Are You Allergic To Hair Extensions?
Hair Conditions

Are You Allergic To Hair Extensions? Find Out Now!

What You Need to Know

As a child, I was never really allergic to food, or products.

The only time I’ve ever remembered having an allergy was when I got stung by a bee. I had an adverse reaction to the sting, and luckily, I haven’t had an issue ever since, but the experience was less than pleasant. What I have learned throughout the years is that allergic reactions occur in different variations.

An allergic reaction doesn’t always have to be as dramatic, and life-threatening as it looks in the media. During my experience, I didn’t go into anaphylactic shock, but I did have itching, swelling, and blurred vision.

According to a doctor, this would be considered an allergic reaction, even though it may not be as extravagant as other reactions. There’s only one kind of hair that I’ve been allergic to. It was a colored synthetic brand that I had never used before, and I didn’t realize my allergy until much later.

One night, about a week from installation, I had a rash on my neck. It was barely noticeable but very itchy. When I went to a doctor, they asked me if I had done anything new with my routine. I told them that I had gotten a new hairstyle, and immediately, they said to me that the new hair was the cause.

Allergies are severe, and we’re here to help you see if you have one!

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Is It Possible To Be Allergic to Hair Extensions?

The quick answer to this is yes. It’s possible to be allergic to just about anything.

Sometimes, allergies regarding hair stem from different things such as the fitting of the wig cap or the wig cap material. That’s only if you use a wig. If you don’t use a wig, there are plenty of other things that you could be causing your allergy. Do you use glue when adding your extensions? Do you use braiding hair? These are other things that could be causing your allergy.

Sometimes, it’s not just the hair itself, but a combination of product, and material mixed with the hair that causes the allergic reaction. It is possible to be allergic to many things, and it is essential to understand that and consult with a doctor if you have any issues.

Be Cautious of New Material

When you’re trying new things, it’s always important to make sure that you’re cautious of your reaction to the new products.

It’s just like when you’re adjusting your skincare routine; you’ll want to make sure that you’re not allergic to any of the new products. It’s important to keep in mind that just because you’ve had a variation of a particular product before doesn’t mean that you won’t be allergic in the future.

For example, I wear synthetic hair for my crochet braids, and I never had an allergic reaction until I tried that colored synthetic hair. The variations of hair can affect the way you react to the hair. Be mindful of each new thing you use. It is also important to know that different hair products can cause an allergy as well.

The moment you experience discomfort is the moment you need to remove it from your head, no matter how expensive it may be.

Cutting weft quick weave

Symptoms of An Allergy

The symptoms of an allergy vary from person to person.

When a person is allergic to something, various symptoms can occur such as swelling, itchiness, and redness. Sometimes, the allergy symptom will show up in a concealed place.

For example, when I learned that I was allergic to that brand of synthetic colored hair, I didn’t see any immediate reactions, but I did realize that my scalp was itchier than usual. I couldn’t see the redness or the rash on my scalp, so I didn’t overthink about it. I had assumed that my hair just needed to be tamed by oiling it and giving it the hydration it required. It’s important to pay attention to the changes that may happen when you’re trying out a hairstyle.

Sometimes, if the allergy is not treated quickly enough, deeper issues can arise. Some of the worst allergy symptoms include abdominal pain, such as cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Allergies seem like they can be fixed with the sip of allergy medicine, but you need to visit a doctor if you have symptoms that medicine can’t fix.

You also need to visit a doctor if you’re symptoms are persistent.

Human Hair Vs. Synthetic Hair

Human hair and synthetic hair can both cause allergic reactions.

Human hair is the extension type that is less likely to give you an allergic reaction since it’s made with real, human hair. However, some of the reasons that people have results vary on the installation method, the tightness of installation, the products used, and how long the installation is left in.

Synthetic hair is more prone to give an allergic reaction because of what it’s made out of. It is not made out of human hair, so it can cause a myriad of responses when used. The type of material used is the significant difference between synthetic hair and human hair. This is why stylists suggest using extensions made out of human hair rather than synthetic hair. They look better, feel better and usually won’t cause issues.

