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A simple task like getting a haircut can be painful and stressful when you live with psoriasis. Scalp psoriasis is very common and personally has always been one of my most problematic spots. It’s so visible when flaring and can be hard to treat without sacrificing clean looking hair. I’m sharing my 5 tips before going to the salon with scalp psoriasis. If you have a hairdresser you already go to, skip down to step 3.
1. The Search
When we relocated from NYC to New Jersey, the quest for a new hairdresser became essential. I started my search by seeking advice from local friends and neighbors for recommendations, a step that significantly aided my exploration. Simultaneously, I dedicated considerable effort to evaluating reviews. Although psoriasis-related mentions were scarce even though scalp psoriasis is very common, insights on traits such as personality, attentive communication, and preliminary discussions proved pivotal in shaping my choice. Beyond these attributes, expertise in handling lengthy and exceptionally thick hair emerged as another crucial criterion in my selection process.
2. Making an Appointment
Upon refining my choices, I reached out to the chosen salon to ask some questions. I inquired about their product range and, notably, the expertise of my preferred stylist in handling individuals with scalp psoriasis. Reassuringly, the hairdresser did have previous experience in working with psoriasis clients, demonstrating familiarity with the condition and exhibiting no reservations about rendering the service. It’s worth noting that even with a hairdresser that you’re comfortable with, a gentle reminder about your psoriasis during appointment scheduling can prove beneficial, especially if someone else will be washing and/or drying your hair.
3. Appointment Prep
The night before an appointment, I wash my hair with coal tar shampoo. It has a very distinct, and somewhat aggressive smell that can be off-putting, but it works! There are some great psoriasis shampoos on the market that can help control symptoms. Look for products with ingredients like coal tar, salicylic acid, or tea tree oil. Next, I use a wide tooth comb on my hair to loosen the plaques and tame my hair. Finally, I follow with an application of coconut oil on my scalp. This can be a messy process and leaves your hair looking greasy, but helps ease the dryness and soreness.
- Coal Tar Shampoo: MG 217 Psoriasis
- Coal Tar Shampoo: T-Gel
- Salicylic Acid Shampoo : Nizoral Psoriasis
- Tea Tree Shampoo: Tea Tree Special
- Tea Tree Shampoo: OGX Tea Tree Mint
- Coconut oil
As I settled in for my appointment, I took a moment to remind my stylist about my psoriasis condition and indicated the specific areas affected. Our conversation revolved around my desired haircut style, but we also engaged in a discussion regarding the most gentle approach to hair cleansing to prevent any irritation to my psoriasis spots. In the past, I’ve even gone the extra mile and washed my hair at home before appointments to avoid discomfort during the session. However, given the current well-managed state of my condition, I was able to relax and thoroughly enjoy the calming hair wash during this visit.
5. Blowdrying Hair
So, you know what’s funny? I’ve heard all sorts of mixed opinions from folks dealing with scalp psoriasis about blow-drying – some say it’s a recipe for irritation, others swear it’s the way to go. Personally, though, I’ve found that just letting my hair air dry gives me more trouble. So, what’s my go-to move? I usually let the salon work their blow-drying magic on it.
During my latest salon adventure, the stylist was super careful, especially around the areas where those pesky spots like to hang out. She made sure not to go all crazy with the brushing and kept the dryer on a warm, not scorching, setting for those sensitive spots.
Gotta say, the whole experience was top-notch, and now I’m walking around feeling a bit lighter with those 6 inches of hair gone The prep process can be a bit more time consuming, but it makes going to the salon with scalp psoriasis a breeze!