Why Short Hair Is Great for My Scalp Psoriasis
Last updated: August 2023
Back in 2012 I shaved my head and it was the first (and only) time since my diagnosis in elementary school that I was free of scalp psoriasis!
The great impact of short hair
Eventually, I let my hair grow back and began the dance of growing it long, cutting it off, growing it long again.
This week I cut it all off...really short, and I think I’ve finally accepted that short hair makes it easier to coexist with my scalp psoriasis. Here’s how:
It's easy to apply shampoo
I’ve talked before about how I use over-the-counter coal tar shampoo (Denorex or T-Gel) to keep my scalp psoriasis at bay. If you haven’t used coal tar shampoo before, you apply it to your scalp and let it sit for about 5 minutes before rinsing.
Now, trying to perform this task when your thick curly hair is 3 feet long is no easy feat. Most of the shampoo ends up in my hair rather than on my head, and it’s really difficult to get it on every area of my scalp.
With super short hair, it’s easy. It’s easy to part the hair and get right at the scalp. It also takes less shampoo to get the job done!
Hides the psoriasis on my ears
I’ll admit, one of my main motivations for cutting my hair is that when my hair is long, I tend to pull it back, exposing my ears. For whatever reason, the psoriasis on my ears has been out of control recently and it makes me very self-conscious (I also pick at it all the time, which doesn’t help).
When my hair is short, I tend to wear it down and it covers my ears entirely, so I no longer have to worry about how dry or flaky they look (it also gives me a bit more privacy when I pick!).
Sometimes when the psoriasis is bad around my hairline or on my forehead, wearing my hair down covers this too.
Short hair hides the flakes!
Despite using coal tar shampoo, flakes happen. Before I started using shampoo, when my scalp was very bad, I would spend forever in front of the mirror trying to shake out the flakes.
Having long hair means that the flakes have a lot of hair to get stuck in on their way to the floor. Having short hair avoids this journey, and a simple shake of the head can free most of my worst flakes.
As I mentioned above, having short hair makes it easier to apply your medicated shampoos too, so there are already fewer flakes than normal.
Dries fast & reduces the itch
If you’re someone who has thick hair, you will appreciate how long it takes for your hair to dry after a shower. You could blow dry it, but I’ve always found this to irritate my scalp more. Because of this, I like to let my hair dry naturally, which takes a lifetime.
I also mentioned that when I have long hair, I like to pull it back, which leaves a sweet spot right behind my ponytail that takes more than 24 hours to dry. Uncoincidentally, my psoriasis is super itchy in this one spot.
Areas of my scalp that are damp all day get itchy, so short hair solves that problem too!
A short cut even helps psoriatic arthritis pain!
Psoriatic arthritis can be a huge pain in the neck – literally! About 30-40% of people with psoriasis will eventually develop psoriatic arthritis, and when the neck is affected it greatly increases stiffness and pain.
Throwing a ponytail full of heavy hair on top of your head puts a strain on your neck and you may find that as the day goes on your neck feels worse. I know when my hair starts to get long, I get tension headaches as well. All the more reason to rock a short bob.
Until the day that I muster up the courage to shave my head again, I think I’ll be a short hair believer. Do you find that having short hair helps with your scalp psoriasis too?
Are you recently diagnosed with psoriasis?