When I first joined BHM, I was on every Natural Hair and Hair Growth thread searching for a cure to the incessant breakage and dryness my kinky, coily, highly-textured tresses were suffering. I was deep-conditioning weekly with heat, still dry. I moisturized and sealed with oil, still dry. I slept with a shower cap on to keep my hair moist, but alas my hair remained dry and even worse it became more tangled. At this point, I was about four to five months into my natural hair journey. A relaxer or texturizer looked great to me at this point. But, I decided to hold off. I enjoyed my hair and the flexibility it gave me, but I was not seeing much length retention because of my dry, brittle ends.
Fast-forward to one summer. I took the plunge and purchased Audrey Sivasothy’s The Science of Black Hair, and it completely changed the way that I dealt with my hair. Instead of constantly slathering on every moisturizer, conditioner, and oil on my fine strands, I learned about the science behind why shampoo lathers and why coconut oil is wonderful! More importantly, it helped me to stop listening to every natural hair blogger and YouTube guru and listen to my hair. I didn’t want to believe all the hype around Sivasothy’s book, but I have to say that no natural should be without it.
Audrey breaks the book down like a grade school textbook, and all the concepts are easy to understand. She explains the composition of a hair strand, she delves into what different ingredients do and stresses the very important moisture-protein balance. What I really love about the book is that you can always go back and reference it. My favorite part by far was the LOIS hair classification system she introduced. Unlike Andre Walker’s hair system that classifies hair strands from one to four and breaks them down even more into a, b, and c, the LOIS system looks more at the composition of the strands. I don’t know how many times I watched videos of women claiming to be a 4b and trying hopelessly to follow their routine, only to end up disappointed. The LOIS system looks at the shape of individual strands, the density of the hair on your head, the density of the strand, the porosity, and the sheen/shine of the hair. Though the system is a bit confusing, if done right it can really shed light on what products to use on your hair. I learned that my strands are shaped like Os and Ss, I have medium density and fine strands. I’m still trying to work out the other parts, but I feel better equip to deal with MY hair. Audrey repeats throughout the book that once you master your hair, you will be the best person to deal with it. After reading the book cover to cover, I really believe that!
Now fast forward. After really taking to heart the knowledge presented in the book, I have seen a reduction in breakage, and I can go sometimes 2-3 days without moisturizing my hair! My hair health has increased, and I have noticed that I am retaining much more length! I still have a way to go before reaching my terminal length, but I am happy that the book was able to really help my hair get out of the funk it was in!