Tuesday, May 20, 2014


You've heard of bedhead? Recently I flew a red-eye from Seattle to Cleveland. Before I left, I did my best to fix my hair for the long haul, hoping it would look decent in the morning.

Of course it didn't. Typically, I landed with a bad case of airhead, my hair so charged with static electricity I could do nothing with it. (Not as bad as this picture of my daughter on a trampoline, but still.) Why does this happen? Do others go through this, or is it just me?

Investigating (via the usual Google search), I discovered an article called "Be a Flying Beauty with these Airplane Beauty Tips" that was downright alarming. It's on a site called "Makeup & Beauty Blog" (I'm not including the link, since they have a scary amount of pop-ups and advertising.) After reading through the different masques and conditioning and balms I would need for a good night's beauty flight, the idea of actually applying all that gunk caused me a good deal more suffering than static hair ever could. The article closes with the caveat that, while it may sound silly, in an airplane we're closer to the sun, so without hats our hair will become sun damaged. Really??? Somehow, I just couldn't go there.

Meanwhile, I did find a quite thorough article explaining how and why static electricity occurs on airplanes here.

Then again, maybe our hair isn't as fragile as we think. At "What if?" (as I understand it, a book in progress), there's a write-up about the miraculous tensile strength of hair. "Based on these hair strength figures, a piece of hair three inches in diameter would be strong enough to restrain a 747." With diagrams and everything. Check it out!