''Her hands and my hair don't get along! My scalp was so itchy, it felt like my head was on fire. I'm never letting her braid my hair again!''
Those are some harsh words that we often hear among ourselves when discussing a salon experience or listening to a friend reviewing a braider . But have you ever wondered why it pains so much when one braider does your hair, while another is so tender, you even forget she's sculpting your hair away and you even end up falling asleep? There are many superstitious stories and reasonings around this issue, but let's try to analyse the problem first.
One reason could be the technique. Everybody learns to braid hair differently. Some learn to do it by watching, while others prefer to understand the technicalities of the procedure- which strand comes over which one, when and how? Which fingers grab which hair and so forth. When picking the hair especially when doing cornrows, some braiders wan to pick up EVERYTHING!!
2. Braiding too tight
This leads to the second reason, the braids or cornrows have either been braided or twisted too tight. If it pains to even smile, or your eyes suddenly make you look like you have asian blood in you (and most likely you don't), then something's wrong. You need to speak up. Those pimple-like bumps on your hairline or at the roots of the braid mean the hair has being pulled out of it's follicle and that translates to hair loss. Undo those braids/ cornrows immediately.
3. Sensitive scalp
A sensitive scalp can be another factor contributing to an itchy scalp. For some, regardless of who braids their hair or how it is done, they will always itch! It's actually a sad situation because you really want to change your hairstyle, but your scalp just wont accept having any of those braids, or weave extensions! Period! This is where you just need to accept it and move on.
4. Possible Solutions
Rinsing extension braids for braiding has become a necessity since the discovery (most probably by a natural) of the Alkaline chemicals which manufacturers of synthetic hair braids have been coating the braids with. When the braids are shortly soaked into a mixture of warm water and apple cider vinegar until the white stuff comes out, this should be able to sort out the problem. Make sure to rinse the braids in plain warm water after removing them from the Apple Cider Vinegar & water mix and squeeze off the excess water. It is advisable to leave the hair overnight or over a period of time to air-dry. If you try to blow dry it, the results may be some catastrophic tangling that will end up being a waste of money. So patience pays.
The other solution of course, would be to undo those braids. As painful and expensive as it might be, this is a much better option than downing painkillers because of the constant pain and headache that comes along with trying to look pretty. Beauty doesn't have to hurt.
The most weird explanation I've heard so far concerning an itchy scalp after braids is, that the braider did the braids while her 'Aunt Flo' was visiting! I'm still trying to figure out how the two are connected.
This scalp serum was once recommended to me by a braider after I almost cut out fresh braids that she had just installed earlier the same day on my hair. It is quite soothing.
Have you ever experienced an itchy scalp after braiding? How did you deal with it? Please share your experience and comments below.