How To Teach: Washing Hair and Shaving

functional life skills how to teach life skills special education teachers teacher experience teacherspayteachers transition Sep 06, 2021
Importance of Washing Hair and Shaving
Squeaky clean is a good thing! Hands are clean, teeth are clean, body is clean, and hair is also clean! Dirty hair can attract lice and absorb the smells around it, so washing your hair on a regular basis will help to keep those locks smelling fresh and clean! Learning how to shave safely can help students take an additional step towards hygiene independence!
-When and why washing hair is important
-Supplies needed to wash hair and what they do
-Steps to washing hair
-What parts of the hair to wash
-How to rinse hair
-Supplies needed to shave
-Where to shave
-Steps for shaving
-Combing hair after washing
Why Focus On These Skills
Having clean, combed hair encourages a ‘put together’ appearance, which is important when making an impression. It is important to keep hair washed and clean so others have positive thoughts about you.
Shaving may also be required for men, if their workplace expects a clean shave, and may be helpful in keeping women’s body clean, as well.
When To Teach
If appropriate, it may be best to address this immediately after teaching about showering, since many or most students will wash their hair when they shower (even if they don’t wash it every time they shower).
Since this is just another step in being clean, having this be a part of lessons around self-care and hygiene will help students associate these cleanliness tasks together. Self-Care/Personal Hygiene- Showering and Deodorant, Brushing Teeth, Bathroom and Handwashing, Getting Dressed, and Nail Care or Periods and Pads, as appropriate.
I’ve created a complete lesson unit of materials for teaching this topic. The materials are comprehensive (5 full lessons) and most appropriate for life skill lessons at the middle school, high school and transition level students. Below are some lesson unit highlights!
Students will identify when to wash hair and why,
Students will identify the steps to wash their hair using shampoo and conditioner in a shower.
Students will learn the importance of brushing their hair daily.
Students will learn the steps to shaving their body (face, underarms, legs)
Students will learn the steps to apply shaving cream and the technique to using a razor.
Lesson Vocabulary
All over, comb, conditioner, dirty, razor, rinse, rub, shampoo, shave, shave cream
  • Pre and Post assessment
  • 1 page narrative explaining the skill with and without visual text supports (to incorporate functional reading)
  • 5 skill practice activities to learn and/or reinforce the focus skills
  • Game for students to practice their skills (because learning is fun)
  • Boom Cards for practice or assessment
  • Student learning reflection worksheet (thumbs up or down)
  • Encouraging on-topic quotes (use as a classroom poster or starter for each class period)
  • 5 strategies for success (tips for being successful with the focus skills)
  • Coloring page with on-topic graphics
  • Skill mastery certificate for positive recognition and reinforcement
  • Data collection sheet on specific focus skills
  • Homework sheet to encourage students to practice the skill outside of the school setting
  • Word search of key vocabulary terms
  • Visuals for focus skills with age appropriate colors and graphics
Ultimate Goal
Not having greasy, shiny roots is the goal for hair washing. Not only does this portray a ‘dirty’ appearance, but can also lead to head scratching, lice, and unpleasant smells.
Shaving may not be a necessity for your students, but may be a skill they could assist with, if it is. Knowing when, where, and how to shave so they can request assistance when needed could be the first step in shaving independence.
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