Editors’ Blog

I Style Dead People

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

By Cheryl Della Pietra

Jennifer Russo, 27, owner of Spazzo salon, in Clinton, CT, hasn’t received many complaints in the seven years she has been styling hair. But with her side gig—as hairdresser to the deceased—it’s not even on the menu. Finding herself recently divorced with a new business, and lifestyle, to keep (Harley, anyone?), she ended up at Swan Funeral Home next to her shop, where she is now on the payroll. “It’s a motorcycle payment,” she says. “And I love it.” Her other side gig, singing old standards, found its way into her work as well.

How did you get this job?
I just went over and asked. I befriended one of the morticians and I gave him my number and information. He stopped over one day and told me he had two bodies to do for my first job.

Why did you want to do this?
Just the extra money, the convenience–it’s right next door.

What was it like, your first time?
The mortician was hysterical. He didn’t want to leave me alone for my first job. He wheeled them into the showroom area to make it easier for me, but he didn’t want to leave me alone. But it was really comfortable after I asked what their names were. When he left, I introduced myself to them and just familiarized myself with them so I didn’t feel like I was intruding.

How is it different to style a dead person?
It doesn’t take as long because you only have to do the sides and the front. But since they’re lying down it’s challenging because you have to get it to look like when they’re standing up. They usually give you a picture to match.

Also, I’m used to people talking at me all day, bitching about their lives, gossiping. So it’s a nice way to end the day—making someone beautiful who can’t talk to you.

jen-015.jpgWhat do you do while you’re styling them?
I sing to them. My forties tunes, old standards. Because you never know if they’re watching. I don’t know what I believe, but if they are watching, I want it to be nice for them.

I don’t get scared or freaked out. I’ll say, “If I’m doing something you don’t like, just let me know.” Then I’m a little scared they’re going to let me know.

Is it totally creepy?
There is a sense of calmness to it. They just look so at peace. They just seem like they’re in a better place. I want to make them look good for their families because usually at the end of their lives they’ve been sick. I want them to look like everybody remembers them looking. That’s what’s rewarding for me. It’s ironic. I’m scared of everything at night. I have nighttime paranoia, for god’s sake. But this doesn’t bother me.

How many people have you done so far?
Seven.

Has anyone ever commented on your work?
The funeral director has commented that the families have gone out of their way to say the hair looked great. I am so meticulous. I want to make sure every hair looks perfect.

How much do you get paid?
Fifty dollars a head.

How much do you charge in your shop, for the living?
Forty dollars. But the dead people are only paying once.

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130 responses

  1. lisa says:

    hey, i really want to get into doing “dead heads” i am a hairdresser and sure could use the extra cash, iw as affraid of doing one for my first time but after reading your “blog” i feel a bit better i just hope i can get into a funeral home doing this. i just have a question, do you just go when they need you? i love doing hair but sometimes to escape for the hussle and bussle it would be great!!! thanks

  2. Wanda says:

    I just want to say that I’ve been styling the dead for about 2 months now. I’ve done about 10 heads and I must say that I agree with you. It’s very peaceful and it leaves me with a warm feeling because I’m helping the family to end this portion of their lives. That way they’ll remember how good their loved ones look the last time they saw them ever. I’m usually scared of everything but, I must say, I’m pretty comfortable with it. Sometimes I’m in a room with like (at the most) 6 people and when I walk in its kind of overwhelming but then I relax. I talk to them and the only difficulty is trying to view looking down to make sure everything is right. I do the hair and eyebrows and I’m a perfectionist so its extra hard but in the end, its very nice and all are happy and satisfied. Keep up the good work because its truly a blessing in disguise.

  3. Wanda says:

    oh yeah…I only get paid $35 per head…maybe I should push for $50. lol

  4. Diandra Bias says:

    Hello,

    My name is Diandra Bias Im living in Augusta GA. I went to school for cosmeetology. I havent passed my state board. I really want to do dead people hair. I called around to different funeral home in my area. Came u tell me what more I need to do .

    Thanks

  5. Valerie says:

    Thanks so much for your story. I have a dear young friend, who is also a client, who recently died. The family asked if I would do the hair and eyebrows for her. Of course I said yes immediatly, then realized I had never done this before. So I was glad to know that its not that different and now I am wondering if I, too, would like this as a side job. See that friend of mine, Cara, still bringing me goodness and direction even in her death….

  6. Katina87 says:

    Hi im a 20yr old and my aunt asked that i perform services on her hair when she passed. She died last summer and i did indeed do her hair. I actually was creeped out because the funeral home just left me downstairs with other dead bodies and i was just trying to talk to my aunt and pretend like she was just asleep. It turned out pretty good and i thought she looked more like her self once i finished. She was young but she was sick. I couldnt do my grandma’s hair though. I went to cosmetology school but i dont have a liscense. i want to pursue this but HOW?

  7. ANGELAE says:

    I have been styling the deceased for about a year now and have styled probably about 10 ladies. I started it because I own my own salon and was asked by my living clients that when they die they want me to style there hair. It takes getting used to, but like the other gals have said, you are doing them a favor by making them look presentable one last time for their friends and families. I too get paid $35 just to stlye i have colored and that of course was more.

