Why Your Braids Are Itching (And How To Stop It Now)

A fresh set of box braids, crochet twists and even a new wig are perfect go-to protective styles when looking for something simple and easy to maintain. This is especially true in the summer time when the heat and humidity could ruin your natural tresses or sleek look. But, then the itching starts. Or worse, you start breaking out with bumps. What the?!

What some stylists (or your local braider) neglect to tell you is that those wonderful Kanekalon and synthetic extensions are coated with an alkaline base.

The good thing is the coating helps prevent mold and makes the hair heat and wear resistant. The bad thing is that many of us experience skin irritation and itchiness from it that can get so bad that it keeps you up at night. And, scratching and patting your head only seems to work for a little while, if at all. Ugh!

Well, now that you know why you’re all itchy, click through to find out how to prevent – or stop – the itching so you can enjoy the beauty of your braids.


Apple Cider Vinegar

If you haven’t had your extensions installed yet, your first step to preventing itching is an apple cider vinegar soak. This will break down the alkaline solution.

  • Soak the braiding hair in a sink or bowl of warm water and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar for about 15 minutes.
  • Let it sit for until you see a white film appear.
  • Rinse the hair in warm water and add conditioner to soften hair.
  • Rinse again and let air dry prior to use. (Don’t worry, the smell will go away once the hair is dry)

If the hair is already installed, you can mix 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water in a spray bottle and spray directly onto your hair and scalp to get some relief.



Don’t have apple cider vinegar? You can also try washing the hair with regular shampoo to rid of the alkaline base. This may require a bit more more work to get it all out. Make sure to condition hair, too.

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