Physics and Chemistry

Electricity and Magnetism

How do dryer sheets and hair conditioner reduce or prevent static electricity?

Since materials that are electrical conductors allow free movements of charges, the goal of dryer sheets and hair conditioner is to turn electrical insulators, such as fabric and hair, into electrical conductors. When wet, fabrics and hair are usually negatively charged. Applying a cleansing agent that contains a positively charged detergent molecule to these wet fibers, such as dryer sheets and hair conditioner, clings to the wet fibers and remains in place giving fabrics and hair the soft, silky, non-clinging, static-free feeling.


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