  8. ruby says:

    Usually, in the Funeral business, you are required by state law, to have an embalming license along with a 2-year degree from college, to even touch a corpse; this is a really ‘different’ story. Hopefully neither of you get caught, because a license is required, unless there is some rule in another state in which I am not aware, but in California: No license = hefty fine. Oh, a Cosmetology license won’t suffice to be a mortician, you must attend Mortuary school. Don’t violate state laws, folks :)

  9. IRENE says:

    IM A STYLIST SEEKNG A NEW JOB CERRER, IM INTRESTED WORING ON DESECED BEINGS. I WANT TO DO HAIR, OR MAKE UP, I NED HLP GETTING STARTED!!:) I HAVE A LIL QUSTIONS. IS A FUNRAL DIRCTOR CONSIDERD THE SAME THING?
    MORTISHON?

  10. Felix McNeill says:

    Hey I can relate. My Grandfather owns a funeral home and I’ve done one lady’s hair. I promise you I’d never done anything like it. I was just wondering do we need to use any different products on their hair as do the living? let me know thanks.

  11. AD says:

    I did not know that there were people who did this. I am trying to find someone who can do my grandma’s hair the way she did it before cancer took her strength. My grandma’s body and funeral is near Vancouver, Canada. Do any of you know someone around the area who can do her hair? She never went anywhere without looking her best. Please email me if you have any helpful information: susanalexis@hotmail.com

  12. Allison says:

    Hi I am a licensed cosmetologist who really wants to serve the deceased. I live in Annapolis,Md but I am willing to travel to different areas of MD and the Washington, D.C to work. Can u help me find a funeral home that is actually in need of a cosmetologist. I have looked into a couple but no one seems to be looking for a cosmetologist. PLEASE HELP! Also I would be more than eager to have you share with me any information I would need to know about pursuing this as a career. Thanks in advance Allison

  13. lena says:

    hello susan,
    i to am interested in doing i went knocking on 3 door’s so far i would like to to this for a living i which i lived close i would be more than happy to do your grand mother’s hair please let me know if you found some one ,
    lena boston mass

  14. Nicole says:

    I started doing deceased heads about 2 years ago..I work 1 full time job and now 2 part time jobs as well.I agree I also ask there name and talk to them thru it. I also ask if they like it.. I to am afraid they might let me know one day if the dont’ lol I have not done children and hope to never have to. But recentely did a very dear friend and I have to say I felt honored to have given her her last hair do. It made me and her family feel good that I spent the time with her. It is a great thing to do. Hey you know you need to be afraid of the live ones not the dead ones..

  15. Shelly says:

    I wanted to say that these messages helped me alot a few days ago. A customer passed away and the family asked the funeral director to try to get me. Questions were going through my head like is this going to be hard?, what should i charge?, do i use my tools or the regular ladies?. I went over to the funeral home and the director stayed with me the whole time. I let him know that this was my first time. I also asked him about the laws governing the state of Pennsylvania. He assured me that I was okay. I tried to use the other womans tools that normally did the hair, but she had cheap curling irons that didn’t get very hot. I don’t know if she just did that beaause she knows something that I don’t or if she just uses the cheaper tools. It was easy after I figured out that dead hair is harder to work with. I think when she was in the hospital, they had her hair pushed back off her face. I had a little bit of a hard time getting her hair to lay right, back down on her forehead. When I was done I the funeral director asked me how much I wanted. I told him that I had never done that and I didn’t know how much to charge. He said well this is what I usually give the other woman, and handed me a check. It was worth doing. I would like to do this again.

  16. Brittany says:

    I am a cosmetology student from Oklahoma and was interested in doing “Dead Heads” for extra money on the side but im kinda scared of the dead and thought this would be a good way to get over that or it could make it worse…..whats your opinion on this?

  17. samantha says:

    I wanted to go to school to be a mortishon and i not scared of the dead i just wanted t no if it is a good job for me and it would be nice to work this kinda thing

  18. Shana says:

    I was recently approched by a gentelman out side of my salon about working in his funeral home styling his customers. And the more i think about it, the more curious I am. And who couldn’t use extra cash? These blogs have given me a little insight. Maybe i will call him.

  19. Niecey says:

    I’m a licensed cosmetologist who has been asked on 3 occassions to style a dead person’s hair. I agreed every time because a member of the deceased’s family or the funeral director was there with me the entire time. At first it is very eerie. However, within 15 or 20 minutes I relaxed and felt honored to prepare this person to leave this world.

  20. Nicole says:

    Thank you for sharing your story.I’m a hairstylist of 17 years and I’m interested in getting into the business of servicing the deceased. I live in clinton,md and I’m willing to travel to other parts of md. How do I get started?

