dark-skin-makeup-tips

As you all (might) know, in addi­tion to being a tran­si­tion­er, blog­ger, awe­some girl­friend (haha), and well­ness enthu­si­ast, I am also a pso­ri­a­sis  suf­fer­er. Gosh, that sounds worse than it actu­al­ly is. But any­way, I make men­tion of that because there are sev­er­al chal­lenges that con­front those of us who have pso­ri­a­sis, espe­cial­ly on our scalps. Because of fre­quent flak­ing and scal­ing, scalp-reveal­ing styles are embar­rass­ing. Long-term pro­tec­tive styling is imprac­ti­cal (read: braids, weaves, even bun­ning in some cas­es), because scales sur­face every 2–4 days and require fre­quent lifting/washing from the scalp. This leads to high manip­u­la­tion, increased like­li­hood of break­age. Because the scales itch, there is a greater chance that suf­fer­ers will scratch plaque sites — caus­ing poten­tial dam­age to the skin/scalp, and mak­ing the site of the skin break more prone to infec­tion and hair loss. On top of those con­cerns and many, many, more, pso­ri­a­sis suf­fer­ers must be on their toes treat­ment-wise. Because it adapts quick­ly, treat­ments and solu­tions have to be rotat­ed reg­u­lar­ly to main­tain effec­tive­ness.

In a pre­vi­ous arti­cle, we dis­cussed the effec­tive­ness of oils, solu­tions, sham­poos, and treat­ments on scalp pso­ri­a­sis. While there are dozens of over-the-counter, pre­scrip­tion strength, and nat­ur­al treat­ments that can be applied to the scalp, there is a grow­ing body of research that sug­gests that when it comes to pso­ri­a­sis (and many oth­er con­di­tions), what we do to, and put in our bod­ies is just as impor­tant as how we treat the scalp issues top­i­cal­ly.

Let’s dive head first into some inter­nal fac­tors that can help or hurt those suf­fer­ing from pso­ri­a­sis. Side­bar: non-suf­fer­ers can ben­e­fit too!

Please note that I am not a doc­tor, or oth­er health pro­fes­sion­al. I have dealt with pso­ri­a­sis for near­ly 12 years, and the infor­ma­tion I present comes from my own jour­ney and expe­ri­ences. As with any­thing relat­ed to nat­ur­al hair, you must do what works for you. What helps me may not help you, and vice ver­sa. This is all about shar­ing infor­ma­tion :-)

Helps

1. Con­sum­ing Fish and Omega 3s: Whether you love grilled salmon, mix flax seeds in your oat­meal, or chuck a cap­sule, get­ting Omega 3s in your sys­tem is essen­tial. Because pso­ri­a­sis is an autoim­mune con­di­tion and man­i­fests itself as skin inflam­ma­tion, con­sum­ing foods and sup­ple­ments with anti-inflam­ma­to­ry prop­er­ties can help counter it. Bonus: the essen­tial fat­ty acid, alpha-linole­ic acid (ALA) is believed to sup­port car­diac health. I don’t eat a lot of fish, and the only flax seeds I have are for mak­ing gel (hehe). So to get my Omega 3 fix, I like to take Gar­den of Life Oceans 3 Beyond Omega-3.

2. Get Your A and D: Vit­a­mins, that is…not the oint­ment. Vit­a­min A and D are cru­cial to skin health. Vit­a­min A is nec­es­sary for skin main­te­nance and repair. It will help pre­vent acne, dry skin, and sup­port heal­ing (if you’re a scalp scratch­er like me). Vit­a­min D shows promise in help­ing to reg­u­late auto-immune respons­es with­in the body — a direct link to slow­ing down pso­ri­a­sis. The good thing about these two is that you don’t need to run out to Vit­a­min Shoppe to get them. Have some eggs, car­rots, toma­to, water­mel­on or man­go to get your A Vit­a­mins, and soak up 10–15 min­utes of sun to acti­vate the Vit­a­min D stored in your body. I like to get my Vit­a­min A fix from my mul­ti­vi­t­a­mins. My Vit­a­min D source is the gor­geous Cal­i­for­nia sun­shine (I love tan­ning in the Spring/Summer…don’t judge me). If you’re in a cli­mate that isn’t con­ducive to chill­in’ in the sun, you can always speak with a der­ma­tol­o­gist about UV light treat­ments. Just be care­ful not to get sun­burn like I did.

