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3 Ways To Treat An Itchy Scalp Under Box Braids

I decided to get box braids installed about 3 weeks ago and let me just say, I fell in love! Box braids have are probably one of the absolute best protective styles I have ever tried. I’ve done nothing more than light moisturizing and upkeep for the last 3 weeks. I already know that I have shaved hours off styling and grooming time, not to mention my husband no longer has to hear me complaining about how my hair is so much work and being a mom is taking up all of my time!

cassandre beccai with box braids

My stylist did an amazing job. She got to my home at 6AM and worked for almost 12 hours straight. She was extremely gentle and didn’t rip through my hair or pull it too tight, but she was meticulous with catching all my hair for a very sleek, and sophisticated look.

The hair she used seemed like very good quality and laid rather realistically (the brand is RastAfri) without too much bulk. The best part is that though she used 11 packs of hair, it was not heavy at all!

My scalp troubles began the day after my braid session. I did not feel as though the braids were too tight, rather the sensation was more of itching and even burning. I was confused. I’ve had extensions for other styles before, specifically marley twists and faux locks and I didn’t know why I was encountering such a horrible reaction.

My girlfriend put me on to some truth right before my install on how braid hair is usually covered in a chemical compound that prevents it from being easily flammable. The chemical is so alkaline that it affects the pH balance of our own scalps. Thankfully, she didn’t just send me information, she also hooked me up with some tips on scalp relief.

To help calm my itchy, troubled scalp these were the three products I used:

1.Thayers Witch Hazel with Rose Petals

This stuff cleansed my scalp of any possible residue. I found it’s effects to be cooling and I didn’t find it to be drying at all.

2. Rose water Mixed with ACV

My friend hooked me up with this one. It was the perfect mix of rose water with 1.5 tbs apple cider vinegar. It was a nice mix because it didn’t have that stank ACV smell. I found it to be very effective, but I had to use it almost every 2-3 hours for the effects to last. While that may not be a problem or some, I felt like it was stopping me from living life. After 2 days of running to get my spray bottle every couple of hours, I decided to see if I had anything else which brings me to my use of….

3. Sulphur 8 Original Formula

I’ve probably had this jar of Sulphur 8 in my cupboard for years now, but because it’s petroleum based and looks like it’s never even been touched, I didn’t hesitate to try it. When I first began educating myself, while going natural, I decided to stay away from petroleum products, including anything with mineral oil (though this isn’t necessarily my stance anymore. In fact, I use mineral oil quite often in a recipe I created and shared here).

Let me tell you, Sulphur 8 REALLY came through for me! I applied it on my bare scalp and found that I could get up to 8 hours of itch relief from it. After two days of twice daily applications, I no longer felt it was necessary to continue using it.

At the end of that week, I cleansed my scalp with the witch hazel and used the rose water+acv mix for preventative measure.

I learned the very best thing to do to help prevent scalp irritation form braids is to rinse the hair before it’s installed, but if it’s too late to do that, I definitely recommend trying Sulphur 8.

What products do you use to alleviate itchy scalp?


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6 years ago

The sulfur 8 regimen sounds like a good idea. I read in the past that it has a strong scent which prevented me from trying it on my scalp. I use seabreeze, especially after working out or when my scalp feels itchy. It does a good job with removing scalp gunk but it will dry out your scalp. I also use Jane Carter scalp serum or the oil. I love the lemony scent because it deodorizes the scalp. I don’t want to be the girl with the smelly scalp! I never had problems with bad smelly scalp or dirt buildup.

6 years ago

The itch for me was CRAZY! It had kept me up for 3 night ripping away at my hair. I tried everything — ACV, witch hazel until I encountered the African Pride Braid Sheen Spray. Dear lord, it feels like spraying menthol on your head! It feels so awesome and it’s immediate, instant relief. Oh my god I don’t think there’s anything better than that lol

6 years ago
Reply to  Kiara

Yes. I love the AP Spray too. It really gives instant relief and smells better than the old formula Sulfur 8 that I used to use.

jamila williams
jamila williams
6 years ago

I would recommend either rinsing the hair in acv before braiding next time to get that awful stuff off Or dipping the hair in hot water. I’ve found if at least the ends are dipped it doesn’t irritate my neck but if the issue is more toward the scalp you may just need to wash and do an acv rinse.

Jay | Relaxed Thairapy

Great tips, Cass.

4 years ago

How much rose water did you use in the mix?

4 years ago

I’m getting braids next weekend and always suffer from scalp irritation a few days after so this is extremely helpful! Thanks!

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