  21. Demetrius Clark says:

    I am a hair stylist, who works at a glamour studio. I have been doing hair and makeup for a glamour studio for over 15 years, with no benefits and now we are so slow I only work two days a week. And I just simply can’t help take care of my family any more. I have three kids and two grandkids one month old and the other one is four months old. So basically, i need a new career. And I would love to start doing dead people’s hair in a funeral home. I just have no idea of how to start. Please direct me in the right direction. Thank you

  22. Dionne says:

    Hi., I like doing hair. I did my aunt hair for my cousins for the funeral. I thought I was going to be very scared, even though I don’t have a problem kissing a dead person cheek. I will LOVE to do this on the side. Do I need Cosmetology license? What do I need to do step-by-step to get started? Do I make business cards or go to different Funeral homes to become an employee. What are Funeral homes paying the hair styles for each decease person hair? If your not styling the decease person hair for the Funeral home, how much do you charge the family? Do you have to have business Insurance.

  23. Dionne says:

    PLEASE help me? THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH AND GOD BLESS YOU.

  24. Rae says:

    Hello,
    I am very interested in doing dead peoples make up and hair, i don’t know what the exact name of this job is i think the mortician is the person who does the embalming, i don’t want to do that part. If you can email me back i am VERY interested in doing the hair and make up part and i have alot of questions

  25. Amanda says:

    I just wanna add after reading a lot of these posts. I actually did an older womans hair at a funeral home today. It is NOT a hard thing to do, it takes about 30-45 minutes to do, and I received 40$ for the service. I think of it as giving someone the last gift they will ever receive. I believe it is all in the experience. Once you do it once, it’s nothing. It just makes you feel good to do it.

    I also wanted to add, that state laws are different in EVERY state. In PA anyone can do the hair of the deceased, but the makeup we cannot do. You must go to mortuary school to do so etc.

    A good way to get your name out there if you are interested, is send out a resume to all the funeral homes in your city. Just put your cell phone on the bottom, and say “call as needed”

    Believe it or not, it just takes “word of mouth” even with the deceased : )

  26. louise jo says:

    what is the name of a person who styles dead peoples hair i need this answer for my college studies i am studying hairdressing:) and its great PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Shirley says:

    I was a hairdresser back in the 60’s. I left the business and never renewed my license.
    I live in New Jersey and I am very interested in this type of work. (having lost my job of 10 years and no prospects in sight).
    Must the deceased hair be washed? Are there guide lines of do’s & don’ts? Do I need a license?
    Please let me know.
    Thanks

  28. Mrs.Shellman says:

    shortly after me and my family moved to virginia my knew husbands grandmother had 3 to 6months to live due to cancer from may to the beginning of oct i have had the pleasure of laughing, talking, and crying with grandma. She loved the way i cut her hair and so did grandpa, so on that day i saw her take her last breath in a strange way i was overcomed with peace;heartfelt saddness but peace. The same day grandpa ask me would you do her hair? And i replied i would love to. The mortician was great, he made grandma up really nice and then i knew i was alright with it i wasnt scared alittle nervous,but ok. I would like to further go into being a stlyist to the dead.

  29. andrea mc alinden says:

    hi im andrea live in n,ireland done my first died persons hair a few days ago, hoping to do more as a we side line.

  30. Nikki Vaughn says:

    Hi, i am Nikki in Virginia and I have been doing hair for about 8 years and I would love to do hair for the dead. I am unsure how to get in to this field. Can anyone help?

  31. yesenia says:

    ive recently graduated from a cosmetology school and on my way to geting my license.. ive been interested in working with the deceased since before i started school and i just wanted to know if you need any other specific license or certifications to be the hair dresser in a funeral home???… thanks

  32. keyonia clark says:

    I AM LOOKING TO GET INTO STYLING HAIR AND MAKE UPF FOR THE DEAD AND WOULD LIKET TO KNOW WHERE I COULD GET SOME INFO ABOUT HOW TO GET STARTED AND SPECIAL PRECUATIONS I SHOULD TAKE .PLEASE CONTACT ME AT MY EMAIL

  33. Danny says:

    I am a stylist working from a studio in my home. Over the years I have been asked to do client’s spouses hair when they have died. I never charged for the service and ask the funeral home to make sure the charge is not on the client’s bill. I have no problem with other people charging but for me it’s a way of giving back to my clients or the loved ones as a final loving gesture. It’s not creepy but rather calming, in a way. I would encourage anyone interested to contact local funeral homes and have them keep your name and number on file.

  34. Tara says:

    I just recently graduated from a Beauty Academy here in Pa for cosmetology and I am very interested in working with the deceased. I have heard so much about this and after reading your story, I want to do it even more. I think this is wonderful gift to give to the deceased as well as the family and friends. I have not taken my state boards just yet, I am however scheduled for June for my state boards. I do have my temp. to start working now. How would I go about starting this beautiful gift for the deceased and their family?

  35. Jess says:

    I graduated beauty school in July now it’s almost summer again and I still have not had luck finding a job. I’ve read over and over again on doing the deceased hair. I wonder, with your experience already, if you could give me your best opinion on how to get started.

    I find this a career that I would enjoy working in and am not quite comfterble with working in a busy salon enviornment and feel this would suit me better.