3. Apple Cider Vine­gar: We nat­u­rals looooove us some ACV, don’t we? We use it to clar­i­fy our scalps, do rins­es to seal cuti­cles, and much more. Apple Cider Vine­gar is effec­tive in pH bal­anc­ing hair and scalp, and is def­i­nite­ly ben­e­fi­cial for suf­fer­ers and non-suf­fer­ers alike. How­ev­er, when look­ing for alter­na­tive treat­ments for scalp and body pso­ri­a­sis, ingest­ing ACV inter­nal­ly comes in to play. Just as pH bal­anc­ing is impor­tant for healthy hair, it goes the same for a healthy body. As you can tell from the surge in mar­ket­ing and avail­abil­i­ty of uber-expen­sive Alka­lized Water (don’t buy it!!!), to crazy alka­line diets, it is wide­ly believed that our bod­ies per­form best when pH bal­anced. In fact, a num­ber of the­o­ries sug­gest that the root of many ail­ments, dis­eases, and auto-immune con­di­tions is an acidic pH imbal­ance. To bring your body back to bal­ance, con­sume 1 table­spoon of ACV mixed with 8oz of water 1–3 times a day, every day for two weeks. It may take up to two weeks or a month to show some improve­ment. Bonus: If you want to get real­ly sci­en­tif­ic, test your pH before (with urine or sali­va), then test it again in two weeks!

4. Work It Out: Yes, yes, yes. Exer­cise. Some­times, I feel like phys­i­cal activ­i­ty is a cure-all…and it just might be. Not only is exer­cise great for your hair (hel­lo, blood cir­cu­la­tion and growth), it is great for reduc­ing risk fac­tors for hyper­ten­sion, dia­betes, can­cer, bad cred­it, and more. For pso­ri­a­sis suf­fer­ers, exer­cise and phys­i­cal activ­i­ty are proven stress-busters, and can also help reduce inflam­ma­tion in the body. You will see a lit­tle lat­er why that is impor­tant. But real­ly, do you need anoth­er rea­son to get up and move?

Hurts

1. Dairy and Fat­ty Red Meats: Sor­ry folks, this means cut­ting back on your beloved dou­ble cheesy burg­er and choco­late shake. Accord­ing to sev­er­al stud­ies and sources, dairy and fat­ty red meats con­tain a sug­ar mol­e­cule (Neu5Gc, for those that care) that humans can­not syn­the­size. As a result, our cells absorb it, and the body pro­duces anti­bod­ies against it. After a few years of ingest­ing dairy and fat­ty red meat, the anti­body pro­duc­tion may trig­ger a mild but con­tin­u­ous inflam­ma­to­ry immune response. What is pso­ri­a­sis again? Exact­ly. I’m not sug­gest­ing that you swear off steaks and mac & cheese for­ev­er, but sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tion in con­sump­tion may help. I per­son­al­ly stopped eat­ing beef and drink­ing cow milk once I start­ed buy­ing my own gro­ceries. Not for any rea­sons relat­ed to pso­ri­a­sis or health, I just always felt they both tast­ed fun­ny. But as the years have passed, I noticed that my scalp and skin pso­ri­a­sis is increas­ing­ly less severe.

2. Stress: This one is a per­son­al toughie. Our bod­ies stress respons­es are trig­gered by so many things — the self-con­scious­ness that comes along with pso­ri­a­sis, ter­ri­ble traf­fic, work dead­lines, scream­ing chil­dren, argu­ing with your sig­nif­i­cant oth­er, finan­cial woes, and the list goes on. It is prac­ti­cal­ly impos­si­ble to live a stress free life. If you’ve some­how found the path to stress-free liv­ing, take your tick­et and pre­pare for imme­di­ate ascent into heav­en. Mean­while back on Earth, the rest of us are tasked to reduc­ing our dai­ly stres­sors, and find­ing effec­tive cop­ing mech­a­nisms. When our bod­ies are stressed, cor­ti­sol pro­duc­tion rais­es, and alters our immune sys­tem. No coin­ci­dence here that stress can cause our bod­ies to retain/gain weight, and make us more sus­cep­ti­ble to colds and oth­er ill­ness! Not to men­tion, stress can trig­ger hair loss…but that’s anoth­er post.  Regard­less of the rea­son for our stress, we pso­ri­a­sis suf­fer­ers have to learn to get a han­dle on it before it harms our hair and bod­ies. Seek­ing sup­port groups, exer­cise, sim­pli­fy­ing com­mit­ments, yoga, and learn­ing stress-man­age­ment skills are all ways to help keep this beast from rear­ing its ugly head too often.

