If you’ve ever worn synthetic hair and ended up with an irritating itch, patch of red skin or even a sneeze, we’d encourage you to step away from the wig… you may just have a synthetic-hair allergy! Such allergies are extremely real and should be taken seriously. Continue reading for some tips on how to notice them quickly!
Blame the Chemicals
There are several different chemicals and fibres used in synthetic hair, all in an attempt to replicate the shine, ‘lustre and smoothness’ of natural bundles. These chemicals and fibres, such as alkaline are often the culprits of your synthetic hair allergies.
Image | Synthetic Hair Bundles
We’re all different, so we’ll always experience different symptoms. However, the most common symptoms you can look out for with regards to synthetic hair allergies are: blisters, rashes, dry skin, hives, consistent itchiness, tenderness, and ‘swelling of the scalp, face, and neck’... or in other words, contact dermatitis. If you find that you’re experierncing these symptoms after getting your braids done or a synthetic wig install,we wouldn’t suggest taking this lightly!
Image | Itching Neck
Read the Packaging!
If you love synthetic hair and braids and you're just not willing to give them up despite your allergy, we have some good news! You don’t have to wave goodbye to synthetic hair just yet. You can look for synthetic hair packets that say ‘itch-free', 'chemical free', or 'hypoallergenic' online and in stores. The hair advertised should be free of your allergy-trigger chemicals such as alkaline!
Image | Kadidja Dosso, founder of hypoallergic braiding hair retailer, Dosso Beauty
Rinse, Rinse, Rinse
It’s always encouraged to wash any new hair you buy before using - that goes for both human and synthetic hair. Give your synthetic hair a deep cleanse to kill any surface bacteria that may irritate your scalp or neck upon application. Hair educator and professional hairstylist, Unique Dandridge, advises that it may be worth your while to soak your synthetic hair in a blend of apple cider vinegar and water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This tactic is thought to 'lift the alkaline base' from the alkaline-coated hair. Dandridge also stresses the importance of assessing the texture of your synthetic hair upon arrival - if it’s ‘rough to the touch’, don’t use it!
Wash Your Wig Regularly
Unfortunately, synthetic wigs are 'not as breathable as human hair wigs' so it’s super easy for synthetic hair to produce bacteria - especially in moist, warm conditions (avoid wearing these wigs to the gym!). It’s especially important to regularly wash both your natural hair and synthetic wig to prevent the potential growth of bacteria, which may be triggering your allergies.
Image | Washing Synthetic Wig
Ultimately if you do have an allergy to synthetic wigs, we'd suggest staying far away from them - this may be the safest option! We hope these tips were useful.
The Renatural are not in away way licensed to give medical advice and we have not done so via this post.