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My mother had long hair we did not cut for the last 2 years. She lives in a memory care where the aides kept it in a ponytail. Her activies include sitting in a wheelchair and lying in bed. Last week, the facility called and asked if the new hairstylist could cut her hair and what would I like and I said a nice short wash and wear.


Our hospice aide and nurse were both distressed the next day and sent me photos. The stylist simply pulled the bun up a little and cut it off! She claims she couldn't do anything else as mother would not hold still. It was horrible so I went over to try to fix it. I used a DVD of a kids' dog movie from redbox to keep her from noticing I was messing with her hair, just like with little kids. I have 30 years experience cutting my husband and 4 sons' hair, but none in ladies', and she has a great businessman's special now! What can I do to make it more feminine next time?

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Update on the "do": Mthr has only been on hospice two weeks now, but we have a wonderful aide. She has taken the men's cut that I did to salvage mthr's hair and made it look cute! I'm not sure what she was using before, but I've now bought some proper gel for her - she was putting something in the front and combing it back, so it was poofy and up on top, very nicely! This is a great solution! The hospice aide had been experimenting with the hair bands and barrettes & even the wig I bought but mthr would not leave them alone. I'm so thankful she was creative and a self starter!

I'm not someone who knows what to do other than wash and wear hair, so all your suggestions have been absolutely wonderful. Once it gets longer (if), I'll see if a hospice volunteer hairdresser can give her a **good** style! Thank you all! Feel free to keep the ideas coming for others who may follow who also need good haircut advice. I never knew what to ask for when I took her out when she was mobile and I wish I'd known all these ideas then!
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I used to both cut and perm my MIL hair. Afterwards, she would put on an old, soiled man's cotton hat and pull it down over her ears. I finally reassessed the situation. Was I curling her hair for me or for her? Her hair was fine and I made the decision to cut it the same length around the back leaving the sides long enough to go behind her ears. No bangs. I would wash her hair, spray on a creme rinse, and apply a light amount of hair gel and comb everything straight back and let it air dry. I bought several, tiny floral cotton, similarly shaped ladies' bucket hats with small brims to replace the old man hat. At one point, someone tucked up the front brim and secured it with a bright, artificial flower. She looked so cute. Everyone would remark on her hat & flower and that made her day. I would replace her week old hat with the next freshly washed and starched hat with the flower pinned onto the same place.
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surprise Oct 2019
Great idea! That does sound so cute!!
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You have gotten a lot of good hair suggestions, so I will speak to something else you mentioned. I think it says alot about the nurse and aide that they felt upset on your Mom's behalf enough to call you. This means they see her as a person that deserves to be treated with respect, care and dignity. Even with something as simple as a hairstyle. So feel good your Mom has them at her side.
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surprise Sep 2019
Yes, the people from our hospice are fantastic. They are able to be tender in ways I'm not because of my history with her. I appreciate how they see every human as worthy of their very best. This is a faith based, non profit hospice and we are on our second contact with the. Just outstanding people.
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My Moms hair was thin and fly away and really hard for the aides to comb. Never could style it the way it was cut. She would have died if she saw how she looked. I carried a brush and hairspray around to do something with it. I was going to have her hair cut really short and her ears cut out. Lots easier to care for but she passed before I could have it done.

This stylist has not worked with the elderly. My GF works at an AL and has never done something like this. Her clients at her shop are mostly over 70.
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Forget the AL hair butcher. Is there a beauty college near the AL facility? One of their girls getting ready to graduate may be interested in going over and straightening it out when its time.
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surprise Sep 2019
Great idea, but we're in the boonies. Maybe that Idea can help someone else!
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How about a wig?
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surprise Sep 2019
Amazon has them now - a great idea!
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My mom also had a bad cut at assisted living. She hated it. I hated it. It was awful, too short and severe for her. I like a cut on her that is layered a bit all around, even though she has very thin hair. She can't curl it any longer on her own, so it needs to have some style that can be puffed up after washing. A good haircut is very important for her general appearance. When it's good she looks really cute.
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How old is mom?  My mom is 88 and I don't like the perm that they give her.  I like the idea of a short hairstyle with not as much hairspray on it.
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A short bob. Or we just had mom’s hair cut in very short layers - like judi dench’s. it is so easy to wet a bit then brush and scrunch and looks great. This takes a good hairdresser though.
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surprise Sep 2019
We really don't have a regular hairdresser at the home, so I can't count on them. But hospice has some volunteers from time to time, so I'll bring it up with them! Thanks for the idea.
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My mom has very little hair. It has been thin on top (can see her scalp) for decades and every night she would set it in rollers and had it in short layers done by a hair dresser. She lost interest in the rollers and her hair, so I let it grow and she likes it longer. We comb it straight back into a pony tail and she delights in the compliments. Easy peasy. If it becomes too long, I can easily trim it. If things are not too busy, some of the CNA staff here like to do French braids on the ladies who have longer hair. Mom is in a wonderful skilled nursing neighborhood within a community that has independent living, assisted living, short term rehab living, and skilled nursing.
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I’ve read through and am glad you spoke up about the sorry hairdresser. There’s just no excuse. Sorry your mom went through this and hoping the hairdresser is replaced, clearly working in elder care isn’t right for her. I’d go for a pageboy kind of style, can be done at whatever length.
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surprise Sep 2019
I like it!
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The Bob, deep side part, no bangs, one clip on side (or could use side comb). Classic 1920's bob or go the longer shoulder length version. Very popular if straight hair. Saw a lovely lady today sporting this look, very advanced dementia. Looked plain but good. Not so good if she is temped to pull the clip out though.

