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View Poll Results: Should I tell her or not say anything?
Tell her that her hair is revolting 1 14.29%
Remain polite and sensitive, don't say anything 0 0%
Other, please explain. 6 85.71%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-01-2013, 12:51 PM
Location: Up North
3,406 posts, read 7,557,377 times
Reputation: 3053


If you don't want to read the whole thing, just read the bold parts.

My best friend washes her rarely. I don't know the exact frequency but it is usually dirty enough for her to have to wear it up all the time. She is white (since I know black & some hispanic hair requires less washing) with naturally curly dirty blonde hair.

She spent the night at my house last weekend and when she took her hair down to braid for the night it was so gross and greasy looking, she looked scary. I did not want that on my pillow case.

She had not washed her hair in THREE WEEKS. Anyone who has Euro/white hair knows that is nasty but she acts like its normal.

Even I who has thick Mediterranean hair that doesn't show grease, I still wash twice a week because of the odors hair picks up in the city. Maybe once a week in the dead of winter.

Sometimes her hair even smells funky when she is sitting in my car.

She is depressed so I don't want to hurt her feelings but this is nasty.

She is a functioning depressed person so she still goes to class and work with her dirty hair.

I don't want to hurt her feelings.

I have stuff to tell her about her boyfriend too but I want to broach this situation carefully and that will be a whole 'nother thread.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:44 PM
Location: NoVa
18,433 posts, read 29,481,395 times
Reputation: 19625
It may be due to her depression. It could be anything. When I think back to being around one of my cousins when I was young, she was that way. She was a beautiful girl. She ended up being schizophrenic, and when she was off of her medications, things were just not good at all.....

If your friend is in a very depressive state, she may not even care..... I don't know what to suggest.... =(
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:54 PM
12,887 posts, read 15,424,246 times
Reputation: 14853
Tough situation..I personally wouldn't "tell her" anything about her hair... do you think you could buy a real good shampoo, tell her you really like it...why doesn't she give it a try and tell you what she thinks?...if she does and says she likes it..tell her her hair has never looked better and to keep the bottle....goodluck Pear Martini...hope she takes the bait.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:58 PM
Location: North Texas
2,487 posts, read 5,737,026 times
Reputation: 1700
Maybe tell her about a new shampoo that you like and tried and tell her she should try it and give her some. Just rant and rave about how great it is.

If that doesn't work then ask her if she would like to join you along with getting a hair cut and wash at the local beauty place. Offer to pay for it if you can.

If that doesn't work then I would just ask her-just ask nicely- like start the subject with your hair and how you would like a different style and cut- but that with that cut it makes it easier with washing and maintance, then ask her if she ever thought of changing her hair style so she can maintain it easier. Then suggest to get the new stlye together that might perk her up.

There is many ways to go about it.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:53 PM
15,190 posts, read 31,132,279 times
Reputation: 18359
I wouldn't do anything. If you try to tell her something, she either will not care, or it will hurt her feelings and send her deeper. Is it really affecting you if she doesn't wash? There are worse things in life.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:07 PM
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,572 posts, read 6,570,916 times
Reputation: 4022
I would tell her something, gently. If you can't rely on your best friend to let you know about something like this, then who? If she is depressed she is probably somewhat oblivious to it.

I have been there, and yep, my best friend was the one to say "hey, you're a bit funky, what's up?".. I did not get offended. I was very depressed and also not working or leaving the house much but I DID start showering regularly after she said something, and I wasn't hurt but a bit embarrassed.

I think it depends on just how close you are though. We'd known each other since 8th grade, and this was a good 20 plus years into our friendship.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:09 PM
Location: Middle America
36,609 posts, read 41,886,642 times
Reputation: 50429
Address the depression, not the symptomatic behavior. See what's up with her, suggest a girls' spa day to cheer her up. It'll give her an outing, and her hair will get washed.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:31 AM
Location: Greenville, SC
910 posts, read 1,884,898 times
Reputation: 951
As a person who has dealt with all levels of depression throughout most of my life I CANNOT understand why other depressed people stop being clean if they still want to be around others, I had an uncle who became depressed and his daughter had to go and even clip his nails, BUT he stayed in his room most of the time. I guess I was fortunate that my therapist told me (when my mother told him I was walking around in a caftan and my hair up all day) that I should get dressed and pretty up a little every day even if I had nowhere to go, as that would make me feel better and he was RIGHT! Looking at my wretched image had really been lowering my self-esteem and feeding my depression.

