Synthetic Hair Nightmare

by Jenjen
(Virginia Beach Virginia)

French translation

Recently I’ve had some severe hair breakage in the crown area. Normally I'd have my hair kinky twisted, but due to the breakage the stylist insisted on doing a sew-in weave.

It was very expensive. Cheap braiding hair was cornrowed into my hair then a net was placed on my head and synthetic weave sewn in. It was painful, extremely itchy and tight.

After 3 days of no relief, I cut off the $215 weave. I never wanted by the way it looked atrocious anyway). I decided to keep the cornrows in, but noticed the horrible itching continued. I deduced it was the braiding hair.

After removing it 2 weeks later, I had my hair cornrowed again with a better quality hair. I noticed slight itching but it wasn’t bad. I weaved (crochet) braided in free tress bulk hair myself and it looked great. No itching.

Recently, I re-did the style. This time my cornrows were smaller, though I asked for medium size. They felt fine but tightened up later in the day, causing ongoing pain and swollen scalp. I iced, took Tylenol, and used a weave loosening spray to no avail. I decided to weave in the same brand of free tress bulk hair, but chose a looser looking curl. Within a day, my scalp was on fire as if fire ants were all over it. I took Benadryl and Tylenol (feeling doped) - still in pain from the tight areas.

I could not figure out how the SAME brand hair gave me an allergic reaction yet didn’t 3 weeks before. I later learned that synthetics are dipped in alkaline. This can cause reactions in some people. STILL not understanding how I managed not to have a reaction the time before. My only guess is poor quality control within the company.

I learned online to soak the hair in vinegar and water then let it air dry before use. A lot of help it does me now since it’s on my head.

Feeling tortured and unsure if I should removed it, since it’s only been in for 3 days, plus the whole point of this was to heal my damaged hair, I’ve spent more $$$ of bad weaves and hair services, I probably would have been better off shaving my head.

Desperate, today I made a vinegar water mixture and sprayed it ALL over my head, in an attempt to neutralize the weave. It was heavy and smelled gross. SO far it’s itching a little less, though my scalp is still painful in areas from the tight cornrows.

I'll post again if the itching returns OR if this really does the trick.

*sighned* done with weaves and cornrows ALL together!

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Jun 22, 2018
Sympathetic Synthetic
by: Anonymous

As research suggests, synthetic hair is composed of plastic fibers and made of low grade acrylic.

Many people who have reactions to this type of hair tend to be allergic to one or more than one of the contents in synthetic hair, such as, silicone, which has a rubber base.

As previously mentioned in the above. Moments, it doesn’t help that this hair has alkaline as one of its main ingredients.

I tried taking liquid Benadryl as well as using a Benadryl cream on the affected area. Since the itching and inflammation are just unbearable, I will be taking my braids down as much as I don’t want to.

I love the style, but I don’t want to risk further issues. We need to demand better quality products and more options for our hair health!

Mar 29, 2018
Itchy scalp and burning!!!!
by: Anonymous

I usually go to the Africans to get my hair braided.
About a year ago I got box braids with synthetic hair. My scalp was burning and itching.I wanted to take them out so bad.

I tried every oil known to find relief. Finally after about 2 weeks, I used Cantu Shea Butter Tea Tree and Jojoba Hair and Scalp oil. I received some relief from using it but it wasn’t enough.

I decided to get some Jamaican Black Castor Oil (extra dark) and mixed the two together. I greased my scalp profusely every day with it. It worked wonders. The itch was gone and the burning left too. It also helped to grow my hair and when I took the braids out it was minimal shedding or breakage.

This time around a year later I went back to the same stylist. I’ve had the same itching and burning effect. I’ve tried the same product as stated above that I used before and it helps but doesn’t take away all symptoms of allergies.

Best advice, just used 100% unprocessed human hair or no weave at all. Good luck.

Feb 03, 2018
OMG the itch
by: Shay

I have box braids with synthetic hair and then wrapped those braids in marley hair for a faux loc look.

First off hair was braided and wrapped too tight. About 4 days in, I got a uncontrollable itch.

I tried ever oil and shea butter in my closet.
Then I found this position and many others, I am not alone. I just did the ACV rinse, spray bottle and immersed my hair as mush as I could in the bathroom sink.

I had to do this twice first time, still itching. Now I am waiting to see what happens as the hair dries.

