain experienced when getting box braids can vary significantly from person to person. Some common pain factors include:

 ● Scalp Sensitivity and Tension: Individuals with sensitive scalps may experience more pain due to the tightness of the braids pulling on the scalp.
 ● Tightness of Braids: Braids that are too tight can cause immediate discomfort and lead to headaches or even long-term damage.
 ● Experience Level of the Braider: A braider who is not skilled may pull the hair too tightly or braid inconsistently, causing uneven tension and pain.
 ● Individual Pain Threshold: Everyone has a different tolerance for pain; what is unbearable for one person may be only slight discomfort for another.

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purple short box braid

Common Pain-Related Issues

The excitement of getting a fresh set of box braids can often be overshadowed by the discomfort of the installation process. Pain-related difficulties are prevalent and can range from moderate to severe, depending on a variety of factors such as braiding technique and individual sensitivity.

Immediate Discomfort

The most immediate pain-related issue arises during the braiding process itself. As the hair is sectioned and pulled tight to create a secure base for the box braid, those with sensitive scalps can experience significant discomfort. This sensation can feel like a persistent tugging or pulling that doesn't subside until the braiding process is complete.

Headaches and Scalp Soreness

After the installation, it's normal for the scalp to feel tight and for some to experience headaches. This is due to the tension from the new braids pulling on the scalp. The soreness can be widespread or localized, often where the box braids are the tightest. Sometimes, the weight of the added hair can also contribute to the discomfort, especially if the box braids are long or thick.

Traction Alopecia

Traction alopecia is a more severe problem that can develop as a result of box braids. This type of hair loss occurs when there's too much tension in the hair follicles. The constant pulling can damage the follicles permanently, leading to thinning and bald spots, particularly along the hairline and temples where the skin is more delicate. It's crucial to address any signs of traction alopecia early to prevent permanent damage.


Tight braiding can also cause folliculitis, inflammation of the hair follicles caused by bacterial infection. Folliculitis is characterized by redness, discomfort, and, in some instances, tiny pus-filled blisters. This problem can be aggravated by overly tight box braids or by improper scalp cleanliness while the box braids are in.

Itchy Scalp

Another common side effect of box braids is itching scalp. This might be caused by tension or a lack of air circulation to the scalp. The synthetic hair used for braiding might hurt the scalp, especially if the person is allergic to the materials utilized.

Braid Bumps

'Braid bumps' are small, raised lesions that can form along the hairline or at the base of the box braids. These bumps are typically a result of the hair being pulled too tightly and can be quite tender to the touch. If left unaddressed, they can become inflamed and lead to more severe scalp issues.

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loose end medium box braid

Minimizing Discomfort

To reduce the pain associated with getting box braids, consider the following tips:

 ● Choose an Experienced Braider: An experienced stylist is likelier to braid with the appropriate tension.
 ● Communicate About Pain Tolerance: Let the braider know if the tension is too much or if you are experiencing pain during the process.
 ● Proper Hair Preparation: Ensure your hair is clean, conditioned, and detangled before braiding to facilitate easier handling.
 ● Pain Relief Methods: Taking breaks, using painkillers, or applying scalp treatments can help alleviate discomfort.

At JALIZA Wig Store, we understand the cultural significance and the beauty of braided hairstyles. Our curated selection of braided wigs, including small box braid wigs and various box braids styles, provides an alternative to traditional braiding methods. Our wigs are crafted with attention to detail, providing a seamless, natural look that alleviates the potential for discomfort associated with getting braids. By opting for a braided wig, you can avoid the long hours in the braiding chair and the tension that can lead to scalp discomfort.
green box braids

Aftercare Tips

Proper aftercare is crucial for maintaining box braids and minimizing pain:

 ● Scalp Care: Apply soothing oils or balms to reduce tightness and soothe the scalp.
 ● Sleeping Arrangements: Use a satin scarf or pillowcase to reduce friction and tension on the braids while sleeping.
 ● Know When to Seek Help: If pain persists or worsens, it's essential to consult a professional to avoid further damage to the hair or scalp.

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Personal Experiences

Those who have gotten box braids often share varied experiences regarding pain levels:

 ● Some recount only mild discomfort during braiding, which subsides after a couple of days.
 ● Others describe more significant pain and recommend taking pain relief before and after the braiding session.
 ● Most agree that the first few days post-braiding are when the box braids feel the tightest and most uncomfortable.
Medium Bob Box Braid


Getting box braids can be traumatic for some, while others may just feel slight discomfort. The secret to a less uncomfortable experience is to work with an experienced braider, prepare properly, and follow up effectively.

Given the possibility of pain, assessing the benefits and drawbacks before committing to this haircut is critical. With proper care, box braids may be a gorgeous, protective style that lasts several weeks. At JALIZA Wig Store, our dedication to embracing the beauty and intricacy of braided hairstyles is evident through our extensive collection of braids wigs. Each braids wig in our selection is carefully constructed to ensure a realistic appearance and comfortable fit. We recognize the commitment and sometimes discomfort associated with getting traditional box braids, which is why we offer high-quality alternatives such as the small box braid wig. These wigs provide the same distinguished look as conventional box braids but without the potential pain and long hours spent at the salon.

The small box braid wig is a popular choice for those seeking a more subtle and delicate braided look, while still enjoying the full benefits of a protective style. Our braids wigs are made with premium materials designed to minimize irritation and reduce the strain on your natural hair and scalp.

brown medium  box braid

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