Celeb-Inspired Hairstyles that Hide Scalp Psoriasis

Styles That Disguise

“Psoriasis affects between 2 and 5 percent of the general population, and of this group, 79 percent show symptoms on their scalp,” says Steve Pullan, a trichologist (someone who specializes in hair and scalp health) at the Philip Kingsley Clinic in New York City.

“Essentially, psoriasis, an inflammatory dermatosis, is a rapid cell turnover in the epidermis,” adds Pullan. Itching, flaking, irritation, and sometimes even hair breakage are also common symptoms of scalp psoriasis.

Depending on the severity of the condition, marks can occur anywhere on your scalp including behind the ears, on the back of the neck, and even along the hairline, which makes it even more challenging to find hairstyles that can mask the condition. Read on for celebrity hairstyle inspiration and expert feedback on some of the best ways to camouflage the symptoms of scalp psoriasis.

Add Volume and Texture

Kevin Mancuso, a certified trichologist and the creative director of Nexxus Salon Hair Care, suggests adding a little bounce to straight hairstyles to help conceal scales that span the entire scalp. “Curls and waves can camouflage psoriasis better than straight hair because they offer structure and hold,” he says. “Additionally, they add lift to the hair, and will not part as easy as straight hair.” To create Hollywood-like waves at home, he suggests applying a styling product before blow drying to give hair extra body. Once your hair is dry, wrap small sections of hair around a medium-sized curling iron and release after only a few seconds. To finish the look, brush out ringlets for bodied waves.

Mask Symptoms Behind the Ears

According to Mancuso, roughly 99 percent of his clients with psoriasis show symptoms behind their ears. He advises skipping slicked back hairstyles and opting for a softer, more relaxed look if you are trying to camouflage the area.A low, relaxed bun with added volume around the ears is an excellent style for hiding symptoms on this part of your head. “The easiest way to add lift and volume to hair is by using a dry shampoo before styling,” says Mancuso. “You can also crimp hair at the root with a flat iron; this technique helps create lift in your hair because it won’t fall in its standard, uniform way afterwards.”

Conceal Irritation on the Back of the Neck

“Pulling hair back in a tight ponytail can cause tension on the scalp and [possibly even] hair breakage,” warns Clear Scalp & Hair celebrity stylist Jen Atkin. Additionally, it can expose the hairline of your neck, which is prone to symptoms of psoriasis. She suggests a loose hairstyle, like a romantic braid, which can not only prevent breakage but also keep your hairline out of sight.

“Rough up dry hair with your fingers and flip hair upside down while drying for added volume,” says Atkin. “Next, liberally spray dry hair with a texturizing product to help [create] an undone finish. After making some kinks and bends in the hair with a flat iron, begin to loosely braid, letting pieces fall out to keep the look romantic but modern.”

Styles for the Front of the Scalp

Similarly, Mancuso says waterfall, crown, and bang braids are popular styles with his clients that suffer from psoriasis. “It’s important to make sure that the braid is secured tightly enough that the style will hold, but that it’s still loose enough to be roughed up,” he says. “Wider, lived-in looking braids help to hide symptoms around the scalp.” Avoid styles that require braids to be secured tightly to your head, like a cornrow, which can easily expose and irritate affected areas.

Camouflage Symptoms on Your Forehead

Covering symptoms along the hairline and above the forehead can be tricky, particularly for men who tend to have shorter hair. Celebrity stylist Nunzio Saviano, owner of Nunzio Saviano Salon in New York City, suggests bangs or a shaggy hairstyle for guys who are trying to cover this area.Saviano recommends the same fringe for women suffering from symptoms at the hairline. If blunt bangs aren’t up your alley, ask your stylist for sideswept bangs that can be parted at an area of your head where signs of the condition are minimal.

Make Psoriasis Less Visible with a New Hue

The color of your hair can also play a role in the visibility of psoriasis symptoms. If you dye your hair or are considering a change in color, Mancuso advises consulting with a colorist before deciding on a new hue to ensure the color best suits your skin tone and needs. “If you have a light complexion and choose a shade that's too dark for your skin tone, symptoms can easily be seen on the scalp," he warns. Likewise, light shades are also prone to exposing psoriasis, particularly if the condition is severe.

Be mindful that chemicals in certain hair dyes can be irritating to some cases of psoriasis. If you are coloring your hair for the first time, evaluate the severity of your symptoms and consider consulting a doctor before booking an appointment.

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