Going out to get a haircut can be a trying time for those with scalp psoriasis. Having someone other than your doctor or loved ones looking at your damaged skin up close can be worrying and awkward. Furthermore, with the close contact that is inevitable in this situation, it would be easy to imagine that your hairdresser might also feel uncomfortable. This concern can make the situation feel even more difficult.
Of course, the reality is that any hairdresser that has been doing the job for more than a few days will have seen psoriasis of the scalp before, fully understand what it is, and be quite comfortable working closely with their customer. In fact – they have undoubtedly seen far worse. They are not going to bat an eyelid when they see your scalp.
As it happens - I have only ever been to one barbershop where my psoriasis was mentioned to me before I had raised the subject myself. At the time, I was a little taken by surprise. Looking back, I think it was pretty cool – he was pointing it out to me, just in case I was not aware of it. So don’t feel bad if your barber mentions it first – they are just doing their job, and doing it well.
For me personally – being a guy with short hair – there is another consideration. The requirement to go for a haircut does not of course coincide with the flare-ups of psoriasis that I might be experiencing. Having the back and sides my hair trimmed to my preferred length reveals more of my scalp, and therefore more psoriasis inflamed skin. This of course is then visible to everyone, not just the hairdresser.
In reference to my scalp, someone once commented that I looked as though I was trying to balance a piece of streaky bacon behind each ear! Unkind, you may think – but at the time it was a fairly accurate observation, and was said with humour and care from someone I know and trust. So it was OK, and I found it amusing.
Anyway – I just get my hair cut to the length that I want. If that means that more scalp is on show – I look on the positive side and imagine that it will now get more sunshine, which might help!
Trust your barber
I have been going to the same stylist for many years, and I can comfortably discuss my skin condition with them. And they feel comfortable too – often commenting when they think that it has worsened or is showing signs of improvement.
This is useful information – because it is very hard to look behind your own ears!
This trust is important, and you shouldn’t put up with anything less. You could probably stand outside your normal hairdresser, throw your shoe and hit a different salon – they are everywhere! So, if you are not feeling that trust – move on.
Ultimately, when you need a haircut - don’t put it off because of your psoriasis. Build up trust with your barber – it’s good to talk about your psoriasis. And get the haircut that you want. The one that makes you look your best and not one that just tries to hide your skin. I'm getting on a bit now - my appearance concerns me much less that it once did - but I am grateful for the fact that I still have some hair to cut! I dread going bald - because I have a skull shaped like a half inflated basketball. But at least I would save on shampoo!
For daily care of my scalp, I use T-Gel shampoo from Nutrogena. Some people can be put off by the smell - which is actually like the smell of tar (hence the 'T' in T-Gel, I assume) - but I actually really like it. It is quite gentle, and good for both hair as well as scalp. Be sure to lather once and then leave that in for a few minutes whilst you wash elsewhere, before rinsing and repeating.
Please also take a look at my product review >here< for an excellent, very light spray that is really good for the scalp - mainly because unlike most other treatments, it does not leave your hair greasy and uncomfortable. And being a spray it is much easier to get it directly on to your scalp, rather than just in your hair.