Scalp Psoriasis and Natural Hair

www.curlyincolorado.com scalp psoriasis natural hairThe fall and winter tends to be the time of year when we hear more about protective styling.  With the colder temperatures and drop in humidity, a lot of naturals will do this in order to protect their tresses.  I admire all of the different styles from braids to twists and pretty up dos.  However, this is usually the time when I really just want to hide my hair from view.  That is because I suffer from scalp psoriasis which tends to last over a long period, beginning in the fall and lasting into the winter.

There is plenty of information online regarding psoriasis.  In my case it shows up on my scalp and skin in small spots that spread out over time.  Years ago, I sought treatment and advice from medical professionals who unfortunately did not help me to understand the condition.  They prescribed steroid creams which led to my worst spell with psoriasis ever.  Later, I found out that psoriasis is an auto immune disease which means the immune system is out of whack somehow.  Since the digestive tract makes up about 70 percent of the immune system, I tend to focus my efforts there.  I do this by eating a diet rich in clean foods and focus on staying hydrated.  I’ll explain more on my diet and supplements in another post.

The tricky thing about having scalp psoriasis while having thick, curly, natural hair is that the flaking that develops can be hard to get rid of.  Using oils can reduce the appearance of flakes but can also increase the production of them.  This means I end up cleansing my hair and scalp more often.

I try to stay away from harsh shampoos during this time because the frequent washing is already a lot of manipulation on my hair.  Sulfate based shampoo leaves my hair feeling stripped and can lead to tangling.  When I cleanse my scalp with a sulfate shampoo I try to follow it up with a pH balanced shampoo or an apple cider vinegar rinse.  I’ll do this once a week and then use a sulfate free shampoo on other days.  I end up cleansing my hair and scalp up to three times per week in total.

As far as protective styling goes I’ve found that wearing hats and wigs are the most comfortable for me right now.  I don’t have to worry about flakes being visible when I’m out which is a boost for my confidence.  Other times, a wash and go style is my go-to because it is quick and easy.  I also don’t worry as much about the frequent washing because I usually refresh the style every two or three days.

Read Here for  How I Clear Up My Psoriasis with Diet and Supplements

Dry, Itchy Scalp Woes

I have Psoriasis and always have a rough time with it during the winter months.  It causes dry patches on my skin and flaky, dry scalp.  It can be really embarassing because my kinky, curly hair clings to everything which makes the flakes harder to get rid of.  I was in a minor car accident recently and since I’m having trouble with my back, I thought it would be easier to wear my hair straight.  I figured, I can oil my scalp and keep those flakes under control. 

I tried this theory out and boy was I wrong!  Not only did I see more flaking, but the itching was out of control!  I flat ironed my hair twice this month so that means five days of no washing each time I wore it straight.  I have come to the conclusion that until my scalp issue is under control, I have to wash my hair and scalp more frequently.

Sulfate free Shampoo to remove buildup
and Castor Oil to treat my dry scalp

For the first wash after wearing it straight, I knew I would have to oil my scalp one last time so that I could soften those flakes a bit (gross…I know).  Then I applied coconut oil to my hair to prep it for the shampoo I was about to use.  I washed with Everyday Shea’s Moisturizing Shampoo in Lavender which is sulfate free.  Afterwards, I deep conditioned using my new favorite, Tresemme Naturals Conditioner with Aloe and Avocado.  I put on a plastic cap and sat under the dryer for about 30 minutes.  Already I noticed a big difference in how my scalp felt.  After detangling, I dried my hair with a t-shirt, oiled my scalp with Castor oil and applied my leave-ins.  Then, I just wore it pulled back in a simple braided bun.

Today, I co-washed and applied leave-in conditioner.  I used Coconut Oil to seal and then Palmer’s Coconut Oil Replenishing Hair Milk to define my curls.  I then did a simple puff and let it air dry. 

I’m going to continue with this process of co-washing each day through the rest of the week and see how it goes.  It’s possible that my usual washing twice per week routine is what my hair and scalp likes best.  I can’t seem to go more than 3 days without wetting my hair or else major itchies.  Hopefully this works and will get me back on track.