July 15, 2022

Your Questions Week - What's the Deal with Hairnets? (7-15-2022)

by Chompers

Background show artwork for Chompers

Why do people working in kitchens wear hairnets? Our Gimlet friend Matt Shilts is here to answer!

Where to Listen



>>JASMINE: Hi folks! It's time for Chompers, your morning and night toothbrushing show!

It’s Your Questions Week. That means Jasmine is finding answers to YOUR Questions!

Start brushing on the top of your mouth on one side, and brush the inside, outside, and chewing side of each tooth. 

>>KIDS: 3, 2, 1 brush!

>>JASMINE: Today’s question is from Wilbur. And our friend Matt Shilts is here to answer. 

>>WILBUR: Why do the lunch ladies have those net things on their heads? 

>>MATT: Alright. Wilbur. I asked myself this question and I looked it up because I wanted to know the answer too.

So what I found was those net things? They're called... hairnets. It's a good name right?

>>JASMINE: Switch your brushing to the other side of the top of your mouth…


>>JASMINE: -and brush the molars in the back, too.

>>MATT: A lot of people whose job it is to make food have to wear hairnets. And it's not because they're a lady it's because they have hair.  For example I would have to wear one because I have long hair. 

>>JASMINE: I see so anyone who has hair and work in a kitchen would wear one... But why? 

>>MATT: Because the hair on your head actually falls out. You lose up to 100 hairs off our head every single day. 

>>JASMINE: Ahhhhhh! What??

>>MATT: Don't worry. They usually grow back. 

>>JASMINE: Phew I was worried there.

Switch your brushing to the bottom of your mouth…


>>JASMINE:  and don’t brush too hard.

>>MATT: So what if someone is making your cherry pie and they're rolling out the dough and they're cutting up the butter and they're getting all the fruit ready and then they put it in the oven all that time they're doing that work their hair is falling off of their head. There's a chance that some of that hair gets in the pie.

>>JASMINE: Gross!

>>MATT: Yeah. we agree that's gross. But people in the kitchens didn't always wear hairnets. And Not that long ago people didn't think hair in your food was such a big deal. It's just something that happened every once in a while. Until a man named Edward Bernays came along. 

>>JASMINE: Switch to the other side of the bottom of your mouth…


>>JASMINE: -and brush your front teeth, too. 

>>MATT: He worked for the people who made hairnets and he had an idea of how to sell a bunch more. He went around the country talking to people and convincing them that finding a hair in your food was about the grossest thing that could happen. And that the only way to stop it. was for the people making food in the kitchens to all wear hairnets so their hair doesn't fall out into the food.

And they believed him. Now people in kitchens wear hair nets and you and I think that it‘s gross when we find a hair in our food. and all that's thanks to Edward Bernays. 

>>JASMINE: I don’t know if we should thank him or not.


>>JASMINE: That's it for Chompers today. Come back tomorrow for more answers. Until then…

>>KIDS: 3, 2, 1 spit! 

>>JASMINE: Special thanks to Matt Shilts, our producer friend from Gimlet Creative.