Hair: A Human History

Kurt Stenn. Pegasus, $26.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-60598-955-6
Stenn, former director of skin biology at Johnson & Johnson, explores the intricacies of hair from biological, anthropological, and cultural perspectives, developing a well-rounded overview of a seemingly obtuse subject. On hair science, he delves into evolutionary theory, the hair growth cycle, and the chemical processes of conditioners, relaxers, and dyes. The director of a barber trade school outlines the rigorous course of study required for the occupation, and a famed wig maker explains his complex work process. Somewhat on the outer reaches are individuals paying thousands of dollars for strands of famous hair at auction, hair as a visual art medium, and hair shirts for religious atonement. Finally, Stenn makes some projections about the future of hair, including robot barbers and the status of hair-follicle forming chemicals to remedy baldness. While there are likely more complete and academic takes on this subject, this is an excellent layperson’s introduction to the vast and compelling story of hair. Agent: Regina Ryan, Regina Ryan Publishing Enterprises. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/21/2015
Release date: 02/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-68177-346-9
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-68177-102-1
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