I am pissed because I love my look and will potentially be taking it out after one week!!!

Dec 01, 2017
Be careful with synthetic Hair - Hair Loss
by: Anonymous

I also recently had an allergic reaction to synthetic hair. I didn't know what was happening, my scalp itched really bad and scalp was burning.

After removing the synthetic hair, I lost most of my hair mainly in the crown area. I'm totally upset by this. I would like to hold the company accountable for my hair lost.


Sep 22, 2017
A nightmare indeed!!!
by: Anonymous

I just realized I've had this rash around my eyes around the same time I started crotchets and its been months...feeling a lil stupid...but I'm glad I know now!!!

Has anyone else experienced an itchy rash around the eye area?

For me its both eyes, on the outer corners...I'm doing a weave tomorrow just because I wont have time to do the ACV wash before a bridal shower and wedding this weekend...Womp!!!

Thank you for this site and info. by the way!!

Aug 29, 2017
by: Anonymous

I notice are few bumps on the side of my head and back on my neck Got bumps as well but really bad. Its only 4 day today I just wana rip it all out I hope that next time they put it on they should saok the hair before putting it on on someones hair. Cos now I'm worried ...and hope I don't loose my hair.....

Dec 28, 2016
Can I put the apple Cider Vinegar on with the braids in now??
by: MereneTexas

My head is severely irritated after having box braids put in three days ago. It is extremely itchy, to the point where I want to take them out.

I am wondering if anyone has soaked their hair in apple cider vinegar after having hair put in.

My hair was braided beautifully and I really do not want to take it down, but I don't know how much of this I can take.. Its even irritating my neck and face.... Any help??

Feb 19, 2016
Free tress Damaged my Hair
by: Anonymous

I had my hair crochet braided one w/Free and upon removal I noticed a good amount of hair loss as well as bumps and an itchy scalp. I just thought the braid pattern may have been a little tight as I had someone else to do the braiding besides myself.

A couple people mentioned that I may be allergic to the crochet braid hair. I ignored them sadly and tried it again.

This time it was worst! My scalp started getting bumps filled with puss all over. My scalp was on fire n after removal of the hair.
The whole top crown of my hair has broken out! some parts down to less than an inch. I purchased hydrogen peroxide as one suggested to ease my itchy n burning scalp.

Thankfully after mentioning to a friend what was taking place, she said the same thing happened to her.

The dermatologist advised it was an allergic reaction to the synthetic hair.
Same brand (Freetress) and placed her on antibiotics and which I'm now taking meds as well.

Aug 12, 2014
This may be helpful for healing your scalp
by: Anonymous

I had box braids put in with synthetic hair.

About two days after my scalp and ears were on fire and itching with little red bumps on my scalp.

I read about the apple cider vinegar which I am going to try spraying in my hair, but I tried putting a natural remedy gel for skin irritation it is called calendula. You can find it in a health food store usually or vitamin shop.

It really took the heat and a lot of the itching out. I rubbed it right on my scalp where the burning and itching were. Give it a try.

Aug 04, 2013
Not all Freetress hair is created equal...
by: Anonymous

I too have a severe allergic reaction to most synthetic hair fibers, especially kanekalon when it's processed with the alkaline base.

I've learned the hard way of course that Freetress, as do most companies have various lines of hair. If you want the non-itchy hair, look for Futura Fiber (Freetress Futura Bulk)hair and don't be fooled by your search engine! Unfortunately if you goggle Freetress Futura Bulk Braid hair, not only will this line come up but so will all of the Freetress Bulk hair. If the package doesn't actually state Futura, well it's NOT!!!

Another good one that I've used and had no issue with, to date, is the Outre Vivid line and the Outra Batik line. The alkaline base used on most synthetic hair really sucks for those of us on a budget and not looking to spend 100's of dollars on human hair for protective styling... I hope this helps someone and Good luck!

Jan 12, 2013
Tight braids causes hair loss
by: Anonymous

Sounds like your hair is braided too tight.

Never let anyone braid or cornrows your hair too tight. It will pull your hair out.

I once had my hairn cornrowed so tight that I couldn't turn my head. I had to go the next day to have some redone. Those tight braids pulled some of my hair out in those few hours.

Never ever bear the pain of tight braids. You will imediately feel tight braids, let the braider know right away. You are paying.

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