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.

7 thoughts on “Hair in Supposedly Clean Hotel Towels: Unsanitary; or No Big Deal?”

  1. Alexander says:

    Hahahahaha. Too funny.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I knew that you would enjoy this one, Alexander.

  2. Taking this a step further, another way to cut your hair is shaving your face… and in my case, my head. Men shave every day without blinking an eye. Not sure why that’s any more or less disgusting or unsanitary than cutting your hair?

    People need to get over things and realize that hotel rooms aren’t disenfected or sterilized as much as they hope/think they are between guests.

    As you suggest, if you find something not to your liking, contact housekeeping or the front desk.

    Hair happens.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      More than just hair happens in hotel rooms, Lee @ BaldThoughts.

      As for me, I usually rinse my face thoroughly clean before using a towel — whether I shave in the shower or at the sink in the bathroom.

  3. MEOW says:

    Nothing against Alex, he seems like a nice guy but this is totally disgusting. I’m looking at his trip reports right now to decide which hotels to avoid. :p

    1. Alexander says:

      I’ve been all over. Best to stay home for your own safety.

  4. Abe kinsley says:

    Be honest why don’t yah? Anybody who’s spent time traveling knows the towel problem is negroid hair gets hung up in it. And it’s disgusting. Better hotels use chemical to dissolve the negroid hair and it turns the offending hair blue. Next time you see a little blue thread, know that was a hair.

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