Why Are My Braids So Stiff?

Why are my braids so stiff

Nowadays, hairs are styled in many ways. People want to experience their hair with different colors, designs, and shapes. As a result, they cut their hair in different styles, dye their hair, take hair treatments, use different hair care products, and also use different instruments to style their hair. Braid is also a common hairstyle that combines three or more strands of hair. Braids help to lock the moisture of your hair keeping them nourished.

So, why are my braids so stiff? Braided hair is very effective in retaining and locking moisture. This can keep your hair healthy in an organized pattern. Though it requires less maintenance and can easily be managed, some people find them to be too stiff and dry. In this article, we’ve shared the major reasons why our braids get stiff and how to make them not stiff anymore. Focus on the reasons such as lack of moisture or conditioner and take preventive measures according to that.

5 Reasons Why My Braids Are Stiff

Braids are a hairstyle that is made by interlacing three or more strands of hair. Braids are done in a way that pulls the hair away from the face. This hairstyle was first found in Western cultures among women but later become popular among men too. Braided hairstyle has been used since ancient times to dress the hair.

In this hairstyle, the section of hair is divided into three or more three parts. The parts are woven together in an overlapping pattern to dress the hair. Braids are a protective hairstyle that requires less maintenance. Many people find the braids too stiff and find this uncomfortable. The major factors behind the stiff braids are as follows:

1. Lack of Moisture

The primary cause of stiffness is a lack of moisture. If you do not keep your hair hydrated, it may cause stiffness in your hair. Apply oil or natural moisturizer to keep your hair from drying out.

Lack of moisture
Lack of moisture

2. Over Washing

Overwashing your hair can also lead to dryness and make your braids stiff. So, use a gentle shampoo and limit shampooing your hair to keep your braids safe.

Over washing
Over washing

3. Lack of Conditioner

Skipping or avoiding the conditioner may also result in stiff hair. Conditioner is a significant part of our hair care routine because they help to soften and smooth out the hair. Apply conditioner to your hair and leave it for 10 minutes before rinsing or washing it with water.

Lack of conditioner
Lack of conditioner

4. Using the wrong products

Wrong products can also make your braids damaged and stiff. Using so many styling products or gels can make your hair rough and dry. So, check the ingredients list before buying any products to use on your braids.

Using the wrong products
Using the wrong products

5. Lack of Detangling

Detangling is also very important when you have braids in your hair. Before and after washing your hair, detangle them regularly to avoid stiff braids.

Lack of detangling
Lack of detangling

10 Ways On How to Make My Braids Not Stiff

There are some ways in which your braids won’t be stiff. Follow these to get healthy and relaxed braids: 

10 Ways on how to make my braids not stiff
10 Ways on how to make my braids not stiff

1. Talk to Your Stylist

Communicate with your stylist about your desire and what you expect from the braids. You may ask them to use a moisturizing shampoo or conditioner. Using a leave-in conditioner can also naturally penetrate the hair strands without any additives.

2. Cleanse Your Hair Regularly

If you have braids, you may feel itching and dandruff. Use a clarifying shampoo every week to remove the buildup or oil from your hair. Finally, rinse your scalp with a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar.

3. Use Sulfate Free Shampoo and conditioner

If you are using so many styling products, you must condition your hair regularly. Choose a moisturizing conditioner to use after shampooing your hair. While choosing your shampoo and conditioner, choose the sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner because sulfates can make your hair dry and brittle. So, when cleaning your braids, choose the sulfate-free ones.

4. Durable Water-Resistant Protection

Make sure your braids don’t dry out or get frizzy. Choose a water-resistant product to protect your braids and keep them in place when you are outdoors.

5. Oil Scalp Massage

Take a small amount of nourishing oil or moisturizer and apply it to the scalp. This can also be done before washing or conditioning your hair.

6. Hair Masks

The hair mask is an effective way to moisturize your braids and make them less dry. Use a hair mask to cover your braids with a hair cap. Applying a hair mask 20 minutes before washing and conditioning your hair. This will help your braids not to stiff.

