Everything you need to eliminate static this winter
Quit shocking yourself and everyone around you
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Getting ready in the winter looks something like this: Grabs favorite sweater—zapped! Opens fridge for milk—zing! Reaches for car keys—crackle!
Static electricity, or the reason your shirt is clinging to you or your hair seems to defy gravity, is the result of an imbalance in electrons in an object. This usually occurs after two materials have been rubbed together, causing the transference of electrons from one object to another, and is more prone to happen in dry air. It’s a small but unmistakable annoyance in the wintertime, when the air is less humid, and it’s avoidable—if you have the right products.
1. Dryer sheets to prevent laundry static
Whoever first decided to add anti-static ingredients into fabric-softening dryer sheets is a hero. Thanks to that person, we know that dryer sheets, like Bounce, not only help reduce wrinkles and soften clothes but prevent static electricity from building up as fabrics tumble in the dryer. You can rub the sheets directly on items, such as inside your hat or on your hair to eliminate staticky hair. One Amazon reviewer keeps things simple: “Static cling? Not in my house! This stuff works wonderfully.”
2. A spray to prepare your clothes for the weather
Looking for the perfect multi-purpose product to zap static and wrinkles from your clothes during the winter months? Downy Wrinkle Releaser claims to eliminate uncomfortable static while removing most wrinkles without an iron. One Amazon reviewer relies on this for activewear: “The downside to wearing [sweat-wicking] clothing, of any brand, is the static electricity buildup and the shirts sticking to me. It drives me crazy. I use this product on the inside and out[side] of my shirts and it does the job. I always keep at least two bottles in my cabinet.”
3. A de-frizz spray to keep your hair in place
If dryer sheets aren’t enough to keep your hair from defying gravity and poofing up (or you don’t want your hair to smell like laundry), spritz a de-frizzing spray, like the IGK Laid Back, over your hair to smooth flyaways by adding moisture back into the hair. One IGK reviewer, who is also a hairstylist for weddings, writes: “I love using this on my brides, especially when a lot of the hair is down and curled. [It] tames that static you get from running your hands through your hair. It’s a must in my kit now!”
4. A humidifier to hydrate the dry air
Another way to control static is to change the environment that’s responsible for it. To add moisture back into the air in your home, try a humidifier. After testing, our top pick is the Vicks V745A, which produces the same amount of humidity as taking a hot shower would but with half as much water and energy. One Amazon reviewer agrees with us: “I noticed a big difference in my skin, my dogs’ coats, and it helps with static electricity. I've owned six different brands of humidifiers and this one is the best.”
5. A spray to neutralize furniture static
Plopping down on the couch should not be a shocking experience. Keep your furniture feeling cozy, not electrified, with Static Guard, which claims to eliminate static on all fabrics, using similar ingredients to the IGK hair tamer spray. It’s a must-have for this reviewer: “For some reason, our home has become so staticky. We ordered this stuff and were so happy when it showed up! We sprayed it on basically everything: couches, beds, clothes, towels, etc. Works great!”
6. A hairspray to lock out style static
Once you style your hair, ward off static and set your look with a hairspray. The Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Body Builder claims to create volume using polymers, add shine using an “emollient blend,” and prevent static using “anti-static agents.” One reviewer says they need the full-size bottle after trying a sample: “I just got this hairspray and I love it! It definitely revived my limp waves after a long day at work. It also took out a lot of static from my hair. The adjustable nozzle is genius! It allows you to decide how much body you want your hair to have. It’s also not sticky and doesn’t tangle your hair. It smells nice, too.”
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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