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by Crystal Powell  of Kinky Hair Affair 

I recently received a BOMB protective hairstyle in my hair, which I planned on keeping for two weeks. Everything was great! I didn’t have to style my hair. I just keep up with the normal daily maintenance (oiling scalp and spritzing with a moisturizer). I also received so many compliments on my hairstyle. I was just feeling it all around. Then, about six days after getting the style, my scalp started itching like CRAZY, and this was at bedtime too. My instant thought was “Oh no! Not again!”

Marley hair is no good for me

Let me back track to about a year ago. When I first big chopped, I freaked out and went to get some Senegalese Twists installed in my hair. I purchased my own Kanekalon hair, which couldn’t be no more than $2.50 a pack. The twists were a little tight, but after the third day, they loosened up. About three days later, I began experiencing a crazy itching sensation. It really came from no where. The itching was accompanied with little white bumps on my scalp. I immediately figured I had an allergic reaction to the cheap Kanekalon hair, but after sitting for 10 hours to get the twists installed, taking them out was NOT an option.

I began googling “allergic reactions to kanekalon hair” and discovered that there is an alkaline base coated on synthetic hair which leads to allergic reactions in most people.
I then discovered that the hair needed to be pre-treated with diluted ACV to remove the alkaline base. This is done by soaking the synthetic hair in the ACV mixture for about 15 minutes, rinsing it with water, and letting it air dry. My thought at that moment was “Why didn’t anyone tell me this!”. Talk about being pissed.

I decided to go home and simply spray my Senegalese Twists with diluted ACV, let it sit for 15 minutes, and rinse the mixture (and hopefully the harmful chemicals) from my hair. Guess what? That process worked. I had no more allergic reactions after that, and kept the twists in for another five weeks!

Redness from my allergic reaction to Marley Hair. SMH

Now, fast forward to last week. When I was getting my hair done in the flat twist updo and my stylist said she was adding Marley braiding hair to hold the style in place, I did think about my allergic reaction to the Kanekalon hair. However, I didn’t worry too much about it. Let me tell you why. For one thing, I remember reading that all synthetic hair is not created the same. Since this was a different fiber of synthetic hair, I wasn’t sure if I would have an allergic reaction or not. I figured I’d just try it out. And boom, six days later, my scalp was telling me to take that hair out. I developed dry flaky patches on my scalp, and I believe it was from the Marley hair.

Late night removal of flat twists. SMH

I only took out the flat twists closest to both of my ears because those areas were definitely infected. I didn’t take the rest of the Marley hair out until this morning (two days later) because the itching wasn’t that bad. Plus, I didn’t feel like doing my hair. Bad. I know, but it’s out now, and I have no hair loss. =)

Welcome back Kinky! She’s growing =)

I have now come to the conclusion that any synthetic hair does not like me or my scalp. I don’t know that for sure, but I certainly will not try another fiber of synthetic hair to find out. I am not about this “itchy scalp during my bedtime” life! So, I’m thinking that I’m just going to stick to the yarn twists and keep it moving. Nothing else.

Crystal Powell is the writer and editor of the natural hair blog Kinky Hair Affair. Her blog focuses on her own natural hair journey,experimentation with hairstyles and hair products along with spotlights on influential people in the natural hair movement and other naturals sharing their stories. Keep up with Crystal on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.