  36. brianna says:

    i am going to a cosmetology school now,i will graduate with a lisence next year.i am very interested in this job because i want to make the people i am working on look like they always have.i want their families tosee them happy and glowing again.i would like to do hair nails and makeup and make them look amazing to go to a better place!if theres any way i could get a job please email me!thankyou for your time

  37. Aileen says:

    hey, would you be able to tell me how long it takes in school to become a mortuary make up artist and also doinng dead bodies nails, hair, and all?

  38. I. Lee says:

    Hi everyone, I was surfing the web on this subject and fell upon this forum. I have been licensed for a while but I work in the corporate world. I have been unemployed yet again for a little over a year. I am considering this because this is something that is always going to be need. My mom passed away in Nov. 2005, I had been doing her hair for years. I am the youngest of 10 and I am extremely close to my mom!!! While making arrangements, I told the funeral director that I wanted to do her hair. He said yes. This the hardest thing (besides the day she passed) that I had to encounter til this day. My husband, one of my brothers and one of my nephews went with me. The only one who could stay in the room with me was my husband. He stood by my side the entire time. I began to cry when I saw my mom layig there but something came over me. I dryed my eyes, took off my coat and began to do what I had to do for my mom!! She looked so beautiful and I laid her hair!! I know she was holding my hand through it all. I know she was proud of me!

    I have been considering this because I really need the income and I am trying to tell myself it’s not that bad. After reading some of your comments I am going to pray about it and ask God to show me the way!

    Thanks for all of your posts. It is really giving me something to go on!

  39. Brittany says:

    I have been working in an enviroment with old people for a while. I work at a nursing home and seeing how much it makes the family feel good just to see their loved ones looking good I can only imagine how it must feel to do a great job also once they have passed. I would love to look in to doing this on my clients once they have passed or even work for a mortuary exclusively. Do most familes bring in their own beautician?

  40. Barbara Steele says:

    How can i be down.I have my Cosmetology L and love to work with you. Please let me know.

  41. Jen(from the article) says:

    Wow! I can’t believe how many responses this article recieved. Thank you all for reading and expressing interest. It has been almost 4 years since i began styling dead people’s hair and I have become quite comfortable in the funeral home’s surroundings. I have gotten to a point where i don’t mind being alone with the bodies. I actually enjoy being alone while i work so i can sing without people thinking i’m nutz. Styling the hair of somone who’s passed is a wonderfully satisfying job. However, unless you are retired or looking for part-time work, my experience is that it’s not consistant enough to be a lucrative full time job. For those of you who are licensed hairstylists who are interested in pursuing this position, I would suggest contacting your local Funeral Homes and inquiring as to whether or not they need a hairstylist for the deceased. Thank you all again for taking the time to read and comment on this subject.

  42. MissHeels says:

    I have been doing it for about 12 years. I asked were there any openings at the time but they said no. They came to me a year later and I wanted to say no because I immediately got scared. I said ok I will. My first time I had someone in there with me but soon got comfortable. I used to cover there face but now it doesn’t bother me. It can take anywhere from 5 mins to style to 45 mins. I get 40 dollars a head and sometime its 3 heads so imagine how good the money looks when u have only been there for a little over an hour. Its an on the call basis but this funeral home is well known and I get called often. I do have a full time job but I call the head job my play around money. I always say I don’t want anyone to die for me to make money but someone has to do it.

  43. zahra zolmajdi says:

    Hi i am hair stylist i would like to do hair for dead people.i am doing hair for almost 40 years. i do hair ‘ nail’ and make up.

  44. zahra zolmajdi says:

    sara

  45. zahra zolmajdi says:

    hi my name is sara my eamil add. is n_n_m_z@yahoo.com

  46. zahra zolmajdi says:

    i am doing my job realy good i am as fast as possible. my time is open.

  47. zahra zolmajdi says:

    would you please let me know. thanks and have a wonderfull new year.happy new year to all/

  48. zahra zolmajdi says:

    Hi i am hair stylist i would like to do hair for dead people live in california orang county irvine.i am doing hair for almost 40 years. i do hair ‘ nail’ and eyebrows & make up.

  49. racheal says:

    has anyone ever dyed a corpes’s hair?

  50. Joan says:

    One of my clients passed away and I was requested to do her hair. I live in a small town in NH and gave the director my card, suggested if he needed a backup he could call me, he had a retired hairdresser he used, she went on a month vacation and I was called. He has been using me ever since. I get $45.00 for just a regular call, but today they are asking for color. that is extra, difficult because of no scalp heat, so I sometime use roux mousse, so I am off the to salon to look at the swatches for the formula of the color they desire, I think I need to buy different mousse to duplicate it. Won’t know till I get there.

  51. Suzie says:

    Can you do the type of work with just a cosmetology license in the state of California?

