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Astronaut shows how she washes hair in space

Who needs gravity? NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg films video showing how to wash your hair in space.
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Ryan Porter, July 12, 2013 12:41:59 PM

Call it the first beauty tutorial from space. In response to frequent questions about how she washes her hair in space, NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg tweeted a video on Wednesday, July 10 showing exactly how she keeps her foot-long locks looking good enough to show basically no one.

In space’s gravity-free atmosphere, the mechanical engineer’s hair has what you could call a natural wave—it floats above her like tentacles. Armed with a leave-in shampoo, comb, some water in a sealed plastic bag, a towel, and a mirror, Nyberg starts by squirting hot water into her hair from the bag and working it through her hair, even though droplets float off into the air, demonstrating why some beauty rituals work better with gravity. She then works the shampoo into her hair, from base to tip.

Next, Nyberg rubs the shampoo in with her towel. “Without standing under running water you kind of have to use the towel a little bit to get some of the dirt out,” she explains. She then gives it another little squirt of water because even astronauts think leave-in shampoo is suspicious and you should rinse it anyway. She then lets it air dry and, voila, she is totally ready for alien visits.

Probably the grossest part of the demonstration is that the water she uses in her hair is absorbed by the ship’s air-conditioner and turned into drinking water. It really just scratches the surface of grooming aboard a space shuttle. Something tells me if they are drinking the water Nyberg uses to wash her hair chances are they aren’t having many bubble baths. But that is for another video, and frankly, mechanical engineers probably have more on their agendas than just explaining their beauty rituals.

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Ryan Porter

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