The Science of Black Hair is certainly a treasure, not only for my customers but for me as an African American woman in general who is interested in caring for my own hair. I refer to it, and encourage my clients who wish to know more about this much fussed-over appendage to read it as well. Fellow hair masters and stylists at salons worldwide, give YOUR clients a healthy hair advantage by including this book in your salon. Audrey, many thanks for bringing this valuable information together in such a timeless volume at such a critical time for black hair care. Thank you for helping us all to understand, The Science of Black Hair.
And yet, with all of the reading and writing I have done on the topic of black hair over the years, I have not come across a more well-researched, exhaustive and comprehensive book as The Science of Black Hair.
Understanding the science of our hair helps us truly understand our hair. When you know what frizz really is, you know how to prevent it. When you understand what protein does for the hair, you understand how to use it and when. When you understand what a blow dryer does to the hair, you have a reason to use it sparingly.
I stumbled across my first online hair community in the summer of 2004, and by this point, my frustration with my hair was at an all-time high. The hair-care sites were just what I needed for motivation and support. They were full of information on healthy black hair care, and whole communities of black women were supporting each other day in and day out, challenging one another to grow their hair out natural and relaxed to greater lengths. It was beautiful and encouraging, and without those many ladies I would not be here today. Those sisters inspired me to put my thoughts on hair care together into a book with the hope that this knowledge will continue to be shared in our community.
Hair breakage is the number one enemy of healthy, vibrant black hair. Until we understand the causes of breakage and take steps to control it, we will be unable to add visible length to our hair over time. This book presents a proven method for improving black hair health. It reveals a strategy for identifying and correcting common hair breakage issues, mostly using products you already have at home.
Unfortunately, hair-care misinformation runs rampant in the black hair community. Countless individuals capitalize on our lack of basic knowledge about healthy hair. Hair companies have unleashed many products over the years to satisfy this overwhelming demand for healthier, longer, stronger black hair. Some of these hair products are true
We know that split ends are more likely to occur in weathered and oxidized hair. But, split ends happen when the cuticle is removed (damaged) and the cortex-cortex CMC serves as a route for the propagation of axial splits in the fiber, leading to the formation of cracks and split ends. Hair strength depends on cuticle integrity and amount of water in the fibers, conditions that are related to chemical damage. Chemical damage by bleaches, dyes, straighteners and even sunlight can weaken hair and increase inter-fiber friction, leading to breakage. An important factor involved in hair breakage is the occurrence of tangles created by combing forces. Where the break occurs along the fiber, correspond to the point of higher combing forces. The type of fracture depends on hair condition and wet versus dry combing or brushing. Combing dry hair is more related to short segment breaks, and wet combing is related to long segment breaks. The short segment breaks are more related to split ends. Straight to wavy hair combed dry, produces higher end pick forces than mid-length forces, but when wet, produces higher mid-length combing forces corresponding to where hair breaks and to the amount of breakage. The work of combing highly coiled hair is lower wet than dry. The reverse holds for wavy to straight hair. Split ends form more readily from the abrasion (friction) in combination with torsional deformations (grooming and styling). Splitting occur when the cuticle is damaged and weakened. Crack is formed in the cortex. Few cuticle layers do not hold the ends of the hair fiber together. Also, highly oxidized cortex cell membrane by free radical chemistry is more susceptible to split. Hair treated with free radical cosmetics and exposed to sunlight is susceptible to splitting.[5,8,38]
The main difference between the dyes are their capacity to reach the cortex and stay there in a permanent way or to not reach the cortex and stay shallow on the cuticle surface and be washable after about 10-15 shampoos. Those are the demi-permanent dyes. To overcome the cuticle and reach the cortex, the product must have an alkaline pH able to open the scales. Most of the times the permanent dyes use ammonia to increase the pH. Some products are referred to be ammonia-free, but instead, they carry ethanolamine with the purpose. Both substances remove the natural cuticle lipid, the 18-metil eicosanoic acid, which confers hidrofobicity to the fiber. The use of permanent dyes may cause cuticle damage by removing the 18-MEA and making the hair hidrophylic.
