Recovering from Psoriasis: My Hair Journey Setback

Sideview of woman with natural hair
There has been a lot of trial and error throughout my natural hair journey.  I’m currently recovering from psoriasis which I’ve been battling for the past six months.  It left me with unbearably dry itchy skin and my scalp was out of control.  My hair ended up suffering as well since I was forced to cleanse my scalp more often.  This wasn’t my first experience with the condition but this time it came with a vengeance.     

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an auto immune disease that results in inflammation of the skin.  The skin cells rapidly form new skin in patches which have a dry, flakey appearance.  It not only effects my skin but my scalp as well.    A few years ago I wrote a post about how I cleared up my psoriasis with diet and supplements. The condition never truly went away but I was successful at keeping the flare-ups under control.  It turns out that my best chance at healthier skin was to follow some of my own advice.  

I didn’t always know what worked for my psoriasis.  I gained a much better understanding of how to recover from it after watching the documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, by Joe Cross.  In it he talks about inflammation, what causes it and what the body needs to help shut it down.  After taking some supplements, which I talk about here, the good news is I’m beginning to see some results!  Each week I’m noticing a difference in my skin and my scalp.  Now it’s time to turn my attention to my hair which suffered greatly during this time.

sideview of hair and scalp during psoriasis outbreak
My edges lost fullness after a recent bout with psoriasis. The flakes and dry itchy scalp were unbearable.

The Setback

In order to keep from going absolutely mad from the dry itchy scalp, I wound up cleansing my hair more often than usual.  Normally I would wash my hair two to three times per week.  When the psoriasis was at it’s worst, I was cleansing my scalp daily.  I didn’t always use shampoo (thank goodness!) but I was detangling each time.  This led to a major setback and I ended up cutting off about two inches of my length.  My ends were see-through which meant I had experienced a lot of breakage.  

Normally I use a denman brush to thoroughly detangle my curls.  One could argue that it was putting way too much tension on my hair.  Fact is I was using it daily which was more than what my hair was used to.  Exposing my hair to water everyday was perhaps another reason for the damage my hair suffered.  The outer cuticle layer of my strands was being forced open each time my hair was exposed to water.  This constant opening and closing may have led to hygral fatigue which is a condition where the hair loses elasticity.  

Next came the heavy shedding.  Normally hair sheds 50 to 100 strands daily.  Since my scalp was covered in a layer of dry skin it slowed shedding down quite a bit.  When my psoriasis started to clear up, a lot of the hair that should have shed, started to, but all at once.  It was actually pretty scary because I seriously thought my hair was falling out from using hair dye to cover my greys.  Nope!  It was just excessive shedding.  No biggie.  

natural curly hair before and after hair setback
Here’s a look at my hair after psoriasis. I cut off a little over 2 inches and had excessive shedding. I also cut new bangs for something different.

New Hair Goals and Recovery

Needless to say, it has been a tough few months but my hair and scalp are recovering from my psoriasis.  Unfortunately I was also straightening my hair (to give myself a break) which didn’t help matters.  I also lost some fullness around my hairline.  I’ll be sure to do an update on how I plan to grow my edges back.  I am currently washing and detangling 1-2 times per week and have already seen an improvement in my hair.  Thankfully I found a new deep conditioner that pretty much saved the day!  I’ll share more on it and my new hair goals in my upcoming blog posts.  

DISCLAIMER

I am not a doctor so be sure to consult with a physician should you have a similar condition as mine.  The intent of this post is to share my experience with others who may also have psoriasis.

Note from the Author

I haven’t posted in a while but I’m going to make an effort to post more consistently.  I’ll also be updating the site and adding some posts on other topics that I am interested in.  This blog has always occupied a large part of my thoughts so I intend to keep it going.  Feel free to comment below!

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