How do you tell someone to wash their hair?

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
How do you tell someone to wash their hair?
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 12:47pm

I know this may sound rude, but how do you tell a friend she needs to wash her hair more often? I have a friend that really really needs to shampoo more than she does but I don't know how to suggest it. There are times I can't even get near her from the odor and I'm not sure what is going on with her hair.

Avatar for cupcakebabe
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-09-2011
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 1:59pm

What about saying something like, "Have you tried this new shampoo?" or find a recipe online for a good shampoo made at home and suggest that? Like "I can't believe how well this worked!" and then add in something like, "Definitely try it and let me know what you think!" and then if she does, tell her her hair has never looked better!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2011
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 4:46pm

Unless she has something communicable, like lice,  I wouldn't tell her to wash her hair.  I am not sure what exactly you are smelling.  Oily hair usually doesn't have an odor.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2009
Sat, 08-04-2012 - 1:41pm
Well first how are you absolutely certain of how often she washes her hair? The problem may not be the number of washes, but what she's washing with, what she's applying after, a less than vigorous washing style, etc. She could also be aware of the odor and knows of its cause (perhaps a medical issue?) and maybe doesn't want to discuss it. It is also possible that the odor is not actually coming from her hair, but somewhere nearby. Hair also absorbs environmental smells so perhaps she's spending her time someplace more pungent than you'd enjoy. Another possibility is that the smell you deem offensive is something she is willingly applying and finds the smell appealing.

I'd say if you're determined to address this you need to first get out of "ew gross!" mode so that she doesn't feel attacked. Then take a more curious approach and ask if she's doing something different because you've noticed a change in smell. Do not tell her she smells so bad you can't stand next to her. I'm not suggesting you lie to her, but maybe instead say something like "hey it sounds weird, but I kinda miss your old smell" and describe it in a pleasant way. If you don't remember her old smell then just say something bland like "oh you know just a soap and water kind of smell."

Now she'll either inquire more and open up about what is (or isn't) going on so that you 2 can have a more frank discussion or she'll dismiss the subject entirely. Hopefully it goes well.
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