One of my earliest memories with dreadlocks were the headaches after a fresh retwist. There were some instances where putting my hair in a ponytail was painful. However, not everyone experiences headaches with dreadlocks; you and I are the unlucky ones.
Headaches are a dull or intensive pain you experience in different areas of your head. While there are no nerves under your hair that may cause you pain, there are very sensitive nerves under your scalp. As a result, when your dreads are extremely long or placed in a ponytail, it pulls on the scalp causing an external compression that gives you headaches.
There are some remedies you can do to relieve or help with the pain. In this post, I’ll discuss why your dreads are giving you headaches and how to prevent them.
After Installation of Dreadlocks
Depending on your installation method, new locs can be painful. One of my friends had his dreads for one day and took them off due to a headache. His locitican went too close to his roots when braiding. However, the next day he installed a two-strand twist that was easy on his scalp.
Many people who have a sensitive scalp often complain of a tight and beating feeling after a new dreadlock installation.
I also experience headaches when I pull on my scalp too tight after interlocking my hair. Your head may hurt for a few hours after installation and especially when sleeping.
Ponytails or Wet Dreadlocks May Cause You Pain
One of my hardest times with dreads is putting my hair up after a retwist. There are days when you need your hair out of your face or neck, and a ponytail is your only option. The first thing you must do is take your hair down, massage your scalp with your fingers, and take a painkiller.
The good news is external compression pain only last hours after you put your hair down. Wet dreads are very heavy since your hair soaks up water like a sponge. The longer your dreads are, the more pressure you are putting on your scalp. While this is hard to say, but the best thing you can do for your locs is trimming. This relieves your scalp from the weight of your hair.
Sore Scalp from Dirty Inchy Hair
In nearly all my posts, I always complain of my severe dry scalp. My scalp is itchy most of the time; this causes me pain after scratching. Also, when people who are preserving the neatness of recently installed dreads or retwist, they usually take a longer time to wash their hair. This causes a buildup of oils and dirt that irritates the scalp.
Despite the myth, dreadlocks need a clean environment to grow and lock. So, washing your hair 1-2 times a week is mandatory no matter the circumstances. If you need to maintain your coils or twist, a stocking cap when washing will do the trick.
Neck Pain Associated With Dreads
When you first started dreadlocks, you will not notice the difference in your hair immediately. But as your dreads grows and shrinks, your hair becomes too heavy for your neck to support.
Your dreads are putting too much pressure on your cervical extensors (the muscles behind the neck) increasing the stress on the cervical spine, in turn, decreasing its stability. To relieve neck pain, you can take over-the-counter pain killers like ibuprofen, place an ice pack on your neck or take a warm bath.
Not everyone experiences headaches with dreadlocks, so if you do, decrease your retwisting sessions, trim dreads to a manageable length. Also, loosen the ponytail so it would not put pressure on the scalp.