Categorized | Sex & Health

Static: A Hairy Situation (and how to fix it)

When I was a kid, my mom taped bows to my head so people would know I was a girl. I have that type of hair that’s fine, straight and difficult to manage in the winter because of one key problem: static cling. I’m not talking about a few fly-aways being kind of annoying, I’m talking about my entire head of hair plastering itself to my face when confronted with any sort of less-than-humid condition. I look like one of those dolls with its hair painted on.

Usually I suck it up and find a ponytail to mitigate the problem. But this year, I’m through. I want to wear my hair down year-round. I want to go to interviews looking like an adult. I want people to see my hair and think “wow, that college student showers.”

As my whole family has this problem, I sought some advice. The following is a graded review of some of their suggestions:

Mom’s Moisture (D) : As I also have a dry skin problem in the winter months, my mom attributes my apparent excess of static charge to a lack of humidity, of which Michigan has plenty in the warmer months. At my parents’ house there’s a humidifier built into the heating system, and I remember her running the humidifier all the time at our old house.

This little froggy took care of my cat's hair, but not mine. (credit: Rebecca Foster)

So after a semi-embarrassing conversation with what has to be the only super hot male Target employee, I located a frog-shaped humidifier for $35. I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty adorable. It’s also served as a sort of conversation piece when people come over. However, its effect on my hair was marginal, and I still wake up looking alternatively plastic doll and just-got-electrocuted. I’m running it though, because it does seem to help my cat’s hair be less charged. He’s stopped shying away from me when I go to pet/shock him. This is the only thing that kept this froggy’s grade from being an F.

Static-Specific Hair Product (B) : I went to a drugstore, and started browsing the hair isle for things that didn’t look like shampoo. I found TIGI Bed Head Spoil Me, which claims to, among other things, eliminate static.

Spoil Me lacked the discipline my hair required. (credit: Emily Lawler)

It works, for a while. But it works a lot the way hairspray works; it just makes your hair so stiff that it has to stay wherever you put it. Which would be fine for some hairstyles, but I have big, long hair. When it stays in one place it’s suspicious, because gravity and wind should have some effect.

So yes, this is a good short-term fix. Or it’s ok if your hair gets static when you take a nap or something. But it only lasted through about half of my day, and the bottle is too big to lug around in a purse or anything. And at $17, I’d say save your money. Props on the bottle itself though, it’s very pretty.

Roommate’s Route (C) : My roommate said that she’d read somewhere that you should swipe the inside of whatever hat you wear with a dryer sheet to remove the static before you put it on. I checked the completely factual and never mistaken internet, and it seems many people just swipe a dryer sheet through their hair.

These aren't good for much besides a fresh scent. (credit: Emily Lawler)

So I did a quickie wipe one morning, and headed off to class. While the dryer sheet did take the static out of my hair quite well for the time being, by the time I got to class and took my hood off I had plastic doll head again. But as a cheap (around $2.69 for a 80-pack at Meijer) and short-term solution, this isn’t a bad idea. I can see maybe tucking a dryer sheet in your purse and using it in emergency situations. However, I wasn’t particularly fond of smelling like I’d just come out of a laundromat.

Alyssa’s Miracle (A) : My sister recommended Miracle 7 leave-in mist. I’m not one to fall for miracle products, and the $20 price tag on a 10-ounce bottle was a definite deterrent. Furthermore, it doesn’t even say that it stops static cling on the bottle. But my sister let me borrow hers and I was convinced in one day.

It really is a miracle... (credit: Emily Lawler)

Not only did this last all day, but it made my hair feel like being down was its job. Which, it should be, right? I walked out of the door with a crazy confidence. On the street I had to stop myself from asking strangers to run their fingers through my hair. I did ask my roommates to feel me on up, and they were immediately asking what I’d used and where I got it. Because it’s a freaking MIRACLE, is why.

So I walked into Sally Beauty Supply to buy my very own bottle, and the clerk saw it in my hand. “That stuff is amazing, it’s worth the money,” she told me. I gave her a knowing smile, and leaned in for the whisper… “It really is a miracle.”

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