3. Blame it on the A-a-a-a-a-alco­hol: My apolo­gies once again. The life of a pso­ri­a­sis suf­fer­er seems so un-fun now, huh? It’s real­ly not so bad. The truth about alco­hol (in addi­tion to killing brain cells, caus­ing kid­ney and liv­er dam­age) is that it dehy­drates you. It dries your skin out. This is of para­mount con­cern to a pso­ri­a­sis suf­fer­er because dry skin is the ene­my. Not only can it cre­ate a breed­ing ground for more scales and plaques on the scalp/skin, it dries out the already exist­ing ones, mak­ing them more prone to crack­ing, dam­age, and infec­tion. I gave up reg­u­lar drink­ing a few years ago, to help sup­port my per­son­al health goals. I still have a glass of wine or a pome­gran­ate mar­gari­ta on occa­sion (once every 5–6 months or so), but the every week­end club­bing or drink­ing with friends at gath­er­ings or restau­rants is gone. My body, scalp, skin, and wal­let all thank me for it.

4. Cig­a­rette Smok­ing: Go ahead and make pso­ri­a­sis con­di­tion num­ber 845,475,981 linked to cig­a­rette smok­ing. On top of can­cers, lung issues, heart, and cir­cu­la­tion prob­lems, cig­a­rettes have been proven to have a def­i­nite link to pso­ri­a­sis sever­i­ty. For those that smoke a pack or more of cig­a­rettes per day, the risk of increased pso­ri­a­sis sever­i­ty dou­bles. For those that smoke 10 cig­a­rettes per day or less, the risk is 30%. But for women, those that smoke or have only recent­ly quit have a 72% like­li­hood of increased pso­ri­a­sis sever­i­ty ver­sus non­smok­ers. No time like the present to kick that habit.…

What oth­er inter­nal checks do you use to help keep your scalp hap­py and healthy?

Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and liv­ing in Los Ange­les, Christi­na is BGLH’s res­i­dent tran­si­tion­ing expert and prod­uct junkie. In addi­tion to lov­ing all things hair, she is a fit­ness novice and advo­cate of wear­ing san­dals year-round. For more infor­ma­tion on tran­si­tion­ing, nat­ur­al hair, and her own hair jour­ney, vis­it maneobjective.com. Or, if you like pic­tures fol­low Christi­na on Insta­gram @maneobjective.

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21 Comments on "How to Regulate Scalp Conditions from the Inside Out"

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[…] out lol. I will how­ev­er, cut back as a start and hope­ful­ly see a change in a few months. So click here to check out this arti­cle if you have the same types of scalp prob­lems as meeeee. You’re […]

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[…] and The Mane Objec­tive, I’ve writ­ten arti­cles on prod­ucts to help with pso­ri­a­sis, as well as how to reg­u­late scalp con­di­tions from the inside out. In the first arti­cle, I men­tioned Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap Sham­poo and […]

Sherice Mccamey

Peo­ple who don’t man­age stress well can have headaches, stom­ach pain, sleep­ing prob­lems, ill­ness, and depres­sion. You can help man­age stress by jour­nal­ing, med­i­tat­ing, exer­cis­ing, talk­ing to oth­ers, or engag­ing in a hob­by..‘::

Remem­ber to pay a vis­it to our new blog <http://livinghealthybulletin.com/index.php/

Ericka

I haven’t had a perm in a while in hopes of reliev­ing my der­mati­tis. I was won­der­ing what I could cut out or add to my diet. I’m def­i­nite­ly going to give these sug­ges­tions a try. I know my der­ma­tol­o­gist order­ing me to wash my hair twice a week.

stephanieb
I agree with the oth­er ladies, Great arti­cle! I too suf­fer from pso­ri­a­sis and seb­hor­ric der­mati­tis on my scalp, so it’s no fun. I’ve had the sores, irri­ta­tion, scabs, dan­druff, you name it. I think that not han­dling my stress very well and then eat­ing lots of sug­ar to cope with it made my con­di­tion worse. I find that not only are sug­ars bad, dairy, etc, but breads/pasta as well, because those are also com­plex sug­ars. I find that even if I don’t each much sweets, just eat­ing bread caus­es my con­di­tion to wors­en. I had bread twice yes­ter­day and… Read more »
Treasure0806
I do not have pso­ri­a­sis but I do have eczema. It is more on my skin than in my scalp. Eat­ing less sug­ar and no dairy does help most peo­ple with eczema. I recent­ly start­ed tak­ing Omega 3’s and haven’t seen the dif­fer­ence yet. If you don’t like the taste of ACV, try lemon in your water. I have done the UV lights at the der­ma­tol­o­gist and that was crazy expen­sive and I didn’t see a dif­fer­ence after a month — would nev­er do that again. I do exer­cise 3 — 4 days a week and that helps, warm show­er… Read more »
africandiva

