Review: The Science of Black Hair

The Science of Black Hair

I decided to pick up this book because it’s very popular in natural hair circles. The author, Audrey Davis-Sivasothy, wrote it after years of fighting personal battles against her hair. Like many of us, she’s had experience with breakage, damage, and the ever-familiar shoulder length plateau.

The Science of Black Hair: A Comprehensive Guide to Textured Hair Care promises to help you grow, maintain, and understand your hair.

So does it deliver? For the most part, yes.


What I Liked:

  • Lots of detailed information

This book truly runs the gamut. Davis-Sivasothy covers everything from the basic structure of a hair strand to healthy hair practices and product selection.


  • There’s a section on working with chemicals

I believe that many of the hair problems we have as women of color result from improper use of chemicals on our hair, so I was happy to see an entire unit dedicated to this issue. Although I don’t care to use chemicals myself, I think using them correctly eliminates and/or deters a myriad of common hair problems.

  • Unbiased research

There’s no product pushing or name brand dropping in this book. The author simply lays out the facts: this is the problem, this is what causes it, and this is how to fix it. Instead of promoting particular products or brands she emphasizes a hair regimen that incorporates healthy hair practices.


What I Didn’t Like:

  • Information overload

I felt like this could have been two separate books. It contained so much information that it will be overwhelming for some. And a good portion of it is written using scientific jargon that isn’t always easy to follow or understand. It’s like summer school: a semester’s worth of teaching crammed into four weeks. Some will grasp it and some won’t, which is unfortunate because this is a book geared toward beginners.

  • No dread love

To be honest, there wasn’t much about natural hair at all, just four pages on transitioning and one and a half (yes, one and a half) on dreads. I realize this isn’t a natural hair book, but I feel there was so much about everything else that this topic could have been explored a bit more also.

  • It’s pricey

But wait, Nappy Headed Black Girl, you can’t put a price on good hair care. Um, yeah, you can. And that price is $52.95 and $58.95 respectively for the paperback and hardback special edition versions with color photos. You can purchase the standard, non-color versions for $24.95 and $32.95, but you know how I feel about black-and-white hair photos: Why  bother?


The Science of Black Hair: A Comprehensive Guide to Textured Hair Care is a great book for someone just starting out in the hair care game and for those hoping to improve their routines. If you know more than the basics of hair care, are looking for styles, or want specifics on natural hair care, this may not be the book for you.

Still a good read, though. I give it out of 5 nappy fros.


Have you read this book? Please share your thoughts.

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