Scalp Psoriasis and Hair Growth Update

Earlier this year I wrote a post about how scalp psoriasis led to a major hair setback last fall.  I ended up losing a lot of hair due to all of the daily shampooing and detangling it took to keep my scalp under control.  After a few months I was left with see through ends and breakage.  It was disheartening because my hair was actually in really good shape before my scalp went out of control.  As a result, I decided to give myself a trim and move forward with an updated healthy hair routine.

One of my main goals was to grow my hair back to it’s former length before the damage.  This meant that I would need to retain as much length as possible.  I also wanted thicker hair around my hairline because my edges appeared to be losing hair as well.  The scalp psoriasis ended up on my forehead, neck and ears so it took my edges out right along with it.  

wash n go side by side comparison
Top: My curls earlier this year with product for more hang time. Bottom: This is my hair in May after rinsing out deep conditoner. My hair hangs longer when wet but shrinks up more now that it’s healthier

 

I’m happy to report that I’m seeing a lot of progress!  I haven’t straightened my hair for a while so I’m not sure of what my current length is.  My edges have grown in nicely and my hair also has a lot more shrinkage.  I also cut new bangs back in March which I’ve decided to grow back out.  They are currently past chin length.  

Closeup of hairline edges
My edges are coming back in and the scalp psoriasis around my hairline is gone

What I’ve Been Doing to Retain Length

I hadn’t been taking very good care of my hair (obviously) so I decided to make some changes to my hair routine.  I started testing and reviewing deep conditioners on my hair and have noticed a difference in my curls.  My hair always feels so much more manageable after a deep condition so I can tell that they are effective.  Still, I think that I should be deep conditioning once a week if I really want to see more length.

As far as styling goes, I’ve been going back to braidouts again.  I used to wear braid outs all of the time but got lazy I guess.  Doing a wash n’ go is just so much easier so I always go with that style when I’m in a hurry.  A braidout shows off more length for me though since I have crazy shrinkage.  I also use plait braids with coils on the end so I can still see my curls.  

Braids and braid out hair style
Top:  Here’s a look at the plaits that I use to style my braid out. I coil the ends by re-wetting and combing through them with a fine tooth comb.  I then twirl them with my fingers for a spiral coil.  Bottom:  My braidout after fluffing and Seperating

 

One of my favorite ways to do a braidout is to wear a wash n’ go for a couple days and then braid it up.  This way, my hair already has product in it from the wash n’ go style.  I just wet each section, detangle with a denman and braid it up.  For a second day with this style I’ll add a little coconut oil to help keep frizz under control.  I coil the ends by wetting them and then combing through them with a fine tooth comb.  Then I twirl the ends with my fingers until a small spiral curl forms.  Since I have gel in my hair from the wash n’ go, the curl sets as it dries.  It’s also easier to sleep on because I don’t have to use rollers when I curl my hair this way.

Protective Styles

This summer I’m really trying to focus on wearing protective styles.  In my last post I wrote about all of the options for summertime styles for protecting your hair.  For me I’ll probably be wearing a bun during the week and having it out during the week.

I would also like to try crochet braids because that way I can wear cornrows underneath a curly style.  My scalp is a little irritated though so I may have to clear it up first before starting a long term protective style.  Currently I’m back on my vitamins and supplements that kept my scalp psoriasis under control.

 Hair Progress after Scalp Psoriasis
This is my hair with no product in May 2019

Making Progress

Overall, my hair is definitely improving.  Scalp Psoriasis is still an issue for me but I’m learning that I don’t have to wreck my hair while managing my scalp.  My goal is to grow my bangs out to collar bone length so that my wash n’ go looks more like it did by the end of last summer.  I’m also looking to try some new products because I have a feeling that I need to rely less on my Eco Styler gel for curl definition.  

Watch this space for more about my hair journey and hair product reviews in the coming months!

 

 

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.  

Continue reading “Recovering from Psoriasis: My Hair Journey Setback”

New Year; Same Hair Goal

Trying to get past this length in 2013

For my hair journey, the beginning of 2013 looks pretty much like the end of 2012.  My main focus this year will be to protect my hair from ME!  That’s right, I’ve figured out the real reason why I’m still sitting at the length I am now.  Some people call it “Scissor Happy” but I’m now calling it counter productive.  I really like when my ends have that blunt cut appearance and when they don’t, I’m pulling out the scissors.  As far as retaining length, with this way of thinking, I’m at a stand still with my hair.

