Why You Should Soak Kanekalon Hair in Apple Cider Vinegar

Why You Should Soak Kanekalon Hair in Apple Cider Vinegarby: Ro’Shunda of NaturalHairBride.com 

Oh, the itch! Have you ever been so excited to get Kanekalon or synthetic braiding hair installed just to dread the daily itch and irritation? Well, your not alone. Many of us have an allergic reaction to the coating sprayed on synthetic hair. I promise, it’s not the way your stylist braided your hair nor the brand of hair you purchased. Learn more about how you can enjoy your braiding styles longer by treating your hair first.

What Causes The Hair To Itch: The synthetic braiding hair you purchased was coated with an Alkaline Lye. Akaline Lye is a chemical distributed onto strands by the manufacture to produce a wear or heat resistant product. The overall goal was to create hair  that would protect you with a high thermal resistance however, this added component can cause our scalp to become extremely irritated, dry and itchy or form small hairline bumps. Learn more about how synthetic hair is made here: Composition of Synthetic Hair. 

Femi Collection Marley Braid Hair

Femi Collection Marley Braid Hair

How To Overcome The Itch: Yes! You can still wear Senegalese twists, Marley braids and Crochet styles using synthetic braiding hair but first you must remove the Akaline Lye that will causes the irritation by soaking it.  See more protective style options using synthetic hair here: Marley Twists

How To Soak The Hair: Simply wash the hair using apple cider vinegar before installing the hair for styling.

The Steps:

1.  Fill a bowl, large enough for your hair, with warm water.

2. Pour a cup of apple cider vinegar into the bowl of water.

3. Place the synthetic hair into the bowl for 20 minutes.

4. Remove the hair when you see a white film appear.

5. Take the hair out of the water, dump your bowl of the apple cider mixture then rinse your hair with plain warm water.

6. Squeeze excess water and let the hair air dry.

Do you currently have braiding hair installed and the itch is unbearable? Spray your scalp using a spray bottle of warm water and 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar mix.

Watch Breanna Ruter Explain: How To Make Your Braids Stop Itching?

Have you experienced irritation from braiding hair? Let us know your experience below.

Chat soon,

Ro’Shunda | Editor of NaturalHairBride.com | Bridal Stylist | Event Producer


29 thoughts on “Why You Should Soak Kanekalon Hair in Apple Cider Vinegar

  1. venesha

    I stopped wearing synthetic and kakelon after my scalp turned red, swelled, and an entire braid just fell out… my hair with it. That was when everyone wanted braids like Patra in the 90s.
    Now I know

    1. Sulamita03

      Oh my gosh, that is worst compared to my two day nightmare with mini braids. I took them all out the next day.. 24 hr to take them now. What a garbage of product. They need to stop calling this style, protective.. There is nothing protective on it.

  2. kristin

    i was thinking of getting crochet braids but using the kanekalon hair straight (so blow drying and straightening on low heat) will it still survive that process after this treatment? would it still be flame retardant?

    1. kay diddy

      This is late but according to the link in this article the same lye that makes the hair itch like hell is what gives it high thermal resistance so if you try to heat style hair after soaking it may not turn out as good. Here is what it says:

      “The idea of U.S. Patent 4813969 is to manufacture synthetic hair that has a high thermal resistance… This is done by chemically disturbing the surface. The surface of a single filament polyester fiber is disturbed by means of a corrosive alkaline lye.”


  3. Charlotte

    I had an allergic reaction to this type of hair. My scalp felt like it was on fire had to takeout in 5 days.

  4. Beanie Kelly

    I have noticed that this hair has an offensive odor on women’s heads that is noticeable the minute you go to hug them. Why is that? It is very strong and distinctive.

  5. tasia

    i had a severe reaction to the hair….I used the hair to braid my hair down for a sew in….3 weeks later I took it down because I could not stand the itch any longer; I had a large open wound in the middle of my head and went to the er….my hair is starting to grow back finally….lesson learned :-/

  6. denisenicolerox

    omg. I thought I seriously was the only one! I thought something was wrong with me or the products that my stylist was using when she installs my twists or braids. I am so glad that I know I can use this solution! I am trying it tonight!

  7. Precious

    Thank you so much!!! None of my other friends have this problem, so we could never figure out why I suffered so. You are AWESOME!

