Bedside hair washing made simple

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9 simple steps

It’s easy to take small things for granted—like the fresh, clean feeling after washing your hair. However, when you are taking care of someone that is bedridden who needs their hair washed, it can seem like a daunting task. Let’s say your aging mother is confined to the bed and it’s now up to you to figure out the best way to regularly shampoo her hair.

Start by gathering the necessary items—shampoo, several towels (5-6), wash cloth, trash bag, bucket or milk jug with warm water, plastic cup, and hair dryer.

  1. First, create a make-shift water basin by simply opening the plastic bag and shape it into a bowl. Roll up two towels and line the bag in a circular fashion.
  2. Next, place another towel on mom’s pillow. Then place the bag/water basin under her head—which will comfortably rest on her pillow. Notice how her neck is easily supported by the rolled towel lining the bag.
  3. To keep water away from mom’s eyes, place a folded washcloth over her forehead/eyes. Consider asking her to hold the washcloth if she is able to.
  4. Now fill the plastic cup with water and slowly pour it over mom’s hair. Place your free hand on her forehead to minimize water that may drip down her face.
  5. Gently massage some shampoo into her hair. Be sure to gently shampoo the back of her hair while gently lifting her head.
  6. Rinse her hair until you no longer feel shampoo residue in the hair.
  7. Roll up the trash bag containing the sudsy water and towels and remove it from the pillow.
  8. Towel dry or blow dry her hair.
  9. Remove towel from pillow.
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