  52. RAYMOND P says:

    i HAVE BEEN DOING DEADHEADS FOR TWENTY SEVEN YRS! IT IS THE MOST REWARDING JOB EVER . I LOVE IT WHEN THE FAMILIES ARE SOOO APPRECIATIVE . THAT MAKES ME SMILE. IVE DONE COLOR, BLEACH, HIGH LIGHTS,REDID THE MAKE UP AND SERVICE FIVE FUNERAL HOMES IN CONNETCICUT I AM JUST DELIGHTED TO BE THAT PERSON…

  53. RAYMOND P says:

    its called the last stop beauty shop/ the only place in town/ where you can get your hair done and be made up layingdown/ with a flair of the brush for just the right blush from day light to evening and so/ they) reach out and touch /cause you will need me sooo much/ you WILL look good when you go/ and when the roll is called up yonder/and you have checked out of town/ they call the LAST STOP BEAUTY SHOP /cause Iam the LAST to let you down

    raymond p

  54. RAYMOND P says:

    Well, hello! isn’t any one out there reading my blog !!! I am hoping to hear from SOMEONE!!! Got to go.

  55. RAYMOND P says:

    Well Hello Im still waiting Get on that laptop BITCHES!!!!!

  56. RAYMOND P says:

    I’ve got my girlfriend coming ALL the way down from the soup kitchen in CT. to FLORIDA just to pay me a visit. That right girlfriend! And don’t forget the VALTREX.. You’ll need it. Got to go .Love you’mean it.

  57. Marie L. says:

    I have known Raymond P. for over 20 years. He has been on call in this industry for 27 years. He is so dedicated to his craft that he had to leave the soup kitchen he was volunteering at because he was needed. He is truly a blest man. I can’t wait to pay him a visit! P.S. I’ll use yours.

  58. RAYMOND P says:

    Ihave known MISS MARIE oh god it seems like it was just last week that she was FINALLY released from prison! She’s got a good heart but then again’ so does an artichoke! Bless her heart she “was a good girl’ gone bad and thank GOD she came to her senses! BLESS HER HEART!!!

  59. Barbara says:

    Raymond was a big loss to the East coast …. I hope Florida appreciates him?. Hope you and girlfriend have a blast

  60. RAYMOND P says:

    Is this Ms Barbara Skopp ? Ilove it down here in sunny Florida!

  61. RAYMOND P says:

    There once was a girl from Belize/ Who was banged on the flying trapeze /When down on the ground /she’d groan like a hound /And say NOT THAT DOOR / THE BACK DOOR PLEASE!!!

  62. RAYMOND P says:

    There once was a girl from New Zealand /Who got a particular feeling /So she laid on her back/ and tickled her crack AND PISSED ALLOVER THE CEILING!!!

  63. Marie L. says:

    There once was a woman from Storrs
    Whose crotch was covered in sores
    Not a dog on the street
    Would eat the green meat
    That hung like festoons from her drawers

    P. S. that was Barbara from the Matthew P. locale connected with the jailbird from the soup kitchen…..

  64. the widow leonard says:

    My lovely daughter-in-law , darling girl, she tries to keep a clean house and it shows BUT !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  65. the widow leonard says:

    I apologise to all the jew’s out there! It’s just a joke

    1 GET OVER IT , NOW BITCH!!!

  66. the widow leonard says:

    There once was a priest from Braintree / Who hung a nun’s cunt from a tree/ When he tickled her ASS HE performed a HIGH MAMM That even the POPE came to see!!! Darling …..Call Moi!!! !346 22456723

  67. the widow leonard says:

    There once was a girl Massiizes Her TIT’s were two different sizes /One was small and HARDLY at all /While the other was BIG and won PRIZES!!!

  68. Marie L. says:

    There once was a man from Leeds
    Who ate a package of seeds
    Big tufts of grass grew out of his ass
    And his balls were covered with weeds.

  69. the widow leonard says:

    there once was a girl named Rhonda/ spanish cocks and big dicks she was fonda/ when down on her knees, she was aiming to please/ when she was finished she took off in her Honda

  70. the widow leonard says:

    My lovely daughter-in-law Miss Marie ’she done bought herself a brand new home!!! I need money and the BITCH says she ain’t got none !!! Says she’s poor ! HaHaHa! Ineed money honey! so cough it up. girl or i’ll be movin’ in So make it SNAPPY Bitch!!!

  71. Raymond says:

    Dear Miss Marie Who the fuck is this Widow Leonard bitch? Apparently she knows you quite well!

  72. The Widow Leonard says:

    There once was a man named Hank
    Whose wife was a bit of a skank
    He told her he’d pass
    Slapped her on the ass
    For it was her vagina that stank!

    P.S. I love my new Port-o-Let!!! It’s just what I’ve always wanted. Plenty of room for a nice long visit. Room for my 90 year old ass too!!!

  73. Raymond says:

    The Widow Says Hello Operator , / Get me JESUS on the line . Can I get an AMEN ? I can’t hear you !!! I said ” I can’t hear you !!!

