For many years, I struggled with washing my hair easily. I have never lived in a home that had a handicap accessible shower; thus, I have always had to rely on sinks or “other means” to wash my hair with the “other means” being downright challenging. One such difficult hair washing attempt occurred when my only alternative was to go outdoors to our back deck with several pitchers and containers of hot water (the water cooled off in record time because it was anything but summer outside) and have my mother wash my hair outside in 40° weather. There I was with a heavy quilt bundled on me, getting my hair washed outside in late fall by my mother who didn’t fare much better because the water ended up on her more often than not. We broke down laughing when we saw our breath in the chilly air but I think we laughed more because we didn’t want to cry over the pitiful conditions of what should have been a simple and civilized daily care event. Little did I know it then but hair washing, as I knew it, would change dramatically.
During a totally unrelated trip to a medical supply store, my mother was waiting behind a customer who was purchasing an item that has made my daily routine so much easier. The customer placed an item, which looked like a laptop tray with a carrying strap and a curved area at the top, on the checkout counter to purchase it. Out of curiosity, my mother asked the customer what she was buying. This curious item turned out to be the EZ-SHAMPOO HAIR WASHING TRAY™ manufactured by HomeCare Products. The woman purchasing the tray said she has used it for several years to wash her elderly father’s hair from his wheelchair. This woman had heard about the hair washing tray from a home healthcare nurse who, in turn, was recommending and using it successfully for her patients. Knowing the struggles we were going through to wash my hair, my mother purchased HomeCare Products’ EZ-SHAMPOO HAIR WASHING TRAY™ that same day just to see if it could work for us.
The EZ-SHAMPOO HAIR WASHING TRAY™ has made washing my hair so simple for both myself and the person who washes my hair. The tray is easy to use and it works perfectly. It is one of those ingenious devices that prompts one to say; “Why didn’t I think of that?” but you are certainly glad someone did invent it. There is a tilt feature on my wheelchair, so I use this tilt feature with the hair washing tray. Leaving about a 1’ space between my wheelchair and the sink and cupboards, I back up to our kitchen sink and, with the hair washing tray resting comfortably behind my neck, I tilt my wheelchair so the end of the tray fits in the sink and the water runs down the drain. My head rests comfortably against the tray while my hair is shampooed, rinsed, and conditioned with the sink’s hose attachment. It also works for both non-tilting wheelchairs and people seated in house chairs. The “collar” atop the device prevents any water from leaking down the neck, and repetitive lifting of one’s head is not necessary for thorough hair cleaning. I even use the tray to highlight my hair as it gives my head something to rest against while the color is processing and it protects my clothing from the bleach. When I am getting ready to go on a trip, the EZ-SHAMPOO HAIR WASHING TRAY is the first thing I pack! To coin a phrase, I never leave home without it.
Very often, disabled individuals struggle with self-esteem issues simply because of the physical differences that separate them from the non-disabled. I also struggle with low self-esteem at times but I have found if I do special things for myself, like wash and curl my hair, I feel good about the way I look which, in turn, makes me feel more confident. Not only does the HomeCare Products’ EZ-SHAMPOO HAIR WASHING TRAY™ make it easy to wash my hair but, as a result, it makes it easier to feel more confident!