Curly haired woman looking at herself approvingly in a hand mirror

Discovering An Arthritis-Friendly Hair Routine

I always received compliments on my curls, especially when I was a child. Every day, I wore my long hair down, with a ribbon that matched my outfit. But when I got older, the fashionable hairstyles changed. It seemed like everyone and their mothers straightened their hair.

People used to tell me I would look beautiful if I straightened my hair. Sometimes, I would go home and take an hour or so to flatten my curls. I would spend so many spoons while styling and my hands, spine, and neck would be in agony by the time I finished thanks to my juvenile-onset psoriatic arthritis. But when I would see the person the next day, they never said anything to me. No compliments, or even "Hey, you straightened your hair!" After that happened a couple of times, I decided that I wasn't going to put myself through torture to impress people who didn't even notice.

Do it for yourself

I think it's tempting to want to impress others with how good you look. There are days when I don't feel great due to PsA, but I do my best to look put together so the world doesn't have to know. Compliments can be uplifting and help you to feel better! But something I've learned is that it's more important than whatever you do to look good makes sure it's something that makes you feel good.

Instead of following a trend that I found painful and draining, I decided to embrace a look that made me look and feel beautiful. I welcomed the curls I loved so much as a child and learned to take care of them. It gave me a confidence boost! And, in the process, I discovered a much more arthritis-friendly hair care routine.

I did my homework and looked for routines that required less effort while achieving excellent results. I use a modified version of the Curly Girl method, limiting my hair washing, using a lot of conditioners, and scrunching gel into wet hair. After tying up my hair to sleep and refreshing it in the morning, I'm good to go! It's easy as pie, and I recommend any fellow curly-haired arthritis warriors to look into it!

Adjusting your arthritis hair routine as needed

While my new haircare method has been smooth sailing most of the time, I've had to adjust my style to accommodate a flare or angry joint sometimes. When I was having issues with my neck, I was living in braids because I couldn't handle the weight of my hair. There have also been times I've had to get by on dry shampoo and messy buns because it was too painful and exhausting to wash my hair. While these styles don't make me feel particularly beautiful, during a bad flare, all that truly matters is being comfortable and somewhat presentable.

Saving special do's for special occasions

Even though I embrace a lower-intensity hair routine now, straightening my hair isn't out totally out of the question with my psoriatic arthritis. I save it for special occasions when a change-up is just what I need to feel good. Recently I discovered a hair straightener that looks like a hairbrush that's the perfect tool for me. Since there's no squeezing involved, I get through styling sessions with less time and effort. It's incredible how the right appliance can be a total game-changer.

Getting a confidence boost

There are days where I need a confidence boost. Sometimes, looking good helps me feel good. While I've often heard the phrase "pain is beauty," but I don't believe it has to be true. Finding a balance can help us feel and look good. While the Curly Girl method works well for me, it's not for everyone.

What's your arthritis-friendly hair routine?

Have you adjusted your hair routine for your psoriatic arthritis? And what are your arthritis beauty hacks? Share in the comments below!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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