Why do my braids itch?

Have you ever tried to discreetly pat your head to get rid of an itch when you are in a public setting?  OML itchy braids and weaves can be so embarrassing.

We all love the ease and beauty that comes with doing protective styles using braiding hair. However, what isn’t so glamourous is the itching that may come with it which often forces us to choose between enduring the discomfort of itchy braids in order to maintain the hairstyle, spending time pre-washing the extensions, or taking out the braids prematurely which results in wasting a lot of time and money.

So, what causes the itching? Can it be prevented? Yes, it can! and it does not involve pre-washing your braids.

1. Preservatives

To preserve braiding hair and prevent mould while it is in storage, a chemical solution, such as an alkaline lye, may be sprayed on the braiding hair. When installed, the chemical coating reacts with the scalp causing it to itch and become tender. Unlike traditional braiding hair, modern braiding hair, has anti-itch “technology” that allows you install your hair without the fear of enduring the pain of intense itching. Look out for braiding hair and extensions that are marked “anti-itch”.

2. Tight braids

Another reason for itchy braids can be that the braids were installed too tight. Tight braids can often cause bumps as well as irritation and inflammation of the scalp. In worse case scenarios, tight braids can also pull out hair from the roots and may even lead to traction alopecia.
There is a common misconception that tight braiding makes the style last longer, this is not true, instead it will only result in a damaging effect on your overall hair and scalp health.

3. Weight

Traditional braiding hair can add a lot of extra weight onto your head. This can cause a strain not only on your hair strands, but also on your neck and your back. The heaviness of the hair may also limit the hairstyles you can tolerate: for example, wearing your hair up in a high ponytail or bun. The constant tugging and pulling from the heavy braids can cause itching, bumps and irritation on the scalp. Sometimes, it’s easy to believe that the heavy packets of traditional braiding hair is giving you value for money, because there is supposedly more hair in the pack, but lightweight hair does not necessarily mean less volume. Also to achieve those Beyonce long lemonade braids, it is vital to use very lightweight hair. Would you trade your health to spare a couple of £sss? Look out for modern braiding hair that is lightweight.

4. Allergies to the dyes

Allergies to the dyes used in the braiding hair could also be a source of itching. Lower grade braiding hair may use dyes that can irritate the skin and that also run when put in water. Investing a few more pennies to get a high quality braiding hair will ensure you get a better product.

5. Coarse braiding hair strands

The texture of the braiding hair also can cause braids to be itchy. When braids are installed using coarser braiding strands, the small fly-away hairs that poke out of the braid can cause the scalp to itch. This is why soft textured braiding hair is a good alternative to coarse braiding hair. Soft textured braiding hair doesn’t irritate the scalp and still has enough grip so that the braids do not fall out. Soft textured hair also provides more definition for those modern knotless and/or fine braids that we love. Afrelle hair is by far the softest hair that is available in synthetic hair. Look out for braiding hair that features softness.

6. Product build- up

When we use product on our hair, it can often build up on our scalp which may cause it to itch. Don’t be afraid to wash your braids. When you use modern braiding hair your braid wont’ get ruined.

7. Dry scalp

An itchy and flaky scalp may be a sign of a dry scalp. One way to stop this is by regularly moisturize your scalp everyday using oils or moisturizes that work to hydrate the scalp. A clean and moisturised scalp will also assist in hair growth.

Why not try one of a modern, high quality braiding hair for your next hairstyle?

Here are links to a few:

Just Braid - A kanekalon/afrelle blend. Soft, smooth, lightweight and good for high definition styles. For beautifully coloured braids, try Just Braid Prism colours

iDefine - Soft kinky textured hair made with Spetra fibre. Great for volume, pre-stretched and pre-feathered for definition styles.

HB001 - A pure afrelle fibre for maximum softness and the highest quality. This premium braiding hair provides ultra definition and is very lightweight.

 

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