rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


As you can see from my picture I have short blonde hair. I don’t mind confessing, while being naturally fair, that is not my natural hair colour. I noticed on the forum people had been asking for advice about going to the hairdressers when your psoriasis is bad and I thought it might be helpful to you if I told you a little bit about my own experiences.

I love messing around with my hair. I’ve had short black hair, long red hair, I’ve had my hair in blonde and purple braids to my waist. I even attempted dying it blue on top of my natural hair colour which came out looking like an old lady’s blue rinse. (Ah the folly of youth!) Most of this experimentation was during my teens when my psoriasis was in a particularly bad state (see my blog, All of the lights!) but I am quite stubborn by nature and I refused to let me scaly head stop my from using dodgy home hair dye kits to free me of what I thought was boring straight blonde hair.

I know that for some people with psoriasis on their scalp a trip to the hairdresser must seem daunting, embarrassing and perhaps insurmountable. It doesn’t have to be. I don’t think I’ve ever been entirely clear from psoriasis on my scalp but I love going to the hairdresser. For me it’s a treat. It’s an excuse to read magazines and come out feeling like I look great. When your psoriasis is flaring up being able to feel good is more important than ever.

Back in the winter when my psoriasis was stretching down from my hairline to halfway down my forehead I went to the hairdresser to have my hair dyed and cut. It’s a salon I’ve been going to for nearly a year now. The hair colourist made an “ouch” face when she saw how bad it was but that was it. It was an ouch of sympathy not disgust. I have never been to a hair salon where I have received anything other than sympathy and understanding about my psoriasis. I’ve even had hairdressers and colourists who have it themselves. If I ever was to have a rude comment made to me I would complain as I would expect anyone to if a member of staff was rude to a customer.

So here are some tips about making your trip to the hair salon a fun and feel good experience rather than something you dread.

1. When you book the appointment by phone or in person feel free to mention that you have it. The salon wants your business and wants you to feel comfortable.
2. If you are getting your hair dyed for the first time or the first time in over 3 months you should be offered a patch test. This is to check you aren’t allergic to the hair dye. You need to have it at least 24 hours before the appointment. Its just a blob of dye behind your ear. This is offered to everyone and has nothing to do with having psoriasis. (I have never had an allergic reaction to any dye).
3. At the appointment be open about your psoriasis and any concerns you might have with shampoos or conditioners they use. Most salon products are quite gentle and most hairdressers are very understanding of scalp conditions.
4. Listen to the advice of the salon but remember they aren’t doctors and you know yourself best when it comes to what products work for you.
5. When you find a hair salon you like, keep going back. They will get to know you and you feel less and less anxious each time you go.

As I keep saying in these blogs, psoriasis is never as noticeable as we think it is. But more importantly you have every right to go and have your hair done regardless of your psoriasis.

Just one final tip: if you are going to have your hair braided, don’t use the plastic hair as it really makes your scalp itch!



Jennifer White is a public affairs consultant who specialises in health at Lexington Communications. She has had psoriasis her whole life and is keen to share her experiences with others in the hope it might help them feel better about the condition. She regularly tweets on health policy and can be followed @JOCWhite.

3 Responses to Dying for good hair?

  1. Did you go to the doctor for check up with your psoriasis? Is there any natural treatment you are doing with your psoriasis. Your blog is worth reading indeed.

  2. Hi Conrad, I’m glad you find the blog worthwhile. I haven’t gone to my GP regarding my psoriasis for several years. This is because having had it for most of my life and I feel I know what’s best for controlling it. That’s my choice and isn’t right for everyone.

    I don’t really use natural treatments as such although creamy honey based shower gel works well for me. For my scalp I’ve started to use organic shampoos that are free of some of the chemicals you get in standard shampoos. Polytar (tar based and available in most chemists without prescription) is also a shampoo I always make sure I keep in stock for when its very bad.

    I hope that answered your question. Let me know if I can help with anything else.

  3. Annemarie K.

    I’ve been hearing a lot about this new body wash treatment for Psoriasis called CLn. A friend forwarded me a video of it with a doctor talking about how well it works and I’m curious to try it. Do you have any experience with it or know anyone who’s tried it? I’ll try anything at this point and really like that I don’t have to get a prescription for it. Thanks!

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