Finally a Shampoo That Doesn’t Irritate Scalp Psoriasis


After years of dealing with psoriasis, I found a shampoo that keeps my hair looking and feeling healthy.

Over the past seven years, I have had my bouts with psoriasis. It's always uncomfortable and frustrating, and more than often, painful and defeating. When your scalp is the target, there's the added stress that it’s harder to hide. Rushing out the door for a spontaneous meet-up induces anxiety. Removing the visible flakes and stressing about hiding future flakes can turn into several hours of preparation just to get out the door.

And so you try the gamut of shampoos. The Head and Shoulders offerings provide some initial relief but are just too weak. Then onto salicylic acid cleanses, which offer more relief in the shower and a vengeance of backlash in the hours to follow. So you decide to go the natural route: sodium lauryl sulfate, paraben-free, magic organic crystals and so forth that kind of work, except for the fact that your hair looks like it was washed with wax.

You think back to the days when you'd shampoo and condition with anything and everything, and the only major difference you'd notice was the degree of volume and the variety of scents you could choose from. Until last week, I thought those days were over. Then by chance, I stumbled upon Totalee hair care products.

While taking a shower, I noticed some samples at my parents' place. Presumably some sample products my sister brought home and never tried. Between my mom and sister, there's always a wide offering of shampoos and conditioners in the shower. I usually pick up a bottle, turn it around to see the ingredients, before I return to my regularly scheduled no-poo (i.e. water) routine. Sometimes as I'm reaching for a bottle of shampoo I've never seen before I think to myself, "Why bother?" It's always a list of 50 ingredients that rhyme with "-ethanol" and "-orbate," ready to cause more irritation to my scalp.

Totalee Wash and Rins from Global Hair Artist Lee Rittiner.

Totalee Wash and Rins from Global Hair Artist Lee Rittiner.

As I grabbed the sample bottle of Totalee shampoo, I was expecting it to be another disappointment. But right at the top it read, "Totalee Free of: SLS, Parabens, Phthalates, Propylene Glycol." Then I was thinking to myself, "This has to be another waxy, no lather organic product that smells weird." Moments later, my cynicism was circling the drain as the shampoo in my palms began to lather and then emit a dare I say, pleasing scent. For the first time in longer than I will allow myself to admit, my scalp took a breath.

Without hesitation, I grabbed the conditioner counterpart and gave it a whirl as well.  The conditioner did its job and I stepped out of the shower feeling refreshed. This might seem like a dramatic experience, but for someone with scalp psoriasis it was not at all. I was worried that after my hair and scalp had dried, it would be back to square one. This was not the case. Throughout the day, my hair felt fuller and my scalp was hydrated. As far as I could see and feel, they did not exacerbate flakiness later in the day as some of the dermatological grade solutions do.

As with every other topical, solution or cleanse that someone with psoriasis encounters, the effect is not always the same. But I'm crossing my fingers that this will provide someone else with relief the way it has for me.

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