Day-to-Day Care


Personal Hygiene:  Hair Care




Proper hair care is important to the person's morale and well-being.  There is nothing worse than lying in bed with hair that feels messy and greasy, knowing that he is not well enough, or able, to get up to comb or wash it himself.  Caregivers must understand that the patient remains aware of his appearance at all times. Hence, good hair care practices must be done routinely to meet the person's hygiene needs.



General Hair Care Tips


Regular brushing and combing is necessary for the person to feel comfortable and look neat.

Brushing helps to keep hair clean and distributes oil evenly along hair shafts, while combing prevents it from becoming tangled.

To keep brush and comb clean, wash them in hot soapy water.

Provide the person with brush, comb and mirror if he can cope.

Short-tooth combs are adequate for short hair, but large-tooth combs are preferred for curly hair.

Parting allows for ease in brushing smaller sections of hair.  First, parts the hair into two sections and then separates each section into two more sections.

If you help the person to comb, put his hair in his usual style.

Hair should be shampooed as soon as, and preferably before, it becomes dirty or greasy.  Ideally, it should be washed two to three times a week.

Do not put strain on hair strands by brushing too much or too vigorously.

To untangle hair, use a wide-toothed comb, starting from the ends.  When all tangled have been removed, the hair may be combed from root to end.

Do not dry hair fully with a hair dryer.  Let hair dry naturally if possible.

Avoid tying or braiding the person's hair too tightly.

If necessary, engage a local hairdresser in the care process.


Washing Hair in Bed
If the person is able to take a shower or bath, the hair can usually be shampooed without difficulty.  However, if physically getting into the bath or shower is just not possible, then it can be done in bed using dry shampooing or damp washing techniques.  Hair washing and bed-bath are usually performed together.

Dry shampooing:
  This technique is advisable if confinement to bed is temporary.  Cover the hair with the shampoo powder and be sure to brush it out thoroughly, following the instructions on the container.   
Now there is a convenient shampoo cap: You simply warm it up in the microwave, put it on your head, massage the outside — your hair is shampooed and conditioned in one step. There are also numerous specialty products targeted toward those with sensitive skin, which are particularly gentle, and free of alcohol and dyes.

Damp washing:


Close the windows to prevent the person becoming chilled.

Prepare all the items you need and bring them to the bedside so that they are within reach.

Place a chair at the bedside near the head of the bed for putting a bucket to collect water.

Make the person comfortable with his head close to the edge of the bed.

Support his shoulders on a plastic-protected pillow to ensure that his head is lower than his shoulders.

Protect your bedding from excessive wetting.

Use a shampoo tray if you have one.  If not, you can improvise by rolling three sides of the large plastic sheet to form sides against which the water will flow down the bucket.  Put the sheet under the person's head so that his head is surrounded by the rolls and drop the end of the sheet into the bucket.

Cover the patient eyes with a towel prevent water from slipping in.

Pour water gently over his head until the hair is wet all over.

Apply shampoo and gently massage it into the scalp.  Do not hurry as this is a very pleasant sensation for the person.

Rinse the hair thoroughly.

Dry the person's forehead with the face towel and wrap it around his head to absorb the wetness.

Lift his head, remove the rolled plastic.

Remove the pillow under his shoulders and place it under his head.

Remove the face towel and replace with a dry, clean bath towel.

Use a hair dryer if possible or rub the hair gently with a towel.


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