Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

How to Cut Hair for an Individual who is Bedridden

Another common issue that arises for those who have long-term serious health issues is having their hair cut and trimmed to maintain a pleasing style. When a person is severely limited in his or her mobility and therefore is in a near-constant reclining state, often the hair becomes snarled and tangled because of the constant friction against the bedding.
haircutting Solutions for this problem vary, but generally fall into two categories: either you resolve the friction issue by changing the type of bedding you use, or you alter the hairstyle to make the problem less of an issue. Many people who have had issues with friction between their hair and their bedding, learn that certain types of fabric weaves and fibers are much friendlier to the hair.
Silk and satin pillow cases are a great way to lessen the issues of hair friction with bedding. (This friction is a major cause of what we refer to as bed-head.) If getting silk and satin pillow cases and bedding isn’t an option you can always look for sleeping caps at your local beauty supply store. These are basically silk or satin caps with elastic gathers that are used to cover the hair while you sleep and prevent friction with bedding by providing a frictionless barrier.
The other solution of changing the style is sometimes preferred, since it also lends itself to making the overall hair care process easier. In these cases, the style generally involves going shorter with the hair, especially in the back of the head where most of the contact with the bedding takes place.
The style doesn’t have to be all-short either. You could opt for an angled bob cut or a “swing” hairstyle where the forward lengths around the face are left longer and the hair tapers sharply up on the nape of the neck. The specific look chosen would of course depend on the needs of the individual and her face shape.
However, regardless of what you choose to do to resolve friction issues, the hair will at some point need to be cut in order to maintain the style. When this happens, there are issues that should be addressed. First and foremost is how to cut the hair and make sure you control the bits that are removed. So as you prepare to cut the hair of someone who is bedridden, here are some tools that can come in very handy in such cases:
• Spray bottle with water*
• Haircutting scissors
• Comb
• Hair clips (to control the hair while you are working)
• Styling/haircutting cape**
• Hand-size towels
• Small vacuum unit
• Lint roller (the kind with adhesive)
• Talcum powder
The first thing you have to do in dealing with a bedridden individual is plan your method of approach. If the individual has a hospital-type bed (one that is adjustable) check to see how much clearance you have around the head of the bed and if it is possible for you to elevate the individual and position yourself behind them as well as to one side or the other. If so, you have better and easier access to the person while you work, and if not, you simply need to be aware so that you carefully plan out what you’re going to do step by step.
Drape the individual’s neck with a hand-sized towel, and then place your styling and haircutting cape.
{**In my experience working with bedridden patients, I found that it made matters MUCH easier to buy an “extra large” cutting/styling cape and then turn the edges up along the sides and back and stitch them with evenly-spaced vertical seams so as to create pockets along the perimeter of the cape. What this does is provide a means of catching the pieces of hair that you cut from the head as they slide down the cape. The result is much fewer hairs in the bedding and a more-comfortable subject afterward.}
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