To this day I still practice that advice if I'm feeling down. ONLY when I've had practically no sleep and feel totally lethargic and physically bad I might even stay in my PJs (has only happened during the winter) all day (probably hoping to be able to go back to sleep...), but most days I even wear a bit of color on my face even if I don't even plan to go throw the trash out, that way when I go wash my hands and have to look at my face on the mirror directly above I don't have to go "ugh!" but instead I can smile and think "Not too bad!".

There IS a big difference between pointing something out critically and doing it in a CARING way. And if it were my friend that would mean we know each other sufficiently for me to be able to tell her this, because it's also for her own good. To the contrary, I feel it would be wrong for me to keep silent even ignoring her depression at a time when she really needs help. Depressed people not only often voluntarily isolate themselves but are not considered good company by most others, and if on top she smells nobody's going to want to be around her, and one day she may encounter some mean stranger that will flat out tell her she "stinks". So, personally, even if I had to spend a long time choosing my words I WOULD tell her, she needs to be aware that she's letting her depression get out of control too.

I would probably choose a good moment in private and tell her something like "'Mary', I hope you know how much I care about you so I hope you take what I'm going to tell you as something that comes from my heart out of concern for you. Lately I've observed that you look very depressed and you have even let your appearance go, your hair is always up and you told me you had not washed it in 3 weeks, and please don't be offended but it's starting to smell like it, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who going to notice. I'm sure you know that's not good for health but it's also not good for your own self-esteem, perhaps you yourself have noticed how you look but you just don't care but as your friend I want you to know that I'd like to help you in any way I can. How about if we spend some "girl" time together and I help you with your hair? Even in the movies women go pamper themselves when they don't feel so great, maybe it will do us both good, what do you say?"

Regarding the part about the boyfriend, whoa, that might a fully loaded gun! If he's cheating on her or mistreats her in any way, that may be why she's so depressed (but by going around unkempt she's not going to make things better). Unless he's physically or verbally abusing her, I honestly wouldn't touch that one because that, and not her dirty hair, would be the most likely thing to send her down the deep end. If you've written about the situation in another forum, please let me know where so I can see what it's all about and if it warrants telling her now at all or not.

If your friendship with her is not the kind in which you have never shared much personal stuff, then you'll just have to let all of it go as it could be very possible that she wouldn't be receptive at all. But a close friend would not really be offended when someone is trying to help.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:38 PM
Location: SLC, UT
1,571 posts, read 2,284,946 times
Reputation: 3848
Tell her. She's your friend, and friends are supposed to be able to tell one another things like this. You should probably let her know that it doesn't smell or look that good. I know that's really uncomfortable, but who else is supposed to tell her? When you tell her, make sure you let her know that you love her, care about her, and that you're only mentioning it because if you were in that position, you'd want to be told (who really wants to go around with stinky and gross-looking hair?). She may feel a little hurt, but if you tell her gently, then hopefully it'll minimize the hurt as much as possible. If she responds in a really negative way, then don't ever bring it up again - you did what you could, and that was that - pretend like you never even mentioned it.

Someone said to address the depression - while it might be a good idea to mention that she's seemed depressed lately, and that maybe talking to a therapist would be a good idea, the fact is, you're not a therapist (I'm assuming). So mention that you think she should meet with a therapist (if she's low on cash, you could do some online research to see if there's some low-income therapy programs in your area), but don't mention various things you think she needs to do to cheer up. If she's clinically depressed, a few suggestions on things she could do to cheer up (like a spa day) won't help, and could make her feel worse. She needs a professional to help her with that.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:46 AM
Location: US
5,144 posts, read 10,849,551 times
Reputation: 5341
Sounds like you are transferring the gravity of whatever secret about the boyfriend to dirty hair.

If you don't want it to be a big deal, don't make it a big deal. Just tell her that her hair needs washed more often. Smells aside it can lead to infections and hair loss. Naturally curly caucasian hair tends to be dry and has the same wash rules as ethnic hair. Im pretty sure she doesn't want a scalp infection or hair loss.
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