Friday, July 15, 2011

One stroky’s journey: Camping Hair

The grab and stretch, no-power hair dry
Yes, that’s me, enjoying a clean head, in the great outdoors, in my pajamas!
A daily shower and shampoo are normally a necessity to my sense of well-being.  No showers are available at the campground we like in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

Keeping clean was, in my mother’s terminology, through “spit baths.” Pre-stroke I shampooed daily under a faucet spouting only cold water. With one operable hand and impaired balance my pre-stroke strategies were out of the question. After several days with what felt and looked like permanent bedhead, I was determined to get my oily hair clean and out from under my blue Grand Canyon hat or black baseball cap.

My longsuffering and creative spouse heated water on our campstove and helped me do a thorough, if unconventional outdoor hair wash. I did a quick towel dry then used my trusty round, natural-bristle brush to catch and stretch the bit of hair I have left after a rather extreme pre-trip haircut.

The stretch is necessary or my naturally wavy hair turns into a curse instead of a blessing. Letting it dry without the stretch results in a discouraging dead-squirrel look. As in death from being squished flat by a car.

A modest application of makeup, and I felt ready for breakfast in nearby Gatlinburg.TN!
Breakfst at wheelchair and elders-friendly Log Cabin Pancake House


  1. Oh, dear lady, I have curly hair, too, and I know the challenge! Good for you, and especially for Hub!!!

  2. I can't stand not to feel clean, your husband is a jewel!!! And then pancakes, this sounds like a good day!!

  3. Ah, I'll bet you feel better now. Very creative way to accomplish the task with a helpful hubby. And to think I always envied naturally curly hair.

  4. nothing, including that dead squirrel look, can keep you down, Linda

  5. Your hair looks lovely. I once had curly hair, but the grey hairs I now have are not curly. I have less hair than you. I am envious. Dianne

  6. Your husband is an Angel.
    I like the way you worked at undoing the bedhead.
    Those are things I never thought of before hearing of your stroke.
    I'm so glad you can enjoy the great outdoors and yummy food too.

  7. My camera is a Nikon P100, it is wonderful. Consumer Reports rated it the top Super Zoom, and it has a swing out viewer screen. Also takes High Def video. Are you thinking of getting a new one?

  8. i took a couple of days off and find you washing your hair when i return. i enjoyed the story and am glad you got it clean. i do so hate not taking a shower each day, but i have to say cold shower is not in my vocabulary. i like it so hot it makes my skin red. but i lived for 5 years in a house in KY with no indoor plumbing, and the only way i washed my hair was the way you did yours. we bathed in a big metal tub and put water warmed on the stove in it and washed our hair in a small tub. we only bathed and washed hair once a week and the rest of the time we did the spit bath thing. i hope i never have to do that again. my hubby has curly hair and it does the same thing yours does. i tell him i want to trade, mine is stiff and straight and hangs like dead mop

  9. I always knew that Walter was a "keeper"! Ed helped me wash my hair (in a hospital pan) in the hospital once, after I'd had major surgery. I've never forgotten how grateful I felt!

  10. I would be like you. I'd have to get that hair washed somehow, and then I would have to do whatever special tricks I could to get the hair to look presentable. Curly/wavy hair is a challenge under the best conditions.