A hairdresser's advice
At the upscale Long Island salon where she cuts hair, Fran Klapow is known as the expert on working with scalp conditions—in part because of her own scalp psoriasis.
Talking openly about your scalp psoriasis will ease the awkwardness and help you get the most from your hair care appointment.
Fran's advice for others with this condition:
- Don't be embarrassed. "The number one thing to remember is that it's a disease, not dirt. This is nothing you should be ashamed of."
- Mention psoriasis right away: When calling to make an appointment, ask if there is anyone on staff at the salon or barbershop who is familiar with scalp psoriasis.
- Prepare before going to the hairdresser or barber. "Treat your psoriasis the night before or that morning. When it is moist and wet, you don't see it as much and the flakes or plaques won't interfere with combing."
- Tell a new stylist or barber about your psoriasis as soon as you sit down in the chair. Then he or she won't be worried by plaques or flakes.
- If you use medicated shampoo, tell your stylist or barber so he or she will be able to recognize the medicated smell.
- Consider shampooing before your appointment. Taking a shower and applying medication before you leave the house can help things go more smoothly.
- Tell your stylist or barber what you need. For example, tell him or her if you are sensitive to heat before they begin to blow dry your hair.
"Lay it all on the line," Fran recommends. "And if someone says something ignorant, just make a note to yourself: 'Don't go back to that person.'"
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