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Chinese astronaut gives hair-washing demonstration in space (video)

Wang Yaping recently returned home from China's longest human spaceflight mission to date, having spent six months aboard the nation's Tianhe space station module.

Wang gave lectures on space physics and other topics while in orbit. And she also showed how she kept her hair clean in microgravity, giving a video demonstration of the process

"First, I put the special shampoo on my hair, and you can see the shampoo is foamy. It's not easy to wash hair in space," Wang said in a short video released recently by Chinese broadcaster CCTV.

Related: The latest news about China's space program

"After squeezing water on my head, I need to put on the towel gloves to absorb the water on my hair," she added. "Finally, I put on this hair towel and wait for my hair to dry. This is the entire process of washing hair in space."

Wang's process is similar to that used on the International Space Station, as demonstrated by NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg back in 2013. However, Wang used towel gloves and a towel hat, instead of actively drying with a standard towel, as Nyberg did.

Wang is now back on Earth after her hair-raising exploits and able to take normal, terrestrial showers. China's next crewed mission, Shenzhou 14, is scheduled to launch on Saturday U.S. Eastern time (June 4).

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Andrew Jones
Contributing Writer

Andrew is a freelance space journalist with a focus on reporting on China's rapidly growing space sector. He began writing for Space.com in 2019 and writes for SpaceNews, IEEE Spectrum, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, New Scientist and others. Andrew first caught the space bug when, as a youngster, he saw Voyager images of other worlds in our solar system for the first time. Away from space, Andrew enjoys trail running in the forests of Finland. You can follow him on Twitter @AJ_FI (opens in new tab).