Boosting Mum’s morale: My 86 year old mum has had... - PMRGCAuk


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Boosting Mum’s morale


My 86 year old mum has had PMR for the past 6 years and has very limited mobility. One thing I’m struggling with is her hair. Dad currently washes, colours and cuts it for her, but at 88 himself he finds it a struggle; and with respect, he is no hairdresser.

We’re trying to find a hair dresser who understands her condition and can colour and style her hair properly. It would seem obvious to leave the colour, but I cannot overstate how much the thought of this depresses her. And keeping her spirits up is difficult enough, so we need to find a solution.

Does anyone know of a hair salon in Lancashire (she lives in Accrington) which has specialist equipment so that she can lie back in comfort at the basin to have her hair washed? She cannot possibly use the normal wash basins as she could not lean back at the angle needed - she’d be in agony. Are there salons which have cushions which would support her neck and shoulders while keeping her head in the right position to be washed?

To be able to have a trip to the salon and a proper hairstyle would boost her morale amazingly.

10 Replies

Lovely post. I did a quick google and found a few I liked the sound of Caroline’s Mobile Hairdressers with a number of good reviews. She’s between Accrington and Blackburn. Landline 01282 705924, mobile 07432 252777. Good luck, send a pic. 🙂

Thanks very much for this, I’ll give Caroline a call and jet you know how we get on.

Amazon seem to have a number of neck pillows that might make it even easier.Just search for hairdressing neck support. Her hair loss may be due to Prednisalone and other drugs she might be on. Mine went very thin then came back curly.

When I was hairdressing in the 60s we had forward wash basins as well as back wash ones which were becoming more popular..,perhaps you could find a salon with a forward one...maybe it would be less strain on the back of the neck and shoulders..get a bit more wet but....

That's brought back a few 2nd year apprentices we were sent out to hospitals and old peoples homes to do patient's hair many of whom were bedridden , it was a challenge to wash someones hair over a basin balanced on their knees many a mishap !! I enjoyed it though and many of them were full of tales mainly , of course, from the war years. Being 17/18 years of age I'm not sure I appreciated it enough and I wonder if I was sympathetic enough too...ah well what comes round..Di

Thanks very much for your reply. We currently make mum lean forward but it’s not working very well. She can’t hold the position long enough for dad to rinse her hair, and when he colours it he’s not managing to rinse the dye out and her hair is starting to fall out. I think the only way in mums case is to somehow lean back with her head, neck and shoulders supported.

Have you tried dry shampoos, those would keep her hair looking fresher at least, then she would only need to wash her hair, say once a month! Pity she insists on colouring, it damages the hair so much over time.

Google "at home hair care for disabled". I found a gadget that lets the patient sit up in a chair, and it collects the water. I'm sure what would be needed is a playful attitude and not a lot of worry about the inevitable splashing, but it looks like it would serve the purpose enough to do a good job.

I'm in the us, so this particular source may not work for you. But I'm fairly certain you'd find something similar.

Sheffield Jane's research was brilliant and very kind.

Exactly what I was going to suggest myself.

Unfortunately , most hairdressing salons are not best equipped for dealing with customers with mobility issues that impact on how they can get their hair done, or the hairdresser's are not experienced with people with health issues.

Many mobile hairdressers work specifically to come to your home so their customers do not have the problems involved in using a salon , and work with their customers to find out how best to work on their hair.

You might want to ask the hairdresser SJ found if she is used to dealing with people with pain issues and hair loss.

I also thought it could be an idea to contact some local groups on Facebook for the elderly, and for various health issues , like arthritis or cancer ( maybe your local Macmillan centre) to find out if they use or recommend a particular hairdresser too , as they would definitely understand the issues your Mum has in terms of pain and mobility but also know enough about hair loss because of drugs and I'll health to know what products to use . Not the same illnesses , but the same difficulties rise with them.

If your Mum wants her hair dyed , standard salon dyes may not be suitable and cause more hair loss. Some general products may improve her hair condition for her age and health issues. You might want to research some on the internet too.

Last tip that might help in generally washing hair for your Mum and you.

My Nana had a really good mobile hairdresser. She advised using a good reclining sun chair with a lower back so the neck was just at the top and a waterproofed neck pillow was attached . She would either then wash people's hair with it relined in the right position next to the bath using those detachable shower hoses on the taps . Sometimes she did it near a kitchen sink with the same hose attachment but with a taller height foldable table with a large wide plastic trug bowl on to catch the water in , if the clients bathroom was not big enough to move around in. That might make washing your Mum's hair between hairdresser visits a little easier for you , your Mum and your Dad.

I hope your Mum gets a well deserved feeling of happiness from having her hair done soon.

Perhaps when you find the right person or try things out you can post about it so others in your area know who to call too.

Good luck

Two ideas occur to me. Convince your mum of how attractive grey hair is these days.....models and youngsters have their hair dyed grey. When I bit the bullet and stopped colouring my hair condition improved and the the unsightly ‘roots’ a salt and pepper lady with a very short imp cut.I presume mum has a shower. Buy a shower seat or stool and wash her hair in the shower, not as a separate activity. I have recently been in hospital and it was a joy when the nurses said you can take a shower and wash your hair.......used a stool and the hospital en-suite wet room......never felt so clean!


I loved this post...even though I am 4 months late to it. Hope you have found the solution and she is happy. my mom never ever went gray and lived happily until 97.. I went gray at 70...had sworn I wouldn't but times have changed (where I live) and I looked around and was the ONLY brown haired old lady around me. Whatever she decides you are a dream daughter!

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