How to prevent an itchy scalp when you have braids on

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Woman with braids on.
Woman with braids on.
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Braids are some of the best protective styles for black hair and they're also a great way to have an instantly new look. However, reacting to the synthetic hair used in the extensions can leave one’s scalp feeling extremely itchy and irritated – causing anyone affected to take them off quicker than they intended to.

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According to Refinery29, popular hair fibre extensions such as X-Pression and others allegedly coat their synthetic hair in an alkaline formula that many people have had allergic reactions to. This, as well as other things ranging from how you care for your braids to the products you use, can cause the scalp to itch.

We take a look at how you can prevent having an itchy scalp when you’ve got braids on:

1. Don’t do tight braids

Many people believe that the tighter the braids, the longer they last. This is false. Tight braids can result in a number of issues such as an irritated scalp as well as the loss of hair. Make sure that your hairstylist does not pull too tight when doing your hair.

2. Soak your extensions in an apple cider vinegar solution before use

When using synthetic hair fibre that was coated in alkaline, start by soaking the fibre in an apple cider vinegar and water solution for about 20 minutes before braiding. This method will help to neutralise the alkalinity in the hair.

If you’ve already braided your hair without doing this first, you can create a spray with the same mixture and spray it onto your scalp.

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3. Wash your braids

An itchy scalp can also be caused by not washing your braids. The scalp collects product, dust and dead skin cells that can cause itchiness. Washing your braids twice a week is effective and will help to clean the scalp.

4. Nourish the braids sufficiently

As with skin, your scalp also needs to be nourished sufficiently. Using products that contain natural oils such as jojoba and coconut will help to keep your scalp well-nourished.

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