Itchy Hair Extensions: Symptoms of Allergic Reaction

You just got your new hair extensions installed, and your hair looks gorgeous. Girl, you’re ready to be the belle of the ball. But a few hours after you got your beauties applied, you notice unbearable itchiness coming on. What gives?

Slight itching and mild discomfort are relatively common after hair extension application, but they should dissipate after the first few days following installation. You may have an allergic reaction to your hair extensions if you have severe, unrelenting itching accompanied by redness, swelling, bumps, and/or headache, and nausea.

Do you think you may be suffering from an allergic reaction to your hair extensions? While allergies to hair extensions are pretty rare, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Keep reading to discover the symptoms of a hair extension allergic reaction.

Your well-being is more important than perfect hair – find out the symptoms of allergic reactions now.

Four Symptoms of Hair Extension Allergic Reaction

An allergic reaction is one of the worst possible outcomes that can come from hair extensions. But it’s important to know what they are, so you can spot them in the event that you are one of the few people who end up allergic to their new tresses.

1. Itching

Subtle itching is expected in the first few days following hair extension application. The itching should be mild – so mild that you hardly notice it. Allow your scalp a few days to get accustomed to the new extensions, and ensure you’re rinsing all products from your mane, as this can cause itchiness, too.

However, if you have a severe and relentless itch, it may signify further trouble. 

Persistent and painful itching can be caused by two things: incorrect application (too close to the scalp) or an allergic reaction.

If your itching is aggravating and doesn’t cease after a few days, have your extensions checked by your hairstylist. If you show no other signs of an allergic reaction, she may maneuver the extensions further from your scalp. If you show signs of an allergy, she may remove them entirely.

2. Redness/Inflammation

While itching and mild discomfort may be a-okay after hair extension installation, redness and inflammation are not. If you notice that you have redness and inflammation where your new extensions make contact with your scalp and neck, you may be suffering from an allergy.

Have a friend or family member check your scalp and neck for any signs of redness, inflammation, and overall irritation (small red bumps). After all, these signs may go unnoticed without the help of your loved ones, as you can’t see the back of your head!

3. Swelling

Another significant indicator that you’re dealing with an allergic reaction to your hair extensions is swelling. Swelling can occur all around your head where your hair extensions are touching. If you notice swelling, it’s essential to get the extensions removed and contact a medical professional.

4. Headache/Digestive Issues

Sometimes, the allergic reaction can be so severe that you begin to develop digestive issues. This can show up as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This may or may not be accompanied by a headache. Although, a headache can also be a standalone sign of an allergic reaction.

What To Do If You Think You’re Allergic to Your Hair Extensions

If the itching and discomfort are mild and relatively unnoticeable, you can wait a few days to see if it stops. If the pain and itching continue or other symptoms of an allergic reaction accompany it, you need to take action.

1. Have the Extensions Removed

Your first course of action is to have your hair extensions removed. I know this will feel like you’re letting go of a little bit of your soul, but it’s necessary for your health. 

You may be able to handle other types of extensions. This is especially true if you opted for tape-ins or fusion hair extensions, which have the highest rate of allergic responses. The same is also valid for synthetic strands over natural human hair.

2. Seek Medical Care

Allergic reactions are not fun. And while you can probably use a good shampoo and an allergy tablet and be perfectly fine (after having your extensions removed), that doesn’t mean you should move on as if nothing happened. 

Please consult with your doctor or dermatologist to better understand what you were allergic to in the first place so that you can avoid it in the future. 

If your allergic reaction doesn’t go away on its own, you’ll also need to seek professional medical treatment, so the problem doesn’t get worse.


Allergic reactions to hair extensions aren’t common, but they can happen. So it’s essential to be on the lookout. And if you want to learn more about hair extensions and allergies, here are a couple more FAQs to look at!

Can I be allergic to my hair extensions?

Sorry, babe, but yeah, you can be allergic to your hair extensions. While it’s relatively uncommon, it can still happen. Allergic reactions are most common with tape-ins and fusion hair extensions. They’re also more likely to occur with synthetic strands than with human hair.

Is there any side effects of hair extensions?

As long as hair extensions are installed correctly, there are little to no side effects. That said, improper application and removal can cause many troubles, from traction alopecia to pain and hair loss to weakened strands.

Why is my head so itchy with extensions in?

Itchy extensions are common in the first few days after installation. You may have an allergy if they’re severely itchy and the itching does not cease. Relentless itchiness can also come from improper application and incorrect use of hair care products.

Hair Extensions Are Easily Detected and Rare

Luckily, allergic reactions to hair extensions are rare, so you shouldn’t be overly concerned. However, if you know you have sensitive skin and are prone to allergies, the main things to look out for are relentless itching, redness and inflammation, swelling, and digestive issues or headaches.

Have you ever had an allergic reaction to your hair extensions? What happened?

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