Friday, August 31, 2012

FAQs: Hair Care

This post is all about how I manage my hair. Now that I longer take showers, I get my hair washed in bed, as well as my baths (more on baths coming soon). Here's a short synopsis of my hair wash history since becoming injured.

When I was in the ICU after my accident I would get my hair washed maybe once a week. It was always quite the process which involved lots of wet towels/a wet bed since hospital beds really aren't equipped for shampoos, and the nursing staff really wasn't experienced with washing patients' hair while in bed. (And don't even try to sell me on those waterless shampoo caps! They were not a viable option for long hair that's really greasy from not being washed for an entire week! Those caps never did any good and actually made the hair look worse!)

When I went to the rehab hospital for people with spinal cord injuries, they introduced my mom and me to a shampoo tray; a dandy invention that makes shampooing your hair in bed much less messy. Even still, though, at that time I was still only getting my hair washed on a weekly basis since most of the nurses/techs didn't have time in their morning schedule to spend the 30 – 45 minutes it would take to set things up, wash my hair and then clean up. My mom was basically the only one who would take pity on my dirty hair and she washed it every weekend since weekends were much more relaxed than the week days.) Looking back, it's my humble opinion that the hospital employees really should've devoted a little more time in their morning schedules to wash my hair because having something as normal as a head of freshly washed hair does wonders for your spirit… especially if you're a 19-year-old girl who was accustomed to looking pretty and put together, like I was.you.

Okay, that was a little background on what my experiences with my hair were initially like after I was injured. Now that I live at home I thankfully get my hair washed three times a week (every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). After I get dressed for the day my mom puts the shampoo tray under my head so that my head is resting in the tray. Then water can be poured on my head and it rolls off of the side of the tray into a wastebasket that is strategically placed to catch the water. Here are a few pictures of my shampoo tray and how we position it in the bed to give you a better idea of how it works.

After my mom has finished washing my hair I get into my recliner and my younger sister Chandra takes over and styles my hair. She starts by blow drying it with a round brush and then she uses a flatiron it to make it nice and smooth. Chandra is my hair's saving grace! My mom is self-admittedly not good at doing hair and doesn't have the patience for it. What am I going to do when Chandra moves away?!! I have a feeling that a paper bag with cutouts for the eyes is looming in the not-too-distant future!

I definitely am not blessed with low-maintenance hair. Oh, what I would give to be one of those people who can let their hair air dry and have it look nice with minimal work! My hair looks awful if I just let it air dry, so I never do. My problem is that I have a lot of natural curl in my hair, so it doesn't look good if it dries naturally. Several weeks ago Chandra was in a time crunch since she had training for work early in the morning. She didn't have time to do my hair normally, so she just used some mousse and gave it a little scrunch with her hands and called it a day.

My hair has gotten quite curly as I've aged, but I never wear it that way because it's just not me. Here are two pictures that we took the morning when I wore it curly. (My hair is relatively short to begin with, and having it curly made it look even more shorter, so IF I were ever going to start wearing my hair curly, I'd want it to be a good 4 – 6 inches longer.)
Another question regarding my hair is how do I get haircuts/highlights? When I'm ready for these things to be done I call Vera, the hairdresser that I've been going to for the past 12 years. Vera is the best and comes to my house to do my hair any time I want it done (which is usually every eight weeks or so since I have short hair). Even though we're not at the salon, Vera always makes it work. She does my hair while I sit in my recliner and she's gotten really good at improvising and we now have a system down that works for us. Having my hair look nice is really important to me, so I'm grateful to have such a wonderful hairstylist that's willing to make house calls!

6 comments:

Ronja said...


Dear Heather,

I am a loyal reader and have read your every post since finding your blog. I don't comment that often , just because I am mostly busy with my 1 year old and then I forget. But I wanted to tell you I enjoy reading your posts. Your FAQs to your medical conditions were really interesting. I often tell my husband about you. He lost the use of his right arm in an accident (which was not his fault, just like with yours) when he was 17. He knows how lucky he was, since that could well have been fatal. He is such a positive man, like you.

I also like your book and movie recommendations. I have read and watched «The help» and just bought «Surprise party» (which was hard to find!). I love movies and go every chance I get.

I persnally think you look great with curly hair, you should wear it like that more often!

Anyways, I just wanted to tell you how much I like your blog and please keep up that good work! Wishing you all the best,

Ronja from Germany

Emily Ann said...

Heather: I have followed your Blog for about 6 months. Thank you for sharing and being so open and honest. In 2004 following a complication from a c-section I was left with damage to my spinal cord from a blood clot. I am a paraplegic and use a wheelchair full time. I am also a wife and homeschooling mom to 7 amazing children. I am Blessed in so many ways, yet struggle with coming to terms with my injury. Finding your blog has been such a Blessing. Your attitude, faith and outlook on life are amazing! Thank you for helping me.
Emily
PS you look so beautiful with curly hair!!!

Elaine said...

Actually, Heather, I LOVE the curly hair! Really!!

Erin said...

That shampoo tray is genius! I wish I would have known about it sooner because it would have come in handy for Christina (lifeparalyzed.blogspot.com). I remember trying to wash her hair in bed was a serious production - and eveything got soaked, like you mentioned.

Also, I really like your hair curly!

ionamin-W8FW8 said...

And do you remember that first shampoo I gave you? It took an hour and everything got all wet! Now we've got it down to a science!

Neenu philip said...

People having long hairs are very difficult to care. It will take so many hours to dry them off after shower. We can use hair dryer if we are in a hurry otherwise let it be dry for an hour or so.

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