Earlier this year I wrote a post about how scalp psoriasis led to a major hair setback last fall. I ended up losing a lot of hair due to all of the daily shampooing and detangling it took to keep my scalp under control. After a few months I was left with see through ends and breakage. It was disheartening because my hair was actually in really good shape before my scalp went out of control. As a result, I decided to give myself a trim and move forward with an updated healthy hair routine.
There has been a lot of trial and error throughout my natural hair journey. I’m currently recovering from psoriasis which I’ve been battling for the past six months. It left me with unbearably dry itchy skin and my scalp was out of control. My hair ended up suffering as well since I was forced to cleanse my scalp more often. This wasn’t my first experience with the condition but this time it came with a vengeance.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an auto immune disease that results in inflammation of the skin. The skin cells rapidly form new skin in patches which have a dry, flakey appearance. It not only effects my skin but my scalp as well. A few years ago I wrote a post about how I cleared up my psoriasis with diet and supplements. The condition never truly went away but I was successful at keeping the flare-ups under control. It turns out that my best chance at healthier skin was to follow some of my own advice.
|Trying to get past this length in 2013
For my hair journey, the beginning of 2013 looks pretty much like the end of 2012. My main focus this year will be to protect my hair from ME! That’s right, I’ve figured out the real reason why I’m still sitting at the length I am now. Some people call it “Scissor Happy” but I’m now calling it counter productive. I really like when my ends have that blunt cut appearance and when they don’t, I’m pulling out the scissors. As far as retaining length, with this way of thinking, I’m at a stand still with my hair.
Lately I have been looking for ways to distract myself because yes, I’ve been thinking about cutting again. I hit APL (Arm Pit Length) at the sides a couple times in 2012 and saw it as an oppurtunity to even things up. Now, I do still have bangs in the front and layers on the top and sides, so my bottom layer is still the lengthiest part of my hair overall. I guess I have always wanted to help the other sections catch up to the rest which would mean trimming the longest bits little by little. Still, even with that being the goal I figured I would just hover at BSL (Bra Strap Length) before trying to make my hair more even. At this rate, I’ll never see BSL which for me is only two more inches away (in back; when the hair is stretched).
Last fall I counted and it looks like I gave myself at least 6-7 trims throughout the year. Some to get rid of heat damage (searching for the perfect curl) and some to give my hair that look of blunt ends. My last trim for 2012 was at the end of November and I honestly think I should put the scissors aside until the spring. I really am curious to see where my hair will end up in the coming months but the urge to cut is always there. Not sure if I can do it but I’m gonna try.
|Recent twist and curl style
I am pretty happy with my hair recently and am feeling like things are getting back to normal. By that I mean I was having some issues with dry, flaky scalp followed up by a month or two with heavy shedding. Both issues are finally getting under control so I have been uploading to my YouTube channel more often with hair tutorials. Before now though it was so frustrating to do anything with my hair because I almost felt like there was no point. The flakes made it look so bad that I didn’t even want to go out some days.
One of the things that I think helped was that I started working on my immune system to help get my skin under control. I have psoriasis and I have known for a while now that the inflammation in my skin is because of something not quite right with my immune system. When the psoriasis flared up I started introducing probiotics into my system by eating a serving of Activia yogurt each day. This helped with digestion and made it possible for my body to absorb my supplements better. After doing that for 2-3 weeks I decided to go back to a more effective multi-vitamin formulated for women. It costs more but has proved to be much better for my body than the usual store brands.
|So happy my scalp is finally clearing up
I also added some supplements to my daily routine like garlic, super B-Complex and vitamin E. The garlic helped with the shedding and didn’t start working right away but I can tell that I am shedding fewer hairs per wash session now. I would say it took about a 3-4 weeks before it started to make a difference. The B-Complex contains biotin and I can see that it is helping my nails so hopefully it’s doing something for my hair as well. The Vitamin E is a given because it’s known for being good for the skin. I usually try to take my multi-vitamin on its own and then the other supplements together at another time during the day. Both times are with a meal. I also started drinking Green Tea for the antioxidants and increased my daily water intake.
With the Colorado climate being especially dry right now, I hope that this regimen will get me through the winter without having anymore problems. For now, I’m using shea butter to moisturize my skin and staying away from heavy oils on my scalp to avoid build-up. I’ve also started doing more finger detangling instead of using a tool to get rid of shed hairs.
NOTE: As with anything health related be sure and speak with a physician when considering adding vitamins and supplements to your daily routine
|Lovin’ my new DIY Length Check Tee Shirt
I’ve been thinking to myself lately that I would like to see how long I can grow my hair in the next six months. This would mean a little restraint on my part because I would have to put the scissors down for once. I have been trimming periodically throughout the year including the mini big chop I did on my bangs. I think I’m finally ready to see how long my hair can get if I just leave it alone and let it grow.
To keep track of my progress I decided to put pen to tee shirt. I purchased a white tee from one of my favorite thrift stores last year but didn’t try it on before purchasing it. When I got it home I realized that it was too snug for me to wear out so it has been in the drawer ever since. I figured the tight fit actually made it a good choice for a length check shirt so I got it out.
I just used a Sharpie marker and large craft ruler to make lines one inch apart. I think it would have turned out neater if I used a thinner marker but it should still work just fine.
As of right now I don’t intend on growing my hair to anything past MBL (mid back length). I hear all the time how people want waist length hair but that just doesn’t appeal to me. I keep thinking that would be way too much hair to deal with. Honestly, I would even be happy with BSL (bra strap length). At least with the tee shirt I’ll be able to see my progress in inches rather than by points on my body.
|I used a Sharpie Marker, Craft Ruler, White Tee Shirt
and a piece of cardboard underneath to protect the floor
|Don’t forget to put something inside the shirt or the ink
will bleed through to the front (see my oops?)
|I made a dot to mark the center
|Then several dots 1 inch apart
|Finally I used the straight edge to draw lines across
|Then numbered lines with zero as my starting point