Hair Washing in Zero Gravity: A Magnificient Mohawk and the Water Goes Rogue

International Space Station crew member, U.S. astronaut Karen Nyberg demonstrates how she washes her hair in space onboard the International Space Station.

If you thought brushing your teeth in zero gravity looked hard, try washing your hair.

U.S. astronaut Karen Nyberg gives us a firsthand tutorial from the orbiting International Space Station that features no-rinse shampoo, runaway water and a percussive track to capture the mood.

The real lynchpin to this endeavor seems to be the Velcro. Everything — the water, the shampoo, the comb, the soap — is attached by Velcro to the space station walls. You know, so they don’t fly off and go rogue.

The best part of the video is watching the various stages of Nyberg’s hair as it transforms throughout the washing process — from windswept to troll doll to magnificent mohawk.

(Remember troll dolls? Those crazy-haired, demonic little creatures that you never actually picked out at the toy store, but somehow forced their way into your childhood armory? Well it turns out they conduct spacewalks. And design thermal control systems.)

Here’s to hygiene in space.

As a sidenote, Nyberg — in the spirit of the great social media maven Chris Hadfield — has been posting some great material on her Twitter feed during her International Space Station mission. She discusses her spacewalks and “floating in to work.” And she’s posting lots of photos. See, for example, these forest fires in Quebec and this “spider’s nest” cloud over Corsica:


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Patti Parson and David Pelcyger contributed to this report.

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