It might be the strangest advice imaginable for survivors of a nuclear attack: Don’t use hair conditioner. But it turns out to be sound advice as well, reports Live Science. The matter came up when Guam, under threat of an attack by North Korea, recently issued safety guidelines to the public. And there among the usual seek-shelter nuggets was the warning that people should use soap and water to rid themselves of toxic dust but avoid the conditioner. It’s all because of how the stuff works, and the upshot it that it could actually cause radioactive particles to bind to your hair.
Hair is shaped almost like scales, which can open up and come apart throughout the day. Conditioner uses compounds like silicone and cationic polymers to pull these scales back down and smooth it, one cosmetic chemist tells Racked.