8 Tips For Washing Your Hair With Scalp Psoriasis

8 Tips For Washing Your Hair With Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp Psoriasis | Symptoms | Causes & Risk Factors | Treatment | Prevention

For many people with scalp psoriasis, there are bad hair days — and then there are really bad hair days, complete with itchy, flaking scalp psoriasis that can look as icky as it feels. 

Living with scalp psoriasis can be challenging but over time, I’ve developed a routine that works wonders for managing flare-ups and keeping my hair healthy. As someone who understands the frustration and discomfort firsthand, I’m here to share my top eight tips and tricks for washing hair with scalp psoriasis. Let’s dive in!

Understanding Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition characterized by red, itchy, and scaly patches on the scalp. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), it affects around half of all individuals with psoriasis. These patches, also known as plaques, can vary in severity and often cause discomfort and self-consciousness.

Recognizing the Symptoms

Symptoms of scalp psoriasis include red patches on the scalp, silvery-white scales or dandruff-like flakes, itching or burning sensations, dry scalp, and hair loss in severe cases. These symptoms can disrupt daily life and impact self-esteem.

Causes & Risk Factors

Scalp psoriasis, like other forms of psoriasis, is a complex condition with various contributing factors. Here are the causes and risk factors associated with scalp psoriasis:

Genetics: A family history of psoriasis heightens the risk of developing scalp psoriasis.

Immune System Dysfunction: Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, causing inflammation and rapid skin cell turnover. This dysfunction can lead to the development of scalp psoriasis.

Environmental Triggers: Factors like stress, infections, cold weather, dry air, and specific medications can trigger or exacerbate scalp psoriasis symptoms.

Inflammatory Response: Overactive inflammation in the skin characterizes scalp psoriasis, leading to the formation of red, itchy, and scaly patches.

Skin Trauma: Injuries like scratches, cuts, or sunburn on the scalp can provoke psoriasis flare-ups, observed as a Koebner phenomenon.

Obesity: Evidence suggests obesity may heighten the risk of psoriasis, including scalp psoriasis, due to increased inflammation in the body.

Smoking and Alcohol Consumption: Both smoking and heavy alcohol consumption elevate the likelihood of developing psoriasis and may exacerbate scalp psoriasis symptoms.

Certain Medications: Some medications, such as lithium, beta-blockers, and antimalarial drugs, have been associated with triggering or exacerbating psoriasis symptoms, including those affecting the scalp.

It’s important to recognize that while these factors contribute to scalp psoriasis risk, not everyone with these risk factors will develop the condition. Consulting a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis is crucial if you suspect scalp psoriasis or experience related symptoms.

Treatment: My 8 Tips and Tricks:

  1. Pretreat Your Hair:
    Apply scale-softening oils to psoriasis patches before showering, allowing 5-10 minutes for the products to take effect. Our Botanical Hair Recovery Serum is a powerful, all-natural pre-shampoo treatment that stimulates the scalp and promotes healthy hair growth while providing intense hydration and relief from itching and burning.

  2. Optimal Water Temperature:
    Use warm or room temperature water to prevent exacerbating psoriasis symptoms and keep the scalp calm.

  3. Ensure Hair is Completely Wet:
    Fully saturate your hair before shampooing to prevent product buildup, which can aggravate psoriasis.

  4. Use Gentle Shampoo:
    Switch to gentle Shampoo Bars like our Neem & Tee Tree Shampoo & Body Bar which offers a natural alternative with super-fatty oils to calm and moisturize the scalp while relieving itching, irritation, and inflammation.

  5. Gentle Scalp Massage:
    Use a scalp massager while shampooing to remove scales and flakes, promote relaxation, and reduce stress.

  6. Avoid Scratching:
    Refrain from scratching to prevent trauma to the scalp, which can worsen psoriasis symptoms.

  7. Condition and Moisturize:
    Always condition after shampooing to keep the scalp moisturized and hair glossy. Look for conditioners that hydrate the scalp. I prefer to use our Volumizing Hair Conditioning Rinse for fine, frizzy hair. For Normal to thick hair use our Nourishing and Moisturize Conditioner. Once a week, indulge in the All Natural Deep Conditioning Hair Mask, packed with nourishing ingredients.

  8. Air-dry Your Hair:
    To avoid heat-triggered flare-ups, air dry your hair whenever possible. If using a hair dryer, opt for the cool air setting.

Living with scalp psoriasis requires patience and care. Consistency is crucial. By following these tips and using scalp-soothing products, you can manage symptoms effectively and maintain healthy hair.

Product Recommendations:

Preventing Scalp Psoriasis Flare-Ups

Maintaining scalp hygiene is crucial for preventing scalp psoriasis flare-ups. Regularly wash your hair with a gentle, fragrance-free shampoo to remove excess oil and potential irritants.

Hydrate your scalp regularly to prevent dryness and itching associated with psoriasis. Use moisturizing products like coconut oil or aloe vera to maintain scalp health.

Managing stress is key, as it can trigger flare-ups. Practice stress-reduction techniques such as meditation or yoga to lower stress levels and reduce the risk of exacerbations.

Avoid harsh hair products containing chemicals or fragrances that can irritate the scalp. Opt for gentle, fragrance-free options to minimize inflammation.

Prevent scalp trauma by being gentle when washing and styling your hair. Use a soft-bristled brush and protect your scalp from sunburn and cold weather.

Maintain a balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants to support overall skin health, including the scalp.

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day to reduce dryness and itching associated with scalp psoriasis.

Manage your weight to prevent psoriasis flare-ups, as obesity is linked to an increased risk. Adopt a balanced diet and engage in regular physical activity to maintain a healthy weight and support overall skin health.

Incorporating these preventative measures into your hair care routine and lifestyle can help minimize the risk of scalp psoriasis flare-ups and promote scalp health. Consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized recommendations tailored to your needs.

Product Recommendations:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can shampoo get rid of psoriasis?
Most shampoos that are formulated for scalp psoriasis help ease the symptoms but they are not made to get rid of it. It’s important to use very gently yet highly moisturizing shampoos. That is why I only use shampoo bars. There are no chemical ingredients that will aggravate my scalp.

What helps with scalp psoriasis fast?
When you are dealing with scalp psoriasis, it’s important to find a treatment and to stick to a regimen. The Botanical Hair Recovery Serum used in conjunction with the Neem & Tea Tree Shampoo and Body Bar will give you relief after just one use. 

Should you wash your hair every day with scalp psoriasis?
Washing your hair with a shampoo bar that targets scalp psoriasis will help treat and prevent symptoms.  But other shampoos are not designed for daily use.  If your read the directions on most brands, they suggest using their shampoo twice weekly unless your doctor suggests otherwise.

Choose LATIV Natural Skin Revival

I know how frustrating and stressful scalp psoriasis can be. If you need a place to start your search, try Natural Skin Revival’s extensive collection of products formulated specifically for psoriasis relief.  Our collection of skincare products helps alleviate discomfort while promote skin health. Together we can help you find the right treatment.

It’s our goal to help provide you with the information and products that will bring you the quality of life you need and deserve.

Written By: Mary Ellen Wank, Wellness Advocate and Founder of LATIV, Natural Skin Revival DISCLAIMER


Healthline: Why Do I have an Itchy Scalp?
EverydayHealth: Scalp Psoriasis
National Psoriasis Foundation
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation: Koebner Phenomenon

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