David B's Journey - Severe Learning Disability & Beyond
"I’d like to let you all know about something we trialed whilst on our holiday at The Autism Caravan in Blackpool last month - Waterless Shampoo and Body Wash by a company called Dignity.
I reached out to Dignity a few weeks before our trip as I’d read about their “waterless” products when browsing Facebook. They kindly sent me two products to trial and review when I’d explained that we’d struggle with a a small bathroom and shower in a caravan.
So. Holidays. Not easy for us!! Anything out of routine isn’t easy for us as a family. David has a bath - not a shower - at the same time every night...but obviously staying in a caravan meant we couldn’t give him his beloved bath...bah!!
Worrying that we’d struggle to keep him clean (and crucially due to immune issues, hygienic) I was really hopeful about Dignity’s waterless products - at least if we couldn’t get David into the shower we would be comforted by the fact he was clean.
Sensory issues around skin touching and hair washing are very common in people with autism and sensory processing disorder, luckily David is used to having personal care needs tended to by me and he does let me wash and brush his hair - if I’m quick!
Holidays can obviously go hand in hand with things like swimming, visiting the beach, long walks, sunny days, fairgrounds, new foods and plenty of fun but messy days. Dignity’s Waterless Shampoo and Wash were the first products I packed in our toiletries bag and I was so thankful for them after the first full day of our holiday...David flat refused to get into the shower that first day so I picked a calm moment and started with the shampoo.
It comes out of the bottle like a foam and the smell is very fresh; not overly sweet or scented but just a lovely clean smell. For anyone with sensory issues around smell I’d say it’s no stronger than an average, traditional shampoo smell.
A little goes a long way; David has short but thick hair and I managed to cover his whole head with three pumps and a quick massage around.
The instructions state that you should comb the product through and then either towel or air dry. Air dry is the only option really with David, I managed a quick brush and I’m pleased to say that it dried really quickly, David’s hair looked clean and smelled really fresh; It wasn’t sticky or clumpy which was my initial concern.
The added bonus for holidays is that you could use this product at any time, so after swimming for example. I also tried it on Esme’s thick, wavy, shoulder length hair as she was way too tired after busy days out to go through the whole hair washing routine...and it worked really well!! She brushed it through herself after I rubbed it in and she really liked the clean smell and feel. I used it twice on Esme and three times on David during our break and there was still a lot left on the bottle for home.
So onto the waterless wash! A lifesaver for us because although on the third day of our holiday David did embrace the shower, I couldn’t physically get to him to wash him properly, and he thought that it was a piece of play equipment more than something to wash under 🤣
As with the shampoo, it’s a pump action and a little goes a really long way, I’ve actually popped this into our change bag for when we are out with David as he struggles to hand wash and still touches lots of questionable surfaces 🤣🙈
So you apply the foam and towel it off. David has very sensitive, excema prone skin but he didn’t have any reactions to it at all (I’d say to test a small area of skin if you were worried, the products are paraben and alcohol free). I could get the foam on and off in seconds which is good with a little wriggler like David and it really did make his skin soft and really clean.
Dignity as a company are really invested in helping find solutions for children and adults with additional needs, and without going into too much detail the waterless wash was very handy for personal care needs too.
I’d absolutely take both products with us on holiday again and I’ve got the waterless body wash in our change bag too.
I wouldn’t recommend any product that we haven’t trialed as a family and I can honestly say that these two did make things a lot easier for us on our holiday.