A woman with a bald head has one hand on her neck, and then one on the back of her head.

I Shaved My Head Out Of Psoriatic Desperation

A year or so ago I shaved all the hair off my head. This has been the 3rd time in my life I had chosen to go bald. The first was no choice of my own. The hospital thought it was the best option to treat my scalp psoriasis. I was 5 years old.

I had a few good reasons for doing it this time around. My primary reason was that my scalp psoriasis had flared, badly. The itching and flaking were beyond what I could physically and emotionally manage.

Making the decision to shave

The gel, oils, spray, and lotion I had been prescribed on my scalp proved too much trouble to apply. Given how many ways I would have to part my thick natural hair and that damp hair and flakes do not go well together at all. Time to cut it off!

If you have medium-length, thick or long hair, you know how the flakes cling to a bundle of damp hair after each bath and removing them one by one requires an enormous dose of patience and time. They cannot be dragged directly from the scalp to the end because of breakage. Instead, you must slowly separate the strands until the flake can be isolated enough to be removed. This could take a considerable amount of time.

The insecurities that come with a shaved head

In this case, the door to post-shower hassles and tricky medication applications was closed. Watching my hair get shaved was extremely liberating and I loved being able to feel my scalp. It allowed me to know the shape of my head intimately. It was almost a brand-new way of getting to know myself again.

Yet, while I had expected the newly opened door to be greater convenience or something close to that, it instead turned out to be a greater struggle to be this vulnerable.

It took me a very long time to get used to how I looked, especially since my hair would not grow as quickly as I would have liked through the psoriasis. I found myself switching from wigs and hats constantly. I wouldn't leave home without having something on my head. My plaques were much more visible after the shave. Boy, was I self-conscious.

When the hair grows back...

Getting your head shaved is not as permanent as getting a tattoo but both still require some form of mental preparation before taking the plunge. Think it through and talk to someone first.

Many health sources indicate that age is a big factor influencing how quickly your hair grows. Generally, between the ages of 15 and 30, a person’s hair grows the fastest. That is also largely why I had to live with a bald head for a few months before my hair had not reached anywhere close to a length worth combing yet.

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A few things to know

When I decided to go to my hairdresser after my hair started growing back, she wanted to know what number of buzz cut did I want? What the heck does that mean? The number you are looking for is the length of hair you would like to have to remain on your head.

For example, a number 1 is to have one-eighth of an inch left and a number 2 is one-quarter of an inch and so on. It is advisable for you to compare the different styles and decide beforehand. Well, I only had an inch of hair at this point. Leave it alone: no buzz today.

I would suggest you wear sunscreen on your exposed scalp if you are out during the day. A sun hat also offers better coverage than a cap. It will be a while before I decide to shave my head again. Scalp psoriasis does take patience. If anything, I would be more experienced the next time around.

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