Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Hair in Supposedly Clean Hotel Towels: Unsanitary; or No Big Deal?

“I s it fair or foul to cut your hair in a hotel bathroom to spare yourself the trouble of the clean up?” is the question posed in this article written by Alexander Bachuwa of The Points Of Life — but I suspect that the answer would depend on your point of view pertaining to the hair of someone else.

Hair in Supposedly Clean Hotel Towels: Unsanitary; or No Big Deal?

I have read many times how disgusted people get when discussing — or, even worse, witnessing — someone clipping their fingernails or toenails in places such as aboard an airplane or in a lounge. One of the components which comprises hair is keratin, which is a protein also found in fingernails and toenails…

…so applying similar concerns of sanitation to hair as that of fingernails and toenails is not too much of a stretch. Would you use a towel in a hotel room if you found the clipping of a fingernail or toenail embedded in it?

Of course, a hair is not nearly as conspicuous; but it is still something which one might not want to find in a towel — even if that hair was washed with the towel numerous times.

When a diner in a restaurant finds a hair in his or her food, he or she would most likely call attention to the waitstaff and ask for the order to be redone — or perhaps not want to eat there after all after becoming queasy. Not many people would simply continue eating their meals and shrug the discovery off as if it were no big deal.

How to Check For Hair in a Hotel Towel

If you are really squeamish about possibly finding the hair of someone else in a hotel towel, take a moment to raise the towel to a light source, ensuring that the light source is behind the towel, as shown in the photograph at the top of this article. You will then be able to detect more easily anomalies such as hair — or questionable stains such as the ones I found on one towel during a stay at a hotel near the international airport which serves the greater metropolitan area of Madrid.

If you do find hair in the towel you never used, place it on the floor or in the bathtub to let housekeeping know that it needs cleaning — or contact housekeeping for replacement towels.


I would never think of cutting my hair in a hotel room.

As for finding the hair of someone else in a towel, no — it will not kill you if you used the towel anyway; but people tend to equate finding hair where it does not belong with loose sanitary conditions and not enough attention to detail…

…but we all shed hair without realizing it; and if the hair gets embedded in the fabric of the towel and is not extricated during the process of washing the towel, that hardly consists of any negligence on the part of the hotel property, which should not be harshly judged pertaining to cleanliness solely on that aspect…

…but then again, who knows if someone cut his or her hair in the hotel room in which you are staying. Perhaps the hair is the calling card that Alexander Bachuwa was there?!?

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

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