  74. The Widow Leonard: says:

    good marning

  75. The Widow Leonard: says:

    ms marie’ she’s just one of the girls She spends ALL of her time at EARL’S From the pool table it/s said She gives Really good HEAD Wearing NOTHING but Knee-Hi’s and PEARLS

  76. The Widow Leonard says:

    There once was a widow named Alice
    Who used a dynamite stick for a phallus
    They found her vagina in North Carolina
    And part of her asshole in Dallas

  77. Desairoloigist says:

    I am a hairdresser who has practiced desairology (hair for a
    deceased person) for 28 years. This is NOT always an easy job. A lot depends on how a person passes. This is an on call job. You will need another one. You do get feed back from Families. Sometimes you have to do a redo Picture is 20 years old and hair needs to be same. As I own part of the Funeral Home I KNOW. Raymond is not A professional. I would NOT hire him!

  78. :Raymond P says:

    Dear Desairologist, I am more of a professional than you could EVER hope to be ! I’ve been employed by SIX ( count em) funeral homes for over 27 years and OWN 2 beauty salons for 35 years. I am VERY good at my craft! you would have to prove to me just how ” professional” you are because I think you, my dear, ARE FULL OF SHIT!!!

  79. Marie L says:

    Raymond P. is by far a true professional. In this industry, a special sense of humor is a must when you consider what you are really doing. Most people are incapable of even touching the deceased never mind doing their hair and makeup! The more unique the individual is, the more professional they are at the time of need. DIE BITCH! May Raymond P. be the one to do your hair. It will look better than it ever did during you lifetime.

  80. :Raymond P says:

    Apparently you are a very frustrated shampoo girl .Darling, you need to get a F***ing life. And if you NEED a picture to get the job done , that tells me a lot about your “professionalism” Shame on you, you tackey bitch!!!

  81. The Widow Leonard says:

    Dear Desairoloigist: Shut up Bitch!

  82. :Raymond P says:

    I have absolutely zero tolerance from people who THINK that they are NO TALENT PROFESSIONALS . My talent and creativity speaks for itself. My reputation is flawless and it shall remain that way. I am the last to let you down.Are you ready, DESAIROLOGIST?

  83. hairaware says:

    wow!!!! I have been in this business for 37 yrs, found this blog which started out to be very helpful and professional for those curious to cross over into the field of funeral work…Sad to say it quickly digressed as I researched. The dead are an elite clientele. They deserve the same dignity as when alive..To those who think vulgarity is necessary just remember the light you are shining on all of us in this profession can prevent one from getting a job to begin with……Now go to your room and think about what you have done……………………………………………..:(

  84. Valerie P. says:

    Excuse me “hairaware” - just because you have 37 years under your belt, doesn’t make Raymond P. any less of a master in his profession. In fact, he can blow your ass out of the water with what he has seen and done over 27 years. By respecting the deceased and their families, he has literally put bodies back together again due to horrific circumstances and that’s just one example of his professionalism. Now I think you should go to your room and read some lymerics. They DO take the edge off you know.

    Who loves you baby!!!

  85. hairaware says:

    looks like not everybody Loves Raymond or profane limericks!!
    don’t take it personal its Business…WHO LOVES YOU BABY ? :)

  86. wiglet says:

    Trust me, everyone DOES love Raymond - personally & professionally. He’s talented, professional & with a sense of humor which is absolutely necessary in this unique field!

    I DON’T LOVE YOU BABY……….

  87. the widow leonard says:

    Darlings, a dirty mind is a TERRIBLE thing to waste - If you know what i mean!!!!!!!!

    So blow it your ass “shampoo girl”…………………

  88. Sue Lucas says:

    Does styling corpse’s hair require anything different in the way of products, etc. Because they are no longer producing any “oils”, etc, does it require anything specific when using irons, etc? I did cut my Dad’s last companion’s hair @ the funeral home & an old instructor advised to use alcohol instead of water because of it’s quick evaporation…but she wore a “pixie” cut, which didn’t require use of any irons. Thanks!…need to know before even approaching a funeral home!

  89. :Raymond P says:

    Dear Sue Lucas, Styling a deceadent”s hair requires no special products or irons. I’ve always used regular shampoo , regular conditoner, regular rollers and or irons. When coloring a dead person’s hair ,there is NO body heat so YOU need to cover the hair with a processing cap and blow dry the scalp ,all over, for 45 minutes or until the color has completely developed. I just thought you might want to know.

  90. :Raymond P says:

    The Widow Leonard was a bad girl!!!!!!

  91. :Raymond P says:

    Miss Marie, Darling, is it just me ,or were you always this much of a CUNT!!! Love you, mean it.

  92. Pam says:

    I’ve been doing this for a long time. I have even spent hours glueing hair to heads so they wouldn’t have to wear a wig. Tomorrow I have to hilite a dead man hair and I can’t find any information on it. He always wore it longer and really blond. Had been on hospital for a while and someone cut it off. I’m a little nervous about it. Would love another opinion.

  93. georgia says:

    is there anybody out there that can tell me how to get started wking in a funeral home? i have a class a barber stylist license.need to know what else i need to get in the door doing hair for the deceased.

  94. cosmolady says:

    Hi.Raymond P. I am a hairstylist and new owner of a small salon in upstate NY. I am interested in learning hair for the deceased. I would love to talk about shadowing you and learning about doing hair for the deceased. Where are you located?