Accumulating research over the past decade in postmenopausal females demonstrates that creatine supplementation during a resistance training program can improve muscle mass, upper- and lower-body strength, and tasks of functionality (30-s chair stand, lying prone-to-stand test, arm curl test) (for detailed review see Candow et al. ). Creatine supplementation appears to be a viable option for post-menopausal females to improve muscle quality and performance. In addition to its beneficial effects on aging muscle, creatine supplementation may also have favorable effects on bone in postmenopausal females, if combined with resistance training. For example, postmenopausal females who supplemented daily with 0.1 g/kg/day of creatine during 52-weeks of supervised whole-body resistance training experienced an attenuation in the rate of bone mineral loss at the femoral neck (hip), compared to females on placebo during training . Furthermore, 5 g/day of creatine supplementation during 12 weeks of resistance training in postmenopausal females resulted in a significant increase in muscle mass and upper- and lower-body strength, compared to placebo . However, even without the stimulus of resistance training, there is some evidence that creatine supplementation can still be beneficial. For example, in aging females (n=10; 67 6 yrs), acute creatine supplementation (0.3 g/kg/day for 7 days) significantly improved lower-extremity physical performance (sit-to-stand test) , and fat-free mass and upper- and lower-body strength compared to placebo .
The current theoretical paper discusses the unintended systemic racism and racial biases that impact neuroscience, specifically in research utilizing electroencephalography (EEG). As a popular technique in affective science research, EEG requires adherence between the electrode and scalp to measure brain activity. To obtain high-quality data, various factors such as hair length, hair type, body movement, and/or extraneous noise from the environment are taken into consideration. As EEG researchers attempt to gather good-quality data, the recruitment and retention of Black American participants is challenging due to hairstyles commonly worn by Black American participants (e.g., cornrows, braids) and hair type. Taken together, the systemic lack of data from Black American participants renders research findings less generalizable and causes disparities in theoretical knowledge applicable to this population. To address this disparity, innovative solutions invented by bioengineers are discussed.
Neuroscience research has improved our understanding of how brain function and behavior are interconnected, and has also provided important information about neural mechanisms of a variety of cognitive and affective processes. Non-invasive brain imaging techniques are the most common methods utilized to study brain activity and brain function. These techniques include electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), positron-emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). These techniques are widely used to capture brain development and activity across the life span from infants to adults. In the context of affective science, EEG has been utilized to study affective processes (e.g., neural correlates of face processing, the effect of emotional stimuli on memory encoding). For example, to gain insight into the relationship of arousal, memory, and emotional stimuli, Zarubin et al. (2020) utilized EEG methodology to investigate how passively viewing negative and neutral images related to the encoding of emotional memories. Nevertheless, neuroscientific research is not without shortcomings and it is important to acknowledge aspects of systemic racism and racial bias that exist within these methods. Although EEG is a popular technique in affective neuroscience research, this position paper focuses on the inadvertent exclusion of certain minority populations due to hairstyles and hair type, thus leading to biases and inability to generalize findings.
Based on the findings above, EEG researchers struggle to find appropriate and alternative methods to recruit and retain data collected from Black American participants. Within experimental and health research, a disparity exists with the recruitment of minority participants due to barriers such as language, mistrust, and stigma (George et al., 2014). However, after these barriers are addressed within EEG research, factors like impedances and S/N ratio affect the data quality of acceptable EEG recordings. Because hairstyles worn predominantly by Black American participants reduce proper S/N ratio and result in poor conductivity between the electrode and scalp, African hair types may lead to unsatisfactory quality of EEG recordings; and, ultimately, their EEG data recordings often are excluded from the final data analyses. Furthermore, EEG researchers utilize different electrodes and EEG recordings to measure brain activity, such as wet, dry, and semi-dry electrodes and HD/LD EEG recording. These methods currently utilized in EEG research still present challenges regarding inclusivity for African types of hair worn predominantly by Black American participants, further leading to underrepresentation of Black American participants in neuroscience research. Although unintended systemic bias is a rising concern within neuroscience research, there are bioengineering labs that recognize this dilemma and are in the process of creating and investigating new electrodes that may be better suited for participants with African hairstyles and hair types. 153554b96e