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Hair Care for Males


Hair care is a necessary part of the grooming and hygiene routine. Style, length, and interest will help to determine your son's personal preference. The following are things that can be considered which may help with this personal hygiene routine.

  • Consider level of interest, sensory issues, fine motor skills, and motivation.
  • Think about a simple hair style that is manageable for your son and for you. Long hair takes more work to wash and style, and tangles can become a problem.
  • Hair brushing and combing may be a problem depending on sensory issues. Your son may need a short hair cut that requires little hair brushing and will not tangle.
  • Consider a hair washing schedule. Wash hair at least every second or third day. (Greasy or dirty hair can make your son a target for teasing or bullying.)
  • Stay with your son in the bathroom while he is washing his hair to make sure he applies shampoo and washes his whole head of hair. Practice on a doll or have him wash other family members hair so he can practice the sequence and how to get the whole head washed and how to rinse out all of the shampoo and conditioner.
  • Backward chaining: Have your son start with the final step first: rinsing the hair, then go backward breaking each step down and only adding a new step after the prior steps are mastered. This way he eventually puts the entire routine together.
  • Social Stories ™ can be developed by taking photos of what needs to be done to complete hair washing:
    1. Picture of the child with dry, dirty hair
    2. Picture of the child getting his hair wet
    3. Applying shampoo
    4. Rubbing the head and making suds
    5. Rinse until water runs clean
    6. Drying with a towel
    7. Combing the hair
    8. Drying with a hair dryer (optional)
    9. All done and smiling

As your son gets older, his peers will likely begin to care more about their own hair styles. Your son may or may not begin to care how his own hair looks. As boys approach adolescence, often hair becomes part of their identity. While a boy's bowl cut looks cute on a kindergartner, it may not be the best choice for a teenager. If your child has a hair style preference, listen and let him have some control over what he wants. It's natural and part of growing up!

Additional Resources:

The Center for Autism Research and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia do not endorse or recommend any specific person or organization or form of treatment. The information included within the CAR Autism Roadmap™ and CAR Resource Directory™ should not be considered medical advice and should serve only as a guide to resources publicly and privately available. Choosing a treatment, course of action, and/or a resource is a personal decision, which should take into account each individual's and family's particular circumstances.