Ask A Stylist: When Getting Braids, How Tight Is Too Tight?

Brooklyn-based hairstylist Susan Oludele shares how to avoid this hair no-no.

When it comes to keeping your hair healthy, there's no such thing as asking too many questions. After all, we're not the experts. That's why B*Real has teamed up with Fussy, an online network of talented cosmetologists, to help answer your most frequently asked questions about today's hottest hair trends. From popular styles to haircare routines, the stylists at Fussy have got you covered.

Okay, ladies. Most of us have experienced this at one point or another: you're sitting in a salon chair beneath the hands of a professional hair braider whom you've entrusted with your precious hair.

You're excited to get your box braids, kinky twists, faux locs or whatever protective style you've decided on, when all of a sudden the braider starts to pull your hair a little too tightly for your liking. So, what do you do? 

That's the question we posed to Brooklyn-based hairstylist Susan Oludele. Most stylists can't say they opened up their own salon at 24-years-old and have styled stars like Beyoncé, Solange, Zoe Kravitz and Brandy, but then again, Susan isn't like most stylists. In fact, she's become one of New York City's top go-to stylists for almost every protective style under the sun, including crochet braids, yarn locs and marley twists.

That's why we reached out to her to learn more about her methods for comfortable, secure styles, the pros and cons of braiding too tightly and more.

"When braiding hair, you want to install the braids with a firm but very soft hand, because you don't want to add so much tension to the scalp, especially when they're getting long braids," Susan told B*Real. "Tightness and heaviness are equal to an uncomfortable client."

B*Real: Let's say a client is getting her hair braided or twisted, and she begins to feel that her hair is being styled too tightly. What should she say?

Chances are when you say loose, the braids won't be installed too tightly. For example, you could say, "Can you braid or twist the hair with a looser hand?" You could also say, "Can you braid the hair and not on the scalp?" Another way you could say it is, "Please braid or twist the hair loosely on the scalp and tight on the strand."

Sometimes a client isn't sure how tight is too tight. What are some telltale signs that a stylist has styled a client's hair too tightly? 

When your edges and your scalp have sore bumps from excessive pulling and tightness. Also, scarring, headaches and hair loss. However, when done correctly, slightly tight braids can also promote hair growth.

Should the client give that stylist a second chance or find someone new?

I think you should give your stylist another chance depending on how tightly they did it before. If you get bumps and redness or you can't keep the hair in for more than 48 hours, then I suggest not going back to the stylist.

Fussy is a website where cosmetologists can showcase their work to attract clients, network with their peers to discover career opportunities and watch educational videos from top industry professionals. Join our growing community of talented cosmos today by creating a free Fussy profile here. always gives you the latest fashion and beauty trends, tips and news. We are committed to bringing you the best of Black lifestyle and celebrity culture.

(Photo: Hair By Susy via instagram)

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