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Why Do My Braids Itch So Much?

Last updated Jun 23, 2024

Braid hairstyles are one of the most popular hairstyles as they not only make us look stylish and trendy, but also protect our hair from damage. However, it sometimes can result in itching of the scalp and hair, which can make us feel uncomfortable. Are you curious about what causes your braids to be so itchy? And would you like to know how to relieve itchy braids? If you want to know more about them, keep reading to look for the answer.

Why Are My Braids So Itchy?

1. Tight braids


One cause of itchy braids can be that they are too tight. There is a common saying that the tighter the braid, the longer the hairstyle, but this is incorrect, instead it will only have a devastating effect on your overall hair and scalp health. Braids that are too tight can easily irritate the scalp, resulting in bumps and inflammation, which can bring about an itchy scalp. To make matters worse, tight braids can also pull hair from the roots and can even be a contributing factor to traction alopecia.

2. Build-up from hair care products


Usually, for the sake of being able to make braids easier and faster, we will take some measures ahead of time, using hair care products is one of them, as they maintain the hair soft and smooth, free from tangles and knots, but if they are not washed thoroughly, they will build up on our scalp and hair, and with time going by, they can cause our scalp to itch and make us uncomfortable.

3. Hair extension quality


If your hair is not long or thin, but you want to have braids, then you usually opt for hair extensions. However, do you know that hair extensions can be damaging to your hair? In order to better preserve and store hair extensions from mold, chemical solutions (such as alkaline lye) may be sprayed on hair extensions. After you install them, the chemical coating reacts with the scalp, irritating your scalp and hair, causing your scalp and hair to itch.

4. Inhale pollutants in the air

Inhaling dust particles from pollution or pollen in the air can be one of the causes of itchy braids. Because with braids, your scalp may be exposed to the outside world, pollutants in the air and UV rays from the sun can irritate the top layer of your scalp and cause an itchy scalp. If you do not take measures for a long time, it may cause the hair to fall out.

5. Dry scalp


A dry scalp is another cause of itchy braids. Simply put, a dry scalp is caused by being short of moisture. This can be due to a variety of reasons, from how often you wash your hair to the products you use on your hair and environmental aggressors can have an effect on your scalp. Too much sun exposure -- without proper protection -- can burn your scalp, irritate it, cause it to dry out, and make braids itchy.

How To Relieve Itchy Braids?

1. Loosen the braids


If your braids are too tight, trying to loosen them may help them relieve the itch. One way to loosen braids is to place your scalp in warm water while gently rubbing them. A warm towel will also help. If your braids are extremely itchy, causing you great pain and discomfort, then you may need to remove them completely as this will relieve the tension and stop the itching.

2. Get rid of product build-up


Clearing product buildup on your scalp plays a big role in getting rid of itchy braids. To better clean up product buildup, clarifying shampoos is a great option. Clarifying shampoos produce a generous amount of lather to cleanse the scalp more thoroughly, leaving the scalp and hair clean.

When shampooing, the water should be warm, as too hot water can irritate and dry your hair. And you need to rub your scalp in circular motions to increase blood flow and promote healthy hair growth.

3. Rinse your Extensions with apple cider vinegar


You can rinse your extensions with apple cider vinegar before installing them. Because ACV soaking removes alkaline chemicals from the extension.

You first need to soak the hair extension you purchased in a mixture of warm water and apple cider vinegar. And then, wait about 15-30 minutes or until a white film appears (this is the chemical shed from the hair). You finally need to wash the extension twice with cold water. There is one thing to remind you, you need to air dry it completely before using it.

4. Apply oil to your hair


For scalp bumps and inflammation, as well as itching, use essential oils like lavender, peppermint, or castor oil to help relieve tension and calm aggravated areas, as they have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help repair the scalp. Alternatively, use chamomile oil, coconut oil, or rosemary oil for their soothing, refreshing, and conditioning properties that help reduce itchy scalp and promote healthy scalp and hair.

5. Never leave your braids for too long

In order to relieve itchy braids, you need to remove them within 6-8 weeks as they will keep your scalp tight and make you feel very painful and uncomfortable if you wear them for too long. If your braids are too tight, you need to loosen or remove them as soon as possible.

There is a thing you need to pay attention to let your hair rest for a few days before putting on a new braid, as this will prevent irritation to the scalp and avoid hair loss.

6. Apply medicated shampoo


If your braids are excessively itchy and make you feel particularly miserable and uncomfortable, medicated shampoo is what you need. Your best bet is a medicated shampoo that uses coal tar as an active ingredient, as coal tar slows the growth of bacteria. But they can dry out your hair, so you'll need to use a conditioner.

One important thing you need to keep an eye on: if you develop an allergic reaction, stop using this shampoo immediately.



Now you must have a great understanding of why your braids are so itchy and how to relieve itchy braids. If you are intrigued by these approaches to relieve itchy braids, you can have a try. But if none of the methods work for you, then you need to stay away from braided hairstyles.

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