7. Avoid Chemical Hair Treatments

Avoid taking chemical treatments on your braids. Avoid straightening/relaxing, dyeing, and other harsh chemicals that can weaken the braids and may lead to breakage. Even if you have chosen protective braids, limit using the heating tools or harsh chemicals as they can hamper the overall health of your braids.

8. Apply a Strengthening Spray

Your braids may get stiff and as a result, you may experience breakage or damage to your braids. Use a strengthening spray to prevent this breakage or falling out. There are so many strengthening products in the market or you can make the spray of your own by mixing aloe Vera gel and water.

9. Limit Brushing to Prevent Frizzing

Limit brushing your braids to prevent frizzing and breakage. When brushing, wait until the braids are completely dry. Using a wide-tooth comb is recommended for better results. Gently loosen each braid and remove it one at a time.

10. Use Oil-Based Products

Use oil-based products rather than water-based products. Choose products that contain coconut oil, shea butter, avocado oil, sunflower oil, and olive oil to retain the moisture of your braids.

How Can I Soften My Braids?

Your braids can be a little stiff sometimes. So, you need to know how to soften your braids.

Use warm water to soften your braids. Warm water helps the braids to soften and move. If you don’t want to use hot water, avoid using a heat cap. A braid spray is very effective in softening and loosening your hair. Use sprays that are made with aloe vera, tea tree oil, sulfur, or lavender oil. This will prevent itching or irritation and lubricate your braids. Use a diluted fabric softener for better results. This is made with synthetic fiber that creates a fluffier and softer texture. Take some fabric softener and warm water into a spray bottle and make a mixture of it. Spray the braids with this mixture and see the result of your own.


1. Do tight braids help hair grow?

This is a misconception that tight braids make the hair grow faster. But this does not really speed up the growth. Your hair growth depends on genetics, diet, stress levels, and so on. Tight braids can keep your hair organized in a pattern but this won’t help the hair grow.

2. Does hot water soften braids?

When the braids are exposed to heat or hot water, it softens the braids. Heat some water and pour it into a jug and then gently apply it to your braids to loosen or soften the hair.

3. Are loose or tight braids better?

People think that the tighter the braids, the longer the hairstyle will last. In reality, tighter braids can cause damage to your hair. This can also create tension on the scalp and cause hair breakage or damage.

4. Are braids healthy for your hair?

Braids can protect the scalp and ends of your hair. When you are having braids, you won’t detangle and brush your hair. This can cause hair breakage and can damage your hair.

5. Why do my braids itch so much at night?

Braid is a comfortable hairstyle. Your braids may get dry and itch. This may happen for several reasons like sandy hair, tight braids, infrequent oiling, and so on. The most common and significant reason for braids itching is lack of moisturizer.

Final Thoughts

Braids are a popular hairstyle that involves styling your hair by interlacing three or more strands of hair. Braids pull the hair and make a different and unique look over us. This hairstyle has been done for a long time and this requires less maintenance. Many people find braids very comfortable and so they go for a braids hairstyle. Your braids can be stiff because of lack of moisture, lack of conditioner, overwashing, using the wrong products, lack of detangling, and so on. There are some ways or tips that you can follow to avoid stiff hair. Use moisturizing shampoo or conditioner, oil your scalp, or apply strengthening spray to soften your braids and make them not stiff.

Key points

  • Braid was a popular hairstyle that was practiced by women first and later got acceptance by men too.
  • This is a protective hairstyle that requires less maintenance and feels comfortable.
  • Lack of moisture is one of the major reasons behind the dry and stiff braids. There are some other reasons like over washing, lack of conditioner, lack of detangling, etc.
  • Talk to your stylist about your expectation from the braids and which products you want to use.
  • Cleanse your hair regularly and apply the shampoo, conditioners, and hair mask. You can also apply a strengthening spray for better and quick results.
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