  95. Raymond P says:

    Dear Cosmolady, Presently I’m relocated in Florida. I would be very intrested in talking with you about Desairology, “hairdressing of the deceased”. You have my email address .Feel free to contact me.. Thank you. Ray

  96. Raymond P says:

    Dear Georgia, You will need to make yourself available to the funeral homes. Let them know of your services. Go to more than one, go to ALL of them.. Create a resume , and just put yourself out there. Any more questions? Email me . Thank you for your interest and I wish you the best of luck!!!!! Raymond

  97. Miss Marie says:

    Darling- I am a fabulous CUNT - professional behind the chair and a WHORE behind the door - back door of course…..you’re wearing THAT???????????????????? I heard tell you’re from New Jersey…….

  98. The Widow Leonard says:

    There once was a girl named Flora.,Screamed “Fuck me” somemora and mora. “On your knees, Bitch” don’t give me the switch OMG. Your wearing THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! “Get Out Bitch”

  99. The Widow Leonard says:

    I heard tell that “Miss Marie” bleached one of her client’s hair so bad, that the scalp all blistered, bled , and finally all fell out. I’m sure that smoking a joint while downing shots of “GREY GOOSE” had NOTHING to do with it OMG

  100. The Widow Leonard says:

    Her lips said NO but her eyes said YES!!!!!!!!!

  101. Wiglet says:

    I’m absolutely thrilled with this blog! So much helpful information and a slice of humor in between - please keep up the good work - it makes my wig spin!!! Lost my hair to alopecia - proud to be called Wiglet - I’m also a piglet - OINK!!!!!!

  102. The Widow Leonard says:

    Dear Wiglet. I’m sure that the alopecia you are talking about was on your TWAT not on your head. If you shop around. you can find a “m Love yucket”. It’s a Toupee for a BALD HEADED PUSSY!!!!!!!

  103. Raymond P says:

    Dear Cosmo lady ,

  104. The Widow Leonard says:

    There once was a girl named Marie
    Who had a sudden urge to pee-
    She grunted and squated,
    And damn nearly farted-
    As it ran down her leg to her knee……

  105. Miss Thang says:

    Darling. When was the last time you washed your Twat?

  106. Miss Thang says:

    I heard tell somethin’ bout miss marie’s Husband! Call me for ALL the details!!!! You’re wearin’ THAT!!!!!

  107. Miss Thang says:

    I don’t give a flying fuck what that bitch says “she don’t know nothin’ bout doin’ no hair” !!!

  108. The Widow Norton says:

    Dear Miss Thang — after running into you in the Ladies Room at Chez Est I really don’t think you should talk about anyone’s twat- look bitch you and I were the only drag queens in that lavatory that nite of bliss I’m sure YOU remember - the only smell of fish I remember was coming from Lady Chablis- AKA Miss Thang…….. Calgon, take me away……..

  109. Miss Thang says:

    DAHHHLING! that was your 14 th ex-husband. I know when you get to be YOUR age , well need I say more????

  110. EmpressFreida says:

    Bitch don’t nothin’ bout doin’ no hair She tries and it shows. The poor thing! Daaaling. what did you do with all the money mama gave you cosmotology lessons? Does anyone else smell WEED?????

  111. Miss Thang says:

    I heard tell that the EMPRESS FREIDA is an old drag queen from the bowels of Winesap Cir.

  112. Miss Thang says:

    I got wind that the EMPRESS FREIDA got herself an easter basket fully stuffed “if you know what I mean” and for the first time in her life she don’t know what to do with it!!!!!

  113. Wiglet says:

    Dear Miss Thang, you need to talk to Ray(that everybody loves) and be put in your place. You obviously do not respect the blog with the best information and humor too!!! Get a life you loser!!!

  114. Samantha N. says:

    I’m a graduate of the paul mitchell cosmetology school and I was
    wondering how to start for a career in desairology. I’m 20 and its literally always been a dream of mine. Even as
    an apprentice, I really want to get into the field because I have a passion for it.. not just cosmetology in general. I want to make someone’s last memory of their loved ones a good one.

    I live in new jersey, carteret. Someone please help me out. <3

  115. Wiglet says:

    Looking for a wonderful, helpful rest area? If you happen to be on 195E near Cape Cod you can find a rest stop with the nicest assortment of Port-O-Let’s in the area. There was such a helpful attendant that even offered to “fish out” my purse that fell into the thick, gut wrenching swill that included diapers surrounding my purse. I was on my way to a wake and decided to leave it there.
    (I think Ray was responsible for the deceased that looked like a good looking 91 year old drag queen with stains on her dress. Poor thing……

  116. Miss Thang says:

    Dahhhhlingk, but you were wearing that dress!!! I recognized the Shit stains And Yes it’s true’ You Looked FABULOUS!!!!! Mind you’ “LOOKED” being the “operative” word!I love a good ole fashion WEDDIN’

  117. Miss Thang says:

    Dear Miss Wiglet, Dahhhlingk, you brought SCAT QUEEN to a whole new level!!! SHAME ON YOU!!!

