Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, The Loh Down on Science is a fun way to get your daily dose of science plus a dash of humor in less than two minutes.
Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh
Airs Weekdays 2:31, 3:31 and 5:49 a.m.

Hair & Ozone

Score one for the well coiffed: cleaned and conditioned hair fights air pollution.

Want to clean up the air? How about using your head--literally!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science

Ozone found high up in the atmosphere helpfully filters out damaging ultraviolet rays. However, down here where we breathe it's a nasty pollutant.

Certain oils have molecules that react with ozone, and blast it to oblivion.

That made scientists at Missouri University of Science and Technology wonder if a person's SCALP oil could clean the air around their heads?

So, researchers collected hair-- some clean, some dirty, some nicely conditioned--mixed in ozone, and waited twenty four hours.

Results? On average, dirty hair zapped seven times more ozone than clean hair. And washed, conditioned hair annihilated about twice as much ozone as hair that was ONLY washed.

The scientists say we each create a bubble of atmosphere around us--or "personal cloud"--unique to our hair hygiene habits.

Downside? Oily locks transformed ozone into another suite of chemicals that are STILL bad to breathe.

So if you see Al Gore doing an ad for Hair Club for Men--

It must just be because Tipper enjoys the product. Could go either way!