Grace Kelly had that combed straight back, although wavey. Maybe?

Some people just really suit ponytails. Once the top grows you could do a mini top bun like a cool Japenese man-bun - it's very popular here ie also known as the *Scandi look*.
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surprise Sep 2019
Great ideas here! Thanks!
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Most cases... hair does grow back...
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surprise Sep 2019
I'm counting on it!
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My hair falls out faster than I can get it cut... So, I am not expert... OBVIOUSLY.

Dont' point it out to her, you don't want her to obsess with her hair. You do not want that to be her focal point....

If she does, try drawing her attention elsewhere... start applying makeup, or dress pins.. keep her away from noticing her hair...unless you add something nice to it.. not much you can do about it now... My mom always yelled at the barber for giving her son a PIXIE CUT.
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put a bow in it. or on it.. a head band with zebra stripes. a pretty pink cap. a wild looking wig. how about feathers on the side? It was the fashion for kids a few years ago...

colored tips. fake braid. go to a makeup discount store or .99 cent store and look at hairstyling products.. ribbons...
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surprise Sep 2019
I like this! Perhaps a wig is the best answer anyway. :)
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You say her hair naturally grows straight back? No bangs? Maybe an old fashioned page boy will look good when it grows some.

A simple “A” line with the back short and the front sides long forming the “A” might work.

Nowadays, the sleek look is real popular. You can achieve that look with products and don’t have to have a lot of styling beyond a “good” cut.

Why on earth didn't she just refuse to do a cut if your mom wouldn't sit still? This is completely absurd! If she wouldn’t sit still that means she either didn’t want her hair cut or didn’t like the hairdresser! Totally unethical! And I don’t see why they had to call you either. Why not wait til you were there again?

Charlotte
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surprise Sep 2019
I'm thinking she did not want her hair cut. She can't move her arms much, so she was not swatting. The director said she held her head back so the woman could not cut the back, but that says nothing about the top and front of the head. Just so frustrating!

I don't go often to see mthr. I'd been there the week before and I think they were looking for clients for the hairdresser to get her to come out.
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When the series Madame Secretary has their season premier on October 6, you can see how I want my hair to look like Tia Leone' s New cut and curls. Medium length.

Oh, if it has grown out or re-cut by then, she had an interview with the new hairdo in Sept..

Edit....Oh, I see it changes often, her hair. But anything by TIA Leone looks great.
Maybe I should wait, my hair is long now.
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Would your mother enjoy having her hair done, like a girl's day out. I get my hair stepped. I keep the length, but that is not necessary. It can be any length. All that does is step the hair neatly. It's no muss or fuss once done. Not even bed head. As for the bangs, a light spray of hair spray or try the right amount of water.
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surprise Sep 2019
Mthr can't speak anymore, nor support her body weight with her legs. I can't see taking her out of the facility at this point. I do appreciate the idea of the "stepped" cut. I'll ask about that.
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I did manage to make the top longer than the sloping sides of the head - most of my girlfriends who have short hair have Ellen styles, and the last time we went to a salon, this is what mthr chose too. At least she liked really short 3 years ago!

The short part from the bun removal was right at the peak of the curve on the back of the head - the hair there was not more than 1/2 inch, so I made everything at that level a bit longer to try to camouflage the hole. The hair surrounding her face naturally grows backwards, and I have no idea what to do when bangs would not go forward on her face. It's always swept back like she was standing in front of a strong fan for too long!

The nurse took up the bad cut with the administrator who said the hairdresser would touch it up in two weeks for no extra charge. I think they'd had words based on the reaction that I saw when I arrived. I was pretty steamed and they could tell I was unhappy. The owner tried to minimize and I told her I'd seen the photos already, and I told her not to put mthr back on the list EVER. I was too hot to say much else. I reminded them both to not let the hairdresser touch mthr when she came back as I left.

I think I'll write a letter detailing my concerns tomorrow morning and telling them to make sure that she is not billed since I took away from my family almost 3 hours to get there and work on this mess. I certainly had better things to do since we were leaving for our college freshman's family weekend events that night.
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Hopefully you didn't have to pay for the butcher job. I am horrified that they solicited the haircut and the hairdresser couldn't actually do the job. Sounds quite unethical to me.

I cut hair for seniors in care homes and I think that bangs around the face are a more classic feminine style, or a nice shag that is very simple to achieve. I always try to leave length in the back with any cut for a woman.
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IMO that hairdresser should get a kick in the a$$, lopping it off the way she did was just asking for trouble as it must have left her with very few options - has she never before dealt with any other older women or little girls who won't sit still?

My mom had a perm a few times a year and a weekly wash and set for as long as I can remember, when she could no longer manage the hairdresser I took over the wash and set and periodic haircuts (like you I had experience with men/boys hair but not women's). I finally gave up the curls altogether and went with a simple short style that was long enough to be brushed back behind her ears - 3 or 4 inches? - but not so long that it would fall forward in her face.
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Shane1124 Sep 2019
I so agree! I would be angry as well.
Why would she have done that? She could have taken the band off to check your mothers length - actually the GD was pretty lazy. 1/2” in some places - wow.
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I know some will say "say what??" at this idea but I was wondering if you could add a color streak in a wild and crazy color.... something fun, like pink, purple, or green. Or maybe blue.... remember when older gals would tint their hair with a blue tint? A color that would fade out after so many washings.
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Isthisrealyreal Sep 2019
Yep, we still call our snowbirds blue hairs.

I had a fuchsia pink weave done many years ago to help hide a hideous haircut.
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