Hair Care and Combing
As nurses, we care for and assist patients on their way to recovery. Such include assisting them in basic tasks that they are unable to perform such as hair care. A patient’s hair should be combed daily. Other care is also necessary in the enhancement of morale, stimulation of circulation of the scalp, and prevention of tangled, matted hair.
Proper hair care and combing are done in order to the comfort of the patient, to remove tangles from the hair, to preserve or keep the hair in good condition during illness, to observe the presence of lice without the patient’s being aware of it, to prevent infection and in preparation for diagnostic procedures involving the head.
- Patient’s bath towel
- Hair comb
- Hair Brush
- Rubber bands or tapes
- Move the patient’s head near the edge of the bed, her face turned away from you.
- Place towel under the head of the patient extending down the chest and shoulders.
- Loose the hair and part it in the middle.
- Brush hair thoroughly.
- In combing or brushing, comb small stands at a time. Hold the strand at a time wrapping around the forefinger. Hold the stand above the part being combed so that the pull comes on your baud, not on the hair roots and comb the tangles from the end first.
- Comb gently especially when removing tangles. If the hair is badly tangled, apply Vaseline or oil or wet hair with alcohol but time, patience and skill are required.
- If the hair is long, part down and middle and plaid into two braids shirting towards the front so that a patient lying on her back will not be conscious of this coronet across the front of the head or let them freely down holding the ends with ribbon or tape or rubber bands.
- Gather all used articles. Clean and disinfect brush and comb and return them into their proper places.
- Barber service is provided in most service hospitals. The barber makes regular rounds on the nursing unit or comes by appointment. The patient receiving the service pays the fee directly to the barber. Occasionally, hairdresser service can be arranged for patients on the unit. Ambulatory patients go to the barber shop or beauty parlor, if the medical officer approves.
- Large pitcher of warm water.
- Large rubber sheet.
- Bath towels (3).
- Shampoo solution.
- Clean comb and brush.
- Place a newspaper on the chair and the bucket on the newspaper. Place the pitcher of water, shampoo, comb, brush, and one of the two bath towels on the bedside cabinet.
- Move the patient to the near side of the bed. Lower the bed to a level position.
- Pull the pillow down under the patient’s shoulders to assisting extending the neck. Fold one bath towel around the neck.
- Place the narrow side of the rubber sheet under his head and over the edge of the pillow. Roll the sides of the sheet to improvise a trough, and place the free end in the bucket.
- Give the patient a washcloth for his eyes and face.
- Check provisions for water drainage before pouring any water.
- Wet his hair and apply shampoo. Lather and rinse it.
- Reapply shampoo and rinse the hair again repeatedly until his hair is “squeaky clean.” (A woman will require more rinse water than a man, but otherwise the procedure is unchanged.)
- Slip a dry towel under the patient’s bed. Then roll and remove the rubber sheet. Pull the pillow up into its normal place.
- Dry the hair by gently rubbing it with a clean towel.
- Remove the equipment and wipe up any water spilled on the floor.
- Assist the patient to comb and brush his hair with a clean comb and brush.