Adults with learning disabilities can look and feel more confident about themselves if they are supported by their family or professionals in caring for their hair. Women can look more feminine and attractive and men can achieve a look that is current and fashionable. Here is how to care for the hair of adults with learning disabilities without leaving them looking ridiculous and infantile.
Visit the Hairdresser’s or Barber’s
Unless you are a qualified hairdresser or barber, you should try to avoid cutting the hair of your relative or client who has learning disabilities. Many people opt for “do-it-yourself” haircuts in order to save money, with disastrous results. Remember that if you give someone a bad haircut, they will have to live with it until it grows out and that can take weeks. It is unfair to expect your relative or client to put up with a bad haircut and have people stare at them while their hair grows back.
When you take your relative or client for a haircut, ask them what they would like. Do not just choose a haircut according to your own taste. Consider your relative or client’s age and personality, and as far as possible, get their input. Everyone deserves to choose how their hair will look, even if they are unable to communicate the same as you or I.
People who do not have learning disabilities can easily take hair washing for granted. It is such an integral part of a person’s grooming. But some people with learning disabilities, particularly severe learning disabilities, will not only need reminders to wash their hair. Some even require assistance to wash their hair properly, build up a lather and then rinse out shampoo and conditioner. Do not neglect proper hair washing or else hair will look lank, greasy and it will start to smell.
What are the latest hair fashions where you live? Would your relative or client like to have their hair styled in a contemporary fashion or are they happy with their usual style? If you provide a lot of support in personal grooming, ask your relative or client how they would like their hair combed and styled. Do they want to straighten their naturally curly hair for the day? Would young men like an easy to maintain style for every day wear? Avoid playing with women’s hair like they are a Barbie doll and then styling it in a childish fashion. This takes away a grown woman’s dignity, even if she is unaware of it.
These are just a few suggestions intended to help relatives and professionals in caring for the hair of adults with learning disabilities.