How do I care for my hair as a nurse? What hair products do I use? What are some nursing hairstyles that I can recommend for longer hair? And why do I allow my hair to grow so long, anyway?
Those are some great questions that I have received from my viewers.
While our hair is often the last thing we’re thinking about while working a grueling 12-hour shift, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind as a nurse, especially if you have longer hair.
So let’s get right to it…
Why is My Hair So Long?
People sometimes ask me why I grow my hair so long. The answer is quite simple, really. My husband likes my hair this length! I also find that I prefer it longer because it is easier to style, cut, and so forth.
My hair has been different lengths in the past, ranging from shoulder length and longer. But my husband and I both prefer it longer at this point.
How Do I Care for My Hair as a Nurse?
As a nurse, you’ll come into regular contact with germs, so it is important that you wash your hair thoroughly. My personal preference has always been to take a shower immediately after every nursing shift so that I can remove any germs.
I usually come home, put my shoes in a plastic bag (shoes get nasty), put my scrubs in the “dirty” scrub pile (away from my regular clothes), and take a hot shower. I use copious amounts of shampoo so that I can work up a good lather and remove any germs that have worked their way into my hair.
Taking a shower after my shift also makes it easier to get ready the next morning, because I can sleep in longer and don’t have to take a shower again.
What Products Do I Use for My Hair?
I use various brands of shampoo with matching conditioner, and I like to experiment and change brands every so often. Below are two of my favorite brands of shampoo/conditioner:
- Pantene Pro-V: Smooth & Sleek (*affiliate link advertisement)
- Aussie Family: Aussomely Clean (*affiliate link advertisement)
One thing I’ve learned in the past year is the importance of matching your shampoo type to your hair texture, which may vary during certain seasons. For example, during some seasons, my hair gets a bit fluffy or frizzy, so I use shampoo that fights frizz.
I also use Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Glossing Spray (*affiliate link ad) to help my hair stay down when I pull it back into a ponytail, braid, or bun.
During other seasons, my hair can get rather flat, so I’ll switch shampoo types to something that adds volume.
In addition, I use basic hair ties or hair clips to help my hair stay in place, which I demonstrate in the video.
I use hair rollers to add a little curl to it sometimes, too, but that’s not something I usually do while working as a nurse.
Other than those things, I don’t use any other hair care products, and I have never dyed my hair. Oh, and my husband trims it about 2-3 times per year.
Choosing a Nursing Hair Style
Nurses working in non-patient settings, such as nurse educators or nurses in research positions, may have fewer concerns about hair styles. However, if you work in a patient setting, you may want to choose a style that keeps your hair in place, especially if you have longer hair.
If your hair is shoulder-length or longer (or can cover your eyes), keep these things in mind:
- If your hair is long enough to cover your eyes, it can enter your visual field and obscure your vision while you are performing important nursing skills. Therefore, it’s best to secure it to your head to avoid this problem.
- If your hair is long, it can become contaminated during bed pan changes, dressing changes, etc. It could contaminate both you and the patient, so it’s best to keep it secure.
- Long hair can be pulled when dealing with patients who are disoriented, combatant, or elderly, so be warned!
- Longer hair can become tangled in equipment, doors, IV poles, or random objects.
Due to the above reasons, I have always worn my hair in a high bun, low bun, or braid ponytail, especially while working in a patient setting.
I use elastic ties and bobby pins to keep my hair in place with each of those three styles, as I demonstrated in the video.
My Three Favorite Nursing Hairstyles
The High Bun
I like this one for its simplicity. I can usually throw my hair up and style it in less than a minute, which helps me get some extra sleep in the morning. I think it looks a little nicer than the low bun, but the downside is that it can pull your hair back and give you a bit of a headache.
To do this, I add a small poof in the front by taking some hair, twisting it, moving it slightly forward (to create the poof), and then adding a bobby pin to keep it in place. I then take the rest of my hair, twist it around into a bun, and then add elastic hair ties and a clip to keep it in place. I add bobby pins as needed on the sides to keep it in place.
The Low Bun
The low bun is identical to the high bun, except that it is put much lower in the back of the head. The advantage of this is that it doesn’t pull my hair as much and give me the feeling of a headache.
I use the high bun or low bun when I am working in any setting that will put me in contact with random patients that may be disoriented, be in contact precautions, etc.
Also, I will add the Garnier Fructis Glossing Spray to manage any loose hairs (*affiliate link advert).
The Braid Ponytail
I like the braid ponytail best, but I don’t tend to wear it in a “floor” setting in nursing. I have worn it this way in more relaxed nursing settings, such as the cardiac stress lab.
To do this, I add the poof like I mentioned before. Then, I take my hair behind my head into a ponytail, and secure it with an elastic tie. Next, I take the ponytail and braid it, and add another elastic tie at the end. Finally, I add some bobby pins on the sides of my head to restrain any look hairs, and I may add glossing spray or hair spray, if I need it.
Nursing Hair Care and Styles Conclusion
That wraps it up. I think I’ve given all of the tips I know, and I have addressed all of the questions I have ever received about my hair. I hope that helps!