Scalp Psoriasis - Working with your Stylist
About a year ago, after having a negative encounter with a nail shop, I called a few cosmetology schools to ask if psoriasis and other skin conditions were a part of the curriculum when training their nail techs and stylists. I also asked a few cosmetologists that I knew personally if they learned about psoriasis during the course of their studies. Across the board, the answer was that skin diseases were mentioned but not discussed in any great detail. This was a bit disheartening too considering that millions of people in the United States are affected by psoriasis. I've spoken to many who avoid the salon due to embarrassment or if they do decide to go, the visit becomes a daunting task. If you too feel this way, you are not alone. I also avoided the salon because of my scalp psoriasis.
I remember the benefits of having my grandmother, a licensed cosmetologist, around when I was growing up. Every week she would shampoo my hair and grease my scalp. I didn't have to worry about others being exposed to my scalp psoriasis until I became an adult and had to actually go into a salon. Most of the time I was afraid to say the flakes falling from my head were just psoriasis. I usually let the stylist assume I had dandruff which they almost always thought. In recent years, I've been more proactive about my disease and my goal is to educate not hide. Now, I always let my stylist know I have psoriasis and if they have any other questions I'm prepared to explain. Here are some helpful tips for working with your stylist when you have psoriasis.
When going to a new salon I usually call ahead and ask if their salon is familiar with scalp psoriasis, I then explain that I have it. In my experience most stylists have at least heard of it or have experience with it. If not, it is then a great time to inform the salon and give them time to research if they feel it's necessary.
Bring Your Own Products
If you are nervous about the products the salon may use on your hair and scalp, it's ok to bring your own. Just explain that to the stylist.
Do a Pre-Wash at Home
It may also be a good idea to wash your hair at home before your salon visit to minimize flakes before seeing your stylist. A lot of products formulated for scalp psoriasis have a strong smell. If you are using something that has a pungent aroma, be sure to inform your stylist of the product so that he or she is prepared.
If your stylist is using something on your hair that burns, tingles, or makes you uncomfortable, be sure to communicate this to him or her. Never allow your stylist to use treatments that are counterproductive to the condition of your scalp. Don't be afraid to express your concerns.
If you do receive negative feedback, do not allow this to discourage you. Call around until you find the right salon and trust me YOU WILL find one. If you have a bad experience you can contact the corporate office of the salon you visited or you can voice your opinion on a business review website. This may save others with psoriasis from embarrassment, if they visit the salon. Be sure to give accolades to those places where you are given good experiences.
Any suggestions made are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified medical professional. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to making any changes to your treatment, exercise or diet routine.