Photo Courtesy of mapodile -- Getty Images
We love what we love, and while rocking your curls, coils, and waves is amazing, changing it up like adding extensions can be fun, flirty, and the perfect pathway to spring. When using synthetic extensions, you must keep in mind that is it processed, which can cause an allergic reaction. Well, anyone can be allergic to just about anything and that anything could be synthetic hair. Rhonda.Corni  inquired about itching from synthetic hair in our Curly Q&A  section . 

Question

I have hair that's soft, but like braids and weaves but hair they braid irritate my scalp need help! The synthetic hair they use irritates my scalp also need to know my hair type and what products to keep my hair soft!

Answer

This is really a three-part question but here goes: For determination on your hair type check out our hair typing quiz and all about density, width, porosity and pattern on hair here: Hairtype Quiz

Now, let’s get into why your braids get irritated and working on softness.

Irritations to synthetic hair

I too had bad experiences with extensions. The reason this occurs is because there is an alkaline lye coating on the braiding hair you purchased to produce a wear or heat resistant product. This can cause irritation or red welts along the hair line. I suffered from the welts along the nape all the time and never realized this was the cause.

How to fix the problem

There is a super, simple solution that requires water and apple cider vinegar. Simply wash or soak the hair in a water + ACV mix (sink full of clean water and 1 cup of ACV) for about 15 min. to remove the coating, you will see white film appear in the water. Remove hair, rinse thoroughly, and allow to air-dry.

Vinegar Rinsing on Kanekalon - Prep for Box Braids

How to soften natural hair

Persons suffering from rough hair may be dealing with product buildup, not moisturizing properly, too much protein, or just excessive dryness. It depends on what is actually going on to fully fix the problem, but here are go-tos for softening your hair.

Deep condition on wash day

Deep condition to bring back to life and rebuild the cuticle temporarily. That goes along with adding softness to rough hair from shampooing. Just do it! Using a hooded dryer or heating cap will impart extra softness.

Adding humectants to hair diet

Humectants help to retain moisture to your strands. Glycerin or honey are popular humectants and can be added to your conditioners for additional moisture.

Use shampoo or clarifying shampoo if you have buildup

You may co-wash often but shampoos still have a place in a curly girl’s life. Hair accumulates product buildup overtime and with increased product application, so you will need shampoo, clay, or oat water to thoroughly cleanse your hair and regain its natural softness.

Read more: 100% Natural Cleansers that Won’t Dry Your Hair Out

Apply leave-in with a light hand

Being heavy-handed with stylers like gels and hair butters can often cause the buildup problem and leave hair hard, coated, and even sticky. Less is more when it comes to stylers.

Hot oil treatments

They are great for getting hair softer and moisturized, so try doing these weekly to see if you notice a difference.