However, the human hair is more expensive. Keep that in mind when choosing extensions.

stitch tracks

Allergies Related To Human Hair

The first thing to be aware of when it comes to human hair extensions is that sometimes human hair isn’t 100% human.

This one time, my friend had paid a hefty price for what she assumed to be human hair. When she received the human hair, it looked beautiful. There was nothing wrong with the hair, and it even felt as silky as human hair usually does.

It wasn’t until the installation process that her allergic reaction occurred. She had gone to style her hair, and found pieces of the hair on her straightener. Some of the hair had melted which is not typical for human hair but very common for synthetic hair.

Unfortunately, the hair she had bought was mixed with synthetic hair although it had been identified as 100% human hair.

When shopping for human hair, make sure you buy from a place that has credibility. A vendor with credibility will sell you 100% raw human hair. This mixing of hair is one reason that allergies to human hair occur.

Another reason is the installation method and the products used. Previously, I said that it’s possible to have an allergic reaction to anything. When human hair is installed, many things go into it. If you’re doing a sew-in method, it is possible to be allergic to the thread being used. If you’re doing a glue method, then the glue could be the product that is causing a reaction.

There is also a method called the nano-ring method that uses either plastic or metal rings for installation.

The plastic and metal could also be a part of the allergy issue. Remember that it’s unlikely for human hair to be the main cause for the reaction. Typically, it’s all the products, which come with human hair.

Also, if you’re wearing a wig, the wig cap could also cause a reaction. It is familiar to experience itching when a wig cap is too tight or made of a material that isn’t compatible with the person wearing it. Despite all this, the human hair is still the best bet when choosing extensions.

wavy hair weave

Allergies Related to Synthetic Hair

Allergies related to synthetic hair aren’t as complicated as human hair because of what synthetic hair is made of.

Synthetic hair is manufactured to resemble human hair. Manufacturers usually use a single type, monofilament fibers, or a combination of polyfilament fibers. Acrylic and polyester are used to make these fibers.

Synthetic hair is composed of fine plastic fibers made to look like human hair. The texture can also sometimes be created out of a collagen protein. There different types of synthetic hair and all of them can cause an allergic reaction. The best thing to do is to make sure that you pay attention to the signs of an allergy while trying out each type.

The more you pay attention, the less likely it is you’ll react.

synthetic clip ins

Consult With A Professional

It is essential to consult with a professional should you have any issues with anything at all.

If you’ve tried a new product and don’t know what’s going on, it is time to head to a doctor. A doctor will be able to identify the kind of reaction you’re having and prescribe medicine for that reaction. When you consult with a doctor, they can usually also pinpoint precisely what’s causing the allergic feedback as well.

Another professional to ask with would be a dermatologist. A dermatologist will be able to do an allergy test. A dermatologist also is the specialist you will want to see if you’re not sure what kind of reaction you’re having or if you have a result that’s more stressful than average. The other type of professional you can consult with is a hairstylist.

A hairstylist will be able to differentiate between human hair and synthetic hair. They will be able to help you see if the hair you bought is bogus and whether it’s causing your reaction.

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What To Remember

Allergic reactions are serious. They should not be taken lightly because they can lead to larger problems.

If you’re experiencing an allergic reaction, you need to assess your routine and see if you’ve made any recent changes. A new product or change can be the cause of a new kind of reaction. When it comes to hair, various things can cause a reaction. It is less likely that human hair will be the cause of your reaction because it’s made from human hair.

However, sometimes sellers will lie about the validity of their product and mix the human with synthetic hair to gain a larger profit. Be mindful of this when choosing hair. Also, different products that are used when human hair is installed can be a problem as well.

Synthetic hair is the kind of hair that is more likely to cause an issue because of what it is made of. An allergic reaction can vary from a rash to severe itching. If you experience any of these, it is essential to consult with a professional.

They will be able to help!

About Simi Muhumuza

Simi is an undergraduate student at GSU. She is studying psychology, and is an avid black mental health advocate. She is also a poet, and is working on a book that will be released next year. She DJ’s on her spare time, and can be reached on all social outlets as @simimoonlight.

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