A shampoo tray is used where a sink with a recess for the neck, designed for hair washing, is not available. It is made of plastic and fits around the neck and onto the shoulders of a person, while they lean back toward a sink. Water is showered over the hair and runs down the tray into the sink. It is useful for washing the hair of individuals who have mobility problems or find it difficult to use a shower or bath.
In the hair salon, hair washing basins are shaped to allow the customer to sit in a chair and comfortably lay their head back into a neck-shaped recess. This allows the hairdresser to wash hair with no mess, while the customer is comfortably resting their head. Where a basin designed for washing hair is not available, a shampoo tray can be used. A mobile hairdresser might carry a shampoo tray amongst her equipment to wash customers' hair in their own sink at home.
The plastic tray is square in shape, has a neck shaped contour at one edge, and a rim running all the way around to prevent water spilling over the side. The shampoo tray rests on the customer’s shoulders as they sit with their back to the basin. Their neck fits into the contoured edge of the tray, allowing them to tip their head back. The faucet is positioned over the hair during washing, and water runs down the shampoo tray and into the sink.
Shampoo trays are useful for people with disabilities, or those who find it difficult to use a shower or bathtub. Carers use this in the same way as hairdressers do, bringing the individual’s wheelchair or chair backward, toward the sink. The tray is then placed around the person's shoulders with the contoured recess around their neck.
An inflatable shampoo tray is a semicircular shaped inflatable tray that resembles a pillow. It has a flat recessed center and an inflatable rim running all the way around which keeps the water in the center. This inflatable tray is useful for individuals who are unable to leave their bed and it assists with their personal care by making washing easier. The tray is filled with a shallow amount of water and placed under the individual's head. Their hair is then washed and the water drained away using a drainage tube attached.