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, you can skip down to step 3.
1. The Search
I needed to find a new hairdresser when we moved to New Jersey from NYC. I started my search by asking friends in the neighborhood if they had a recommendation. That helped me refine, but I also spent a lot of time reading reviews. None of the reviews specifically mentioned having psoriasis, but there were a lot of comments about personality, listening, and the pre-cut conversation that I knew would be important to my final decision. In addition to personality and listening skills, I needed someone who excelled working with long and very thick hair.
2. Making an Appointment
When I finally narrowed down my selection, I called the salon to ask some questions. I asked about the types of products they use. I also asked if my preferred hairdresser had experience and would be comfortable working with someone who had scalp psoriasis. She did have experience working with someone who had psoriasis. She did know what it was and didn’t have any concerns about performing the service. Even if you have a hairdresser that you are comfortable with, it doesn’t hurt to remind them when making your appointment about your psoriasis.
3. Appointment Prep
The night before an appointment, I wash my hair with T-Gel shampoo. It has a very distinct smell that can be off putting. But it’s the only OTC shampoo that I’ve found to help. 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.
4. Consultation and Hair Washing
When I sat down for my appointment, I reminded my stylist about my psoriasis and showed her where I had spots. While we chatted about my haircut, we also talked about the gentlest way to wash my hair to avoid irritating my spots. With past flares, I’ve washed my hair at home before appointments to avoid discomfort. Since my flare was under control, I sat back and enjoyed the wash.
5. Blowdrying Hair
I’ve heard conflicting feedback from people with scalp psoriasis that blowdrying causes irritation. Personally I get more irritation from letting my hair dry naturally. I usually opt to get it blowdried at the salon. She was cautious about brushing too hard in areas that I do have spots and ensuring the dryer wasn’t too hot pointed to those areas.
Overall I had an amazing experience and feel lighter with the loss of 6” of hair! The prep process can be time consuming, but it makes going to the salon with scalp psoriasis so much easier.