  118. Wiglet says:

    Dear Miss Thang, thank you VERY much for paying me such a compliment, Barry would be very proud. Last time I heard SCAT it involved other circumstances and parties. Pardon me. Can I borrow your nail file???????

  119. Miss Thang says:

    Dear Wiglet Bitch!!! DON’T, I repeat “DON’T pick your motherfuckin’ nose

  120. The Widow Leonard says:

    Thank you for your concern after the toilet tragedy. Ended up at the doctors’ office- X-rays show bruised ribs- got some meds out of it and STILL have the dress and the purse (kept the lipstick too!!!!!!).

  121. The Widow Leonard says:

    I heard tell Gold Star Lesbians were coming to town- lets celebrate- shall I bring my purse???

  122. Miss Thang says:

    of course you should bring your purse .don’t forget to get ALL the shit stains off of it and dont forget to reapply your lipstik

  123. Dodie says:

    When coloring the corpse’s hair, how is the product removed ? I have only styled the hair. Does the mortician do this part ? Thanks for your reply.

  124. Teresa says:

    I am a cosmetologist in ohio and have a call in to several funeral homes and looking forward to adding this as a side job. Can someone tell me do you wash the hair with soap and water, dry shampoo, or is it not necessary? Thanks!

  125. Raymond says:

    Dear Dodie and Teresa When coloring a deceadent’s hair ‘ remember there is NO body heat. You must then cover his/her head with a processing bag and with a blow dryer, blow dry for atleast 30 min. till the right color is acheved. I have always removed the color with regular shampoo, while the corpse is still on the prep table. then set the hair or blow dry with velcro rollers

  126. Miss Thang says:

    I heard tell that Miss Marie done got herself a job. ’bout time that bitch started payin’ her OWN way

  127. talina says:

    Well I am fixing my mother in-in laws hair for the funeral tomorrow an I am scared to death. Not so much as scared of. her just scared I won’be able to fix it the way she wore it. im a lic cosmetologist i just dont wanna screw this up. Yes this is the first dead persons hair i have done now im startin to freak out about being left alone with the body. ugg

  128. betty boop says:

    I live in the state of oregon. I have just graduated from cosmetology school last week… I want to work in a mortuary doing make-up, hair and nails… I have been informed that I need an embalming license in this state.. having trouble finding an accredited school for this not just location but an actual school… I am willing to sign up now… this is why I went to cosmetology school… I’m going to go just having trouble finding school…thanks.

  129. beth says:

    I am 48 years old and can not get myself close to a dead body because the picture of it stays in my mind 4ever and it scares the life out of me and to read how you all work on a deceases hair freaks me out big time, death has always been scarey to me, the body is the worse. if anyone out there can help me get beyond my fear it would be appreciated. thanks so much.Beth.

  130. atropos_of_nothing says:

    Just popping in to answer a few questions and clear up some misinformation in the comments . . .

    In no state that I’m aware of do you have to have a mortuary science degree/license in order to “even touch dead bodies.” Otherwise, all of the hospital and nursing home staff who have helped me get my deceased clients onto the gurney for transport would be in DEEP TROUBLE ;) However, for any situation in which a) there is a potential for you to be exposed to disease-causing agents or hazardous chemicals (like working in our prep room where we use formaldehyde), or b) altering the deceased’s appearance, you need to be working under the direct supervision of a licensed funeral service professional—-basically this means that they’re using their judgment and they assume responsibility should you do anything that causes the family distress. So, you can’t just waltz in to a funeral home and start doing their hair, but if the funeral director hires you or even just gives you permission, you’re okay.
    Most funeral homes that I know of take care of their own hairstyling *unless* the family requests that a stylist come in, or they don’t have anyone on staff who can handle hair or the particular type of hair that the deceased person has (ie, some funeral homes will keep a stylist on call for women of color, when those on staff aren’t familiar with those particular styling concerns). Definitely go around to various funeral homes and meet the directors, let them know you’re available—if your rates are reasonable, they may very well begin using your services. Many places have staff who are excellent embalmers, and we are all trained in the particular cosmetic concerns of this business (funeral makeup is a whole different ballgame, and we take special courses to learn how to do it), but hairstyling can often be the most time-consuming and challenging aspect, and a lot of us receive *no* training in how to do it.
    There are two main challenges that you’re likely to run into—the first is that we cover the deceased peoples’ faces and ears with special heavy moisturizers after embalming, and often these are applied in a way that they get into the hair, making styling difficult. Keep this in mind when shampooing, use a product designed for very oily hair around the face and ears.
    Also, keep in mind that embalming stiffens the tissues, and that includes the tissues around the hair follicles. You’re going to have a difficult time styling the hair in a direction different than that in which it lay during the embalming process.
    Finally, make sure that you’ve gotten the family’s written permission for hair dying and cutting. Styling doesn’t fall under “restoration”, but dying and cutting DO—we have to have written permission for cutting a single hair on their heads, or else it’s considered mutilation and can possibly open us up to being sued. (This has caused me MUCH frustration in styling, as many of our ladies have been ill for so long that they haven’t had a haircut recently, so trying to get that roller set to look just like the family remembers is a pain in the bum ;) )

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