If You’re Cleaning up After a Nuclear Blast, Definitely DO NOT Condition Your Hair

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I ran across this information recently and figured that, with everything going on in the news lately, it might be relevant to our collective interests sooner rather than later. Because, I mean, even if our world leaders aren’t going to get their shit together enough to avoid nuclear war, we still want to look good. Am I right?

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You know I am. The world might go to hell in a hand basket, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let my hair go in the process.

So: Why shouldn’t you condition your hair in the event of a nuclear apocalypse?

Well, in a nutshell, your hair looks like it has scales when you put it under a microscope. In the event of a nuclear disaster, the fallout (vaporized buildings, rock, and organic material blown into dust and mixed with the radioactive byproducts of uranium or plutonium) can fall on your skin and hair, and yes, get lodged under those scales.

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You can wash it out fairly easily with shampoo or plain soap, but products like conditioner are oily and made to cling to your hair, not to wash away with dirt and grime.

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Perry Romanowski, a cosmetic chemist and the brain behind “The Beauty Brains,” explains, “Unlike shampoo, conditioners are meant to stay behind on your hair.” So any radioactive fallout hanging around in the air might end up getting trapped by the oily conditioner – on top of your head.

And according to Romanowski, conditioner might not be the only beauty product you need to toss: “Skin lotions or moisturizing lotions or color cosmetics that have oils – these go on your skin and can attract dust or radiation particles from the air. So that would be a concern.”

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Which is all well and good, but, most importantly, you should do your best to avoid nuclear fallout and radiation exposure in the first place. Having access to a fallout shelter is the best option, but even staying in your basement is better than wandering around outside gawking at the blast like it’s a tornado half a mile away in Kansas.

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So, take this advice from Andrew Karam, a government consultant and nuclear fallout expert: “If you see a flash, go inside right away.” Sound advice in general, we think.