Updated: Nov 11
With a month of lockdown ahead, some of us may once again be facing the challenge of lockdown haircuts!
For individuals with sensory difficulties or dislike a change in their routine this can be a daunting and uncomfortable experience.
This blog looks at strategies and activities to help individuals overcome barriers to their hair care.
'The Haircut' - FREE Resource
'The haircut' is a fully resourced, step by step, rhyming multisensory story aimed at building an individual's confidence to explore new and unfamiliar sensory experiences.
The story uses low budget props that can be found around the home and classroom.
Repeating the story in a safe and comfortable setting to gradually desensitised to the items used in hair care.
For your FREE copy click HERE
Salon Role Play
Role play is a crucial part of development providing opportunities to practice imaginative play, communication and language skills building narrative thought acting out scenarios. it will also provide allow individuals to handle and desensitise to the props used in hair care in a safe and fun way through play.
Set up a hair salon or barbers' shop role play area by placing a chair and desk/table in front of a mirror.
Provide a cape/bib, towels, a water sprayer, brushes, combs,bobbles, clip on hair pieces, ribbons, clips and rollers for exploration.
Provide a style head’ such as ‘Girls World’, dolls or mop heads.
This is an excellent group activity where students can work in pairs or groups undertaking different roles in the salon e.g. the receptionist booking appointments, the hair stylist, the client and the junior making drinks and keeping the salon tidy. This sharing of roles and turn taking will develop awareness of others’ thoughts, feelings and opinions.
Setting up a salon role play area provides an excellent opportunity to work with money, whether it is calculating change and devising a price list for services. Students could set up an area to sell products (shampoo, conditioner etc)
Booking appointments presents opportunities to practice time.
Role play also provides an excellent opportunity to facilitate PECS exchanges.
A quick search on the internet will provide you with access to a library of free audio clips and sound effects. These can be played via your phone, iPad, Kindle or recorded to be played back on a Dictaphone or Talking Tile, Multi Memo Recorder or other device.
Play barber shop/hair salon themed sound effects for the learner to experience e.g. scissors snipping, clippers buzzing, a hair spray canister being sprayed, hairdryer, people chatting, a telephone ringing, the radio playing in the background, water being sprayed from a bottle.
Can the learner communicate a request for 'more' to listen to a motivating sound again?
Can the learner activate the listening device independently?
Can the learner imitate the noise?
Can the learner correctly identify the sound?
Experiment with different levels of sound.
Practice fine motor skills manipulating playdoh or wool into different hairstyles and affixing them to laminated photos of the learner or different 'clients’.
Can the student weave ribbons into the playdoh or wool?
Paper Plate Haircuts
This activity will promote creativity, fine motor development and scissor skills.
You will need:
Draw a face onto the paper plate.
Cut the outer 'frilly' edge of the plate 3/4 around until you are left with a piece along the top.
Use the pencils/crayons/felts to colour the hair
Experiment cutting the 'frill' of the plate into different styles and lengths.
This is a fun activity that will connect individuals to horticulture in a fun way as they watch the 'hair' sprout in a short period of time.
You will need:
Grass seed/parsley seeds
Cut the foot end off the tights.
Place the cress/grass seed at the toe end of the tights.
Fill with soil.
Secure with a knot.
Rest on a mug so the seeds end is pointing upwards.
Keep well watered.
The author has used their best efforts in preparing these sensory stories and makes no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness or completeness to the contents.
The information in this story is for pleasure and educational purposes.
If you wish to apply any ideas contained in this book you are taking full responsibility for your actions.
The Haircut Copyright © 2020 Victoria Navin remains the property of the author and may not be used for commercial purposes.
Health & Safety
The activities in these stories are ideas. You are wholly responsible for any activities you decide to carry out.
The activities are designed to be led and supervised by a responsible adult at all times.
If you are concerned or have doubts regarding any activity or prop used, then seek advice before starting.
Be aware of choking hazards.
The interactions should be led by the listener who should be allowed to participate without expectation. Never force stimuli and stop the activity if the listener shows signs that they are not enjoying the session.
Get in Touch!
Your questions/queries, comments and feedback are always welcome!