How To Calm Itchy Braids and Hair Extensions

20 Aug 2019
Braids and Hair Extensions Scalp Itching itchy

Everyone loves the beauty and the ease of braid extension styles, but what isn’t so cool is the terrible itching! Most people who have hair extensions or braided their hair know that one of the most irritating things about this process, is how itchy braids make your scalp. This is because of a chemical that is used to coat the synthetic hair. The chemical makes the hair heat resistant and helps prevent mould.  If you have a sensitive scalp, you may naturally take slightly longer than someone with a less sensitive scalp to adjust to a new set of hair extensions.

Hair extensions will add weight to your scalp, as an average set of hair extensions weighs approx 100g.  This is quite a lot of extra hair for your head to support, and therefore for the first few days your scalp may go into overdrive trying to cope with the sudden change in normality.

A very common side effect of this is for your scalp to itch however, this should only be mild and last a few days whilst your scalp gets used to the change.

Most individuals find that within a matter of days their scalp has returned to its usual state, and the itchiness stops on its own without the need for intervention.

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Well, why is synthetic hair so itchy?

To make the hair heat resistant a coating of Akaline Lye is sprayed on the hair. So when you are burning the ends of the hair or using boiling hot water to curl the Kanekalon hair, you have the Akaline to thank. The Akaline also helps to make the product more sanitary and aids in preventing mold and other growths. Unfortunately many people’s scalps become easily irritated by this coating which is why even on the first day of getting your braids or hair extensions you may find it to be quite itchy.

Don’t be afraid to wash your hair

Yes, overtime washing will make your braids or hair extensions look less fresh, but in the long run your scalp will thank you. More often than not your scalp is itching due to product buildup, sweat, and elements from the outside. Washing your hair will give you some relief and allow your scalp to breathe easier. Dilute your shampoo to prevent residue in your braids or hair extensions.

If you are experiencing an itchy scalp after the fitting of a new set of hair extensions, and this has persisted beyond the first few days of the fitting, the cause of your itchiness may not be a sensitive scalp, but an issue with your aftercare routine.

When hair extensions are first fitted, many do not truly understand the importance of correct aftercare, and therefore this is quite a common cause of symptoms such as itchiness or scalp irritation.

The itchiness is caused by shampoo not being rinsed away from the bonds correctly, resulting in the residue sitting and drying to the scalp.

Whilst most of us are experienced hair washers, there are differences in the way in which hair extensions should be washed to prevent itchiness occurring from shampoo residue, and 9 out of 10 times the problem is caused by wearer not rinsing their hair for long enough when showering.

Shampoo is a lot trickier to completely clear away from the scalp and bonds when wearing hair extensions in comparison to those not wearing hair extensions, hence why this is such a common issue.

You simply need to spend more time rinsing your hair after shampooing and conditioning, to ensure all of the residue has been fully washed away.

On days where you opt not to wash use A DRY SHAMPOO AND BLESSURE SERUM your scalp

Again, your scalp must be cleansed and if you don’t feel like washing it at least go for a dry shampoo then use Cricket Serum by Blessure Serum Skincare afterwards. This will help to clear up the gunk and buildup on your scalp your putting your scalp more at ease.

Don’t pile on too much product

While you definitely don’t want to skip out on moisturizing your hair, you want to avoid piling too much product on your scalp as this can make the itches even worse.


If your hair extensions are causing you a high level of discomfort and pain, and this has not improved following the first few days after your fitting, your hair extensions may have been fitted too tightly. 

This is a fairly common issue, as without the correct training and experience bonds can be applied too close to the scalp which will put a lot of pressure on your hair, causing discomfort and pain. 

It is important to point out here that just because your hair extensions are hurting, it does not necessarily mean they have been fitted incorrectly or unprofessionally, it may just mean for your own personal comfort you require certain adjustments to be made.

Can You Be Allergic To Hair Extensions?

Allergic reactions are rare with hair extensions wearers however, they are of course possible in some extreme cases.

The most likely cause of an allergic reaction would be more to do with the fitting type rather than the hair itself, as the majority of hair extensions are human. 

If you feel that you are experiencing a reaction to your hair extensions, and you are wearing a glue based method this could be a reaction to the keratin, (the glue-like substance used to secure the hair extensions ). 

If you are wearing a ring method, for example, micro rings or nano rings. This could be a reaction to the metal within the ring. 

The majority of micro ring type hair extensions are made of a nickel-based material known as Cupronickel, which is cheap to produce, and those who are allergic to things such as coat zippers or custom jewellery may experience the same reaction with this type of hair extension fitting. 

In the event that you are experiencing any discomfort with your hair extensions, you should reach out to your hair extension technician or salon who will have the expertise and experience to identify the cause and find a solution for you.


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