Lately I have been looking for ways to distract myself because yes, I’ve been thinking about cutting again.  I hit APL (Arm Pit Length) at the sides a couple times in 2012 and saw it as an oppurtunity to even things up.  Now, I do still have bangs in the front and layers on the top and sides, so my bottom layer is still the lengthiest part of my hair overall.  I guess I have always wanted to help the other sections catch up to the rest which would mean trimming the longest bits little by little.  Still, even with that being the goal I figured I would just hover at BSL (Bra Strap Length) before trying to make my hair more even.  At this rate, I’ll never see BSL which for me is only two more inches away (in back; when the hair is stretched).

Last fall I counted and it looks like I gave myself at least 6-7 trims throughout the year.  Some to get rid of heat damage (searching for the perfect curl) and some to give my hair that look of blunt ends.  My last trim for 2012 was at the end of November and I honestly think I should put the scissors aside until the spring.  I really am curious to see where my hair will end up in the coming months but the urge to cut is always there.  Not sure if I can do it but I’m gonna try.

Healthy Hair and Skin from the Inside

Recent twist and curl style

I am pretty happy with my hair recently and am feeling like things are getting back to normal.  By that I mean I was having some issues with dry, flaky scalp followed up by a month or two with heavy shedding.  Both issues are finally getting under control so I have been uploading to my YouTube channel more often with hair tutorials.  Before now though it was so frustrating to do anything with my hair because I almost felt like there was no point.  The flakes made it look so bad that I didn’t even want to go out some days.

One of the things that I think helped was that I started working on my immune system to help get my skin under control.  I have psoriasis and I have known for a while now that the inflammation in my skin is because of something not quite right with my immune system.  When the psoriasis flared up I started introducing probiotics into my system by eating a serving of Activia yogurt each day.  This helped with digestion and made it possible for my body to absorb my supplements better.  After doing that for 2-3 weeks I decided to go back to a more effective multi-vitamin formulated for women.  It costs more but has proved to be much better for my body than the usual store brands.

So happy my scalp is finally clearing up

I also added some supplements to my daily routine like garlic, super B-Complex and vitamin E.  The garlic helped with the shedding and didn’t start working right away but I can tell that I am shedding fewer hairs per wash session now.  I would say it took about a 3-4 weeks before it started to make a difference.  The B-Complex contains biotin and I can see that it is helping my nails so hopefully it’s doing something for my hair as well.  The Vitamin E is a given because it’s known for being good for the skin.  I usually try to take my multi-vitamin on its own  and then the other supplements together at another time during the day.  Both times are with a meal.  I also started drinking Green Tea for the antioxidants and increased my daily water intake.

With the Colorado climate being especially dry right now,  I hope that this regimen will get me through the winter without having anymore problems.  For now,  I’m using shea butter to moisturize my skin and staying away from heavy oils on my scalp to avoid build-up.  I’ve also started doing more finger detangling instead of using a tool to get rid of shed hairs.  

NOTE:  As with anything health related be sure and speak with a physician when considering adding vitamins and supplements to your daily routine  

DIY Length Check Tee Shirt

Lovin’ my new DIY Length Check Tee Shirt

I’ve been thinking to myself lately that I would like to see how long I can grow my hair in the next six months.  This would mean a little restraint on my part because I would have to put the scissors down for once.  I have been trimming periodically throughout the year including the mini big chop I did on my bangs.  I think I’m finally ready to see how long my hair can get if I just leave it alone and let it grow.

To keep track of my progress I decided to put pen to tee shirt.  I purchased a white tee from one of my favorite thrift stores last year but didn’t try it on before purchasing it.  When I got it home I realized that it was too snug for me to wear out so it has been in the drawer ever since.  I figured the tight fit actually made it a good choice for a length check shirt so I got it out.

I just used a Sharpie marker and large craft ruler to make lines one inch apart.  I think it would have turned out neater if I used a thinner marker but it should still work just fine.

As of right now I don’t intend on growing my hair to anything past MBL (mid back length).  I hear all the time how people want waist length hair but that just doesn’t appeal to me.  I keep thinking that would be way too much hair to deal with.  Honestly, I would even be happy with BSL (bra strap length).  At least with the tee shirt I’ll be able to see my progress in inches rather than by points on my body.

Here’s how I did it
I used a Sharpie Marker, Craft Ruler, White Tee Shirt
and a piece of  cardboard underneath to protect the floor
Don’t forget to put something inside the shirt or the ink
will bleed through to the front (see my oops?)

I made a dot to mark the center

Then several dots 1 inch apart

Finally I used the straight edge to draw lines across
Then numbered lines with zero as my starting point

I’m so excited to see how my hair measures up in the coming months.  I’ll be sure to post updates when I do my length checks.  
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