What Can I Do Prior to Getting Synthetic Hair?
Before going to the salon, make sure your natural hair is clean with synthetic-specific shampoos, conditioners, and brushes to avoid damage.
Dr. Campbell recommends "products that say 'noncomedogenic,'" meaning they do not clog the pores as small bumps or blackheads. If you think you are experiencing an allergy to the hair and or products used, "you can first try an over-the-counter hydrocortisone ointment or cream to relieve itching and take an antihistamine like Zyrtec or Allegra."
How Do I Manage Scalp Itchiness Once Hair Is Installed?
For irritation on the scalp, it's important to clean and condition your hair while weaves or braids are in. Concentrate on the scalp area. Dr. Allen and Dr. Mariwalla recommend the Head & Shoulders Royal Oils collection, including the Head & Shoulders Royal Oils Moisture Renewal Conditioner ($7), for conditioning hair properly.
It's equally important to know when enough is enough. Dr. Allen suggests switching products once irritation begins. "You can get a contact dermatitis — or skin irritation — to one product, leading to chronic itchiness and redness of the scalp." If this doesn't work, "change hairstyle immediately, especially if you notice scabs or crusts on the scalp, scalp stinging, or pain from tight hairstyles."
Scalp folliculitis, or acne, can also occur due to bacterial buildup. "Remember that synthetic fibers hold dust in a different way than natural hair does. The result is that your scalp can get buildup in the pores, increase in bacteria, and breakouts," Dr. Mariwalla said.