1. manic

    manic Registered User

    Jan 18, 2017
    Hi. My mother, who is 97yrs young and has mixed dementia, has her hair done every week by a qualified mobile hairdresser.
    In the last few months mother’s anxiety levels increase during and after having her hair done. Can end up being quite challenging. We don’t know why. Has anyone experienced this? Do you think it’s the washing of hair, putting rollers in or the hairdryer?
    The hairdresser works in a care home and is used to working with people with dementia.
    Mother used to love having her hair done, made her feel good.
    I appreciate any advice. Thank you
  2. father ted

    father ted Registered User

    Aug 16, 2010
    My Mum used to love having her hair done- full works dyed, washed, rolled up etc.
    However in the last 2 years she does all she can to avoid having it even washed.
    In the care home they find it better not to give her advanced notice and just tell her the hairdresser is waiting to see her now! She also now just has a wash and blow dry which is much quicker and for the time being that is working.
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Mum was never one for having the full works, but in the later stages she resisted having showers, baths or having her hair washed. Does your mum resist getting water on her during other times too?
    She obviously no longer understands what is going on and is frightened. Could it be simplified for her? Mum used to have her hair cut and blowdried about once a month which seemed to suit her.
  4. Fullticket

    Fullticket Registered User

    Apr 19, 2016
    Chard, Somerset
    As it's a mobile hairdresser, does she put a mirror in front of your mum when cutting/drying etc? If mum can't see what's going on she may be a bit frightened. Alternatively, my mum at the later stages thought her reflection was another person, so I can see that this might be a double edged sword or (sorry if the humour is inappropriate) might give her someone to talk to to take her mind off it while the hairdressing is going on.
  5. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    I suspect it's the whole sensation.. I would think the rollers might feel very odd, and the noise of the hairdryer might be scary. My mother is in a care home and just has a trim and blow dry every four or five weeks and seems okay with that, so as others have said you could try asking the hairdresser to simplify things and see if that works.
  6. Jale

    Jale Registered User

    Jul 9, 2018
    Mum too had a mobile hairdresser and she absolutely loved having her hair done - washed, rollered (is that a right term?), combed out and styled, now she is in a nursing home and it is sometimes a battle to get her to have her hair done. She does not like getting her head/hair wet and moans and shouts all the time that the water is too hot/too cold - it isn't. The hairdresser at the home now blow dries and then uses curling tongs and a quick comb through, she is always careful to keep the tongs away from mum's head (have watched) but mum will insist sometimes that her head is burning. Mum's hair is shorter now than it used to be as it is easier and quicker to do.

    I'm not sure there is an easy answer as what works one week won't work the next. Is it the washing part that she doesn't like or having her hair towel dried after washing?
  7. charlie10

    charlie10 Registered User

    Dec 20, 2018
    could it be a sort of sensory overload? Too much noise (hairdryer), smells (shampoo etc), touch (hair being touched, hot air from dryer, water) and visual (hands waving around head, occasionally in sight, often not).....all at the same time (just been for a haircut, so thinking how 'busy' it can be....yet we call it 'relaxing' o_O)
  8. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    The only time I had my hair done this way was as a child in the late 1960s when I was a bridesmaid and had the whole rollers/sit under hairdryer caboodle. It was noisy, hot, seemed to take ages and I felt trapped - I am surprised anyone would enjoy the process, even if they enjoyed the result. So I can see how someone with limited cognition would find it alarming.
  9. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    My Mum was the same - the water going over her head and face seemed to frighten her. I switched to a waterless shampoo and that helped a lot so might be worth a try.
  10. tryingmybest

    tryingmybest Registered User

    May 22, 2015
    I take my Mum every thursday to have her hair washed a blow-dried. She's always had her hair done every week and so I've continued since she moved in with me 4 years ago. However, of late, the hairdresser who is so gentle and kind with Mum, has commented she gets quite jumpy sometimes. I'm not sure why she is like that but until it seems to distress her going ther I shall keep taking her.
  11. manic

    manic Registered User

    Jan 18, 2017
    Thank you all for your replies.
    Mam likes/liked her hair curly, using rollers, so occasionally had a perm, but as she is now we are considering cutting mam's hair in such a way that it would be ok to just have a quick wash then blow dry instead of curlers then blow dry.
    We'll see how it goes and consider doing her hair less frequently and trying waterless shampoo.

    Thank you all once again.

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