Oh yeah! During the colder months, it’s time to finally break out those fire protective styles you’ve been adding to your Pinterest board all year long and put them to work. Whether you’re opting for waist-length box braids or intricate feed-ins, the choices are endless. And spoiler alert, they’re all cute. But if you’ve ever gotten a protective style with added synthetic or kanekalon hair only to have your scalp itch or for small red bumps to appear on your edges a few hours later, you’re not alone.
This itchiness and irritation is a common reaction to braiding hair and is a sign that you might be allergic to synthetic hair. Most braiding hair is coated with an alkaline base that can trigger a reaction in many people. But don’t despair — it can often be avoided by pre-treating the hair with a simple solution: apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar lifts the alkaline base from the hair. Once dry, it can be installed without irritating the scalp and hairline. The process is simple and can be the difference between struggling through the next five weeks of a protective style and flourishing from one look to the next. To do this, all you need is apple cider vinegar, hot water and a large bowl or bucket. We’re walking you through how to do it, step-by-step, ahead.
Step 1: Gather Your Tools
Braiding hair, large container, Apple Cider Vinegar, Measuring Cup,Towels and Hangers
Step 2 : Mix Ingredients
Start by preparing a bin full of warm or hot water. Use a 1:3 ratio with Apple Cider Vinegar and Warm/hot water. Allow hair to be completely submerged in mixture
Step 3 : Disinfect Hair
Remove your synthetic braiding hair from its plastic bag. Without separating the hair (don't remove the rubber bands or try to comb it out), submerge it in the mixture and wait.
Step 4 : Let it Soak
Allow the hair to soak for 5-7 minutes. After a few minutes, the alkaline base will lift from the hair and form a white film on the top of the water.
Step 5 : Drying Hair
Remove the Hair from the mixture then rinse with water and allow it to air dry or use a hand dryer if you’re short on time. Don’t worry about the smell it will evaporate.
Step 6: Style Your Hair
Now you can install or style your hair as normal. If you already have an install and is experiencing itchiness, don’t worry. Add some apple cider vinegar rinse to a spray bottle and spritz the mixture all over your head or use a dry shampoo.
Have you experienced irritation from braiding hair? Let us know your experience below.