  8. landa

    thank you so much for this information…I am in the in between stagees of growing my hair out and since i am hair dsylexic braiding is my choice of concealing, but the itch is crazy to say the least!! I will try this and let you know it works out for me…

  9. Lynn Payton

    YES!! Thank you so much for this info!!! It didn’t make my actual head itch, but it TORE up my skin on my neck up so bad until I had to get professional treatment from a dermatologist. It was AWFUL!! I washed my braids and let them air dry. Then, threw my coat on, ran to the store, came back and laid down on the couch to watch TV and then went to bed. Because the braids were wet when I laid down and when I had my coat on, that HORRIBLE chemical was everywhere!! It took me forever to realize what had happened. I had to wash my couch, my linen, my mattress and all of my pillows and EVERYTHING those wet braids had touched. I sent my coat to cleaners thinking that would get it out and it didn’t!! Because it was dry cleaned, it made it worse. I had to hand wash my WOOL coat collar and shoulders with Tide to make sure all of it was out and would not RE-IRRITATE me. I never had this problem back in the 90’s when I used to get my hair braided. They had to have just started this crap. THANK YOU AGAIN!

  10. Cbunny514

    Thank you so much for this info. I thought I was crazy. I have had a little itching before that eventually subsided but this time my scalp is itchy and sore and the places on my neck and face where the hair lays is breaking out with small bumps. As soon as I get home, I will use the organic apple cider vinegar I have and spray my scalp and may even re dip the hair. This is so annoying but I am grateful for the knowledge

  11. Ak

    Thank u for the tip. I got kinky twists done 3days ago..paid 180 for it..n my skin ws super itchy n braids too tight..i couldnt sleep at all. So i ran my head thru a hot shower which helped loosening the tension..applied conditioner n coconut oil. But the itch came back. Infact my skin feels soo irritated n have noticed redness n bruises on my face around edges. Very sore. Will try out the ACV otherwise m sooo ready to unbraid em!

  12. kiana Newton

    Thank you so much for the information , I noticed that I don’t feel that allergic reaction that I had before using the vinegar and water solution. Now I can wear the synthetic hair with ease!!!!!

  13. Laura

    Thank you! Already soaking my new wig in the mix. Lucky me we have that vinegar!
    The wig came this afternoon and out of love I had to try it and so. Felt a litle itch but thought it was nothing important. Started to research wig care and found this. Read in other site it reduces a little the shine excess and it looks more natural.
    Thanks again.

  14. Judy

    Thank you for this awesome tip! Do you do this ACV soak before or after you seal the Kanekalon dreads. Will they loose some of their twist if you do it prior to steam sealing? Does it work if you steam seal them first? Again, thank you so much for this advise.

  15. Stacey

    Thank you for that info. Everytime I get my hair braided my scalp itches like crazy and becomes so dry and flakey. I NEVER knew about soaking the hair. I will try it to see if there is a difference in how my scalp reacts. Good information.

  16. Pamela

    Thank you so much for the info. Last year I tried my first go of installing box braids. I did my outer hairline first. Before I was done my scalp itched so bad that I had scales in my scalp.I used oil nothing worked I cut that hair out so fast. I will definetly use this method before I go at it again! I Love your videos and Thank you for sharing!

  17. Mrs. Latasshia Forney

    I wear FreeTress Deep Twist or Water Wave Hair for my Crochet Style. I am afraid to wash or soak in Apple Cider Vinegar before installation. Won’t it mess up the hair? Do I just soak, rince, shampoo, then hang dry? Please advise. Thanks. Ms. Tash

  18. Britney Matey

    but when you remove the alkaline base, wont mold grow on the hair eventually because thats what it was their for to begin with?

  19. Keisha Griffin

    I’ve just had box braids installed in my hair. I soaked, washed & conditioned my hair before installation, but after 4 days, the itch started…. now what can I use?

  20. Tamika Paige

    Not sure of the brand, but I had the Marley twist crochet. Lasted 2 days, really wished I had taken them down earlier. I’ve sprayed my scalp with apple cider vinegar (let sit for about 30 mins), shampooed, conditioned and twisted it. But, I’m still experiencing itching and tingling of the scalp. What do I need to do?


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