Valerie Monroe
Photo: Jonathan Skow
Q: I get the worst static! My hair stands up and my clothes crawl. I've tried everything; nothing works.

A: If "tried everything" means you use fabric conditioner in the wash and conditioning sheets in the dryer, a humidifier in your home and office, and you drown yourself in body lotion—there are still, believe it or not, a few things you can do. Those comfy rubber-soled shoes you're wearing? Trade them in for leather. Your goal is to ground yourself, to keep electrical charges moving through and out of your body freely. Rubber accumulates charges, as do certain synthetic fabrics, which means that when the accumulation is released—say, like when you tap a colleague on the shoulder—you get a shock. Fill a small spray bottle with a little fabric conditioner and a lot of water (the ratio should be around 1:30) and lightly spray your clingy clothing. For your flyaways, use a silicone-based conditioner and a styling product; silicone coats the hair strand and neutralizes the electrical charges that give you that vertical effect. A natural bristle hairbrush will also cut down on staticky hair.

Bottom line: At the risk of looking like a seamstress, try wearing a metal thimble; if you touch everything with it first, it will at least prevent that shocking little arc of electricity from making contact with your skin.

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