same as me… eczema is killing my uni life. Thanks for the advice

taimatsuko

Thank you so much for this arti­cle. My scalp pso­ri­a­sis has been dri­ving my crazy and I cer­tain­ly see some things that I need to improve on. I would also add that cut­ting down on eat­ing processed sug­ar helps me a LOT!

veronica
Wow… well I’ve been bat­tling pso­ri­a­sis for years late­ly it’s got real­ly bad! Some­times it goes away then it comes back with a vengeance! I recent­ly put pine oil and olive oil on last night only for my scalp to react — say­ing — I don’t like that either! And prompt­ly gave me more scabs to pick! Just this week­end I washed my hair and steamed it with olive, coconut oil and lemon juice with a bit of black pep­per — and this worked — well for two days any­way! I messed it up by oil­ing scalp with pine and… Read more »
linguanigra

I have pso­ri­a­sis too and found the ACV wors­ened my con­di­tion! I do use hemp soap and oil and I’ve been able to go two weeks with­out wash­ing my hair, like I used to before I got the con­di­tion. I was so hap­py I post­ed a quick how to on Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGpJgHmO9RY

Hope this helps oth­ers out!

ln

stephanieb

ACV helped me in the begin­ning, but after a while it wasn’t as effec­tive and begun to dry my hair out.

J2

Thanks for this arti­cle. I can per­son­al­ly attest to the no dairy. I became lac­tose intol­er­ant but then soon dis­cov­ered lac­taid and chugged it down like there was no tomor­row. Very soon after­wards my scalp inflamed worse than it had in years! How­ev­er, I’ll have to be more dili­gent with tak­ing my omega 3s :)

Ser
Love this arti­cle! I too am bat­tling scalp pso­ri­a­sis. The over the counter med­ica­tion I use is fair­ly effec­tive and it does won­ders to my scalp but it makes my wal­let cry rivers! The whole of last week and this week­end I was search­ing for stuff I can do at home that can help with the pso­ri­a­sis, I saw some oth­er arti­cles speak­ing of wash­ing the hair with ACV but tomor­row I will try your sug­ges­tion of drink­ing it with the water. I’ll try your tips along with one or two oth­ers I found and see if I can cut… Read more »
linguanigra

I just post­ed this below, but the ACV rinse didn’t work for me, nei­ther did oth­er “med­icat­ed” scalp reme­dies. I used hot hemp oil and a mild soap for my scalp and have seen results.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGpJgHmO9RY

hope it helps you.
ln

Cleo

I just want to say the woman in open­ing pic is gor­geous!!

Iva

Her make­up is flaw­less!

Tenisha

Thank u soo much. I thought I was suf­fer­ing alone. I’d wash and deep con­di­tion and the flakes would get big­ger and flaki­er.

maralondon

I would sug­gest if you have a sweet tooth and love eat­ing sug­ary foods, cut them out of your diet. I did just this after i devel­oped ezce­ma on my neck and scalp, in fact the worst hit area was my scalp. It was a hor­ri­ble time for me all i want­ed to do was scratch but i knew i’d make the prob­lem worse. So i set about ditch­ing the sug­ary foods and hey presto, after 2 or so weeks the ezce­ma cleared up com­plete­ly and has nev­er returned.

Jo Somebody

But I caaaaan’t! :-(

stephanieb

Me nei­ther. I’m so weak :)

African Chick

I love this arti­cle, I dont have the same con­di­tion but I have Endometrio­sis and my diet is exact­ly the same except for acv.

Before switch­ing to that diet, my hair was hor­ri­ble, it was weak and could break very eas­i­ly, but now am happy..my hair is grow­ing strong and my Endometrio­sis is get­ting bet­ter!

Am work­ing real­ly hard to take care of myself to pre­vent surgery.

Ladies, I love you, love this site n com­mu­ni­ty, lets take care of our­selves and be hap­py! :)

MUCH LOVE xoxo n greet­ings from Africa!

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