Tips For Dying Your Hair When You Have Scalp Psoriasis
Last updated: March 2023
It's perfectly safe to dye your hair as you manage scalp psoriasis. This condition controls so much of our life and thoughts - we shouldn't let it stop us from feeling better about ourselves or being true to our identity.
A few ways to protect your scalp when dying your hair
While hair dyes do not necessarily exacerbate symptoms, the harsh chemicals in some products can irritate the scalp. But don’t go cancel that appointment or refrain from buying your favorite color just yet. Taking some precautionary measures can prevent some unnecessary discomfort.
The decision to dye our hair is our own, no matter what the reason. Having scalp psoriasis shouldn't hinder that. I'm happy to offer some tips that could protect your scalp...
Try to avoid coloring your hair when flaring...
A psoriasis flare-up can cause the skin on the scalp to become inflamed and sensitive. With your scalp already flaky and maybe raw, chemicals can cause even more plaque buildup and irritate raw skin.
Also, flare-ups can cause hair to clump together and result in a not-so-even dye job. If possible - and we know this isn’t always avoidable - avoid dying during a flare.
Communicate with your stylist
Believe it or not, many stylists are familiar with skin conditions, including psoriasis. So this may not be new to them, and they might know how to navigate the situation.
If they aren’t familiar, don’t be embarrassed. Give them a quick rundown of how psoriasis affects your scalp and ask them to be mindful of what products they use and where they use them.
Test a spot first!
Whether you’re dying at a salon or at home, test a small area of the scalp or neck before diving in head first. Wait the recommended amount of time instructed and take note of how this particular dye affects your skin.
Use petroleum jelly to protect the skin
Apply petroleum jelly to the sensitive areas around your scalp, including your ears, neck, and forehead. This prevents the chemicals from irritating skin outside the dye region. This is good even if you don’t have psoriasis, as getting dye off the skin can be a real pain in the butt.
Ask for gentle treatment & consider bringing your own products
Ask your stylist to go easy on your skin. Avoid harsh brushes that could scrape plaques, and request that cool or warm water be used when washing.
Call ahead and ask if you can bring your shampoo and conditioner. Not all products fit all people. Bringing hair treatments you know are tried and true to you could alleviate some discomfort.
Try a natural dye
Now, this is a tricky one because not all products that are advertised as “natural” are actually natural. Just as you would with your lotions or skincare products, do a little research on your hair dye. Find a dye with as few chemicals as possible.
Avoid products that are high in alcohol, as this can dry out your scalp. And be on the lookout for paraphenylenediamine - this ingredient causes allergic reactions, especially in people with sensitive skin.
Consider Henna as an alternative
Many people use henna, a plant-based colorant that turns hair reddish-brown. Because it is more natural than traditional dye, it has the potential to cause less irritation. Not all hennas are created equal. Black henna can be just as harmful as a typical dye and should be avoided.
The decision to dye
Just because your scalp is suffering, this doesn’t mean that your beauty regimen has to as well. Taking some precautionary steps before your dye session can make all the difference. If you have a dermatologist, before your hair appointment would be a good time to schedule a check-up.
Is skin management a priority in your psoriasis experience? (Select all that apply)
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