The Science of Black Hair - Book Review

The Science of Black Hair: A Comprehensive Guide to Textured Hair Care

I was really excited to finally get a copy of The Science of Black Hair. I felt that everything I wanted to know at the root of a good hair care routine, down to the scientific basics will make everything clearer! Instead I was befuddled with the first unit of the book that exclusively and literally focused on the science of black hair – taking you back to your chemistry days with amino acids and hydrogens and whatnot. But be not afraid, after getting used to seeing these words again and the author revisiting key concepts later and they have to do with black hair, I started to wade out of the fog toward the end of the first unit.

The book is excellently organized where you learn about the scientific components of black hair in the beginning so that you can understand what products, styles, etc would best complement your hair based on its makeup. Without understanding what makes up the follicles on your head it is kind of hard to understand what you are striving so hard to upkeep and maintain, right?

Some of the biggest ‘uh huh’ or ‘oh wow’ moments for me was implementing a protein spray into my hair care regimen, in addition to a moisturizer. In many respects, hair, just like our bodies, is built on system of balance. There has to be the right amount of moisture and right amount of protein otherwise you are faced with dryness, flakiness, breakage, porosity, excessive shedding, split ends etc. I think it is safe to say very few of us have mastered a PERFECT hair care regimen where we do not experience any of those setbacks, and that’s okay! I find it rather fun testing out and trying out different products and regimens to see what works best for my hair (I just ordered some trial sizes of Komaza hair products yesterday!).

Another ‘uh huh’ moment for me was the ORDER/sequencing of hair products you should put on your hair. Understandably from authors, to your hair stylists, to your own mother dictate what they think is the right combination of products to put in your hair. However, the sequencing of products you put on your hair makes sense scientifically. Understanding how hair absorbs certain things i.e. water/moisturizers, it would require some sort of ‘sealant’ in order to keep the moisturizing nutrients from leaving the hair shaft. Some of the best examples of ‘sealants’ are hair oils like an Almond oil, Tui Oil, etc to coat the hair after a moisturizer in order to literally seal in the moisturizer (ever seen how oil sits on top of water in a cup – works the same way). If you applied a sealant before a moisturizer that contains water, the water would not be able to penetrate the protective oil layer you just applied.

Those were just some of the instances I readily agreed with the information presented due to the science behind it. The book also has some rare sections on working out/exercising with natural hair and the best way to apply heat and chemicals/relaxers/coloring to your hair without excessive damage – a must read if you have chosen not to forgo any of these processes.