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Hair: A Human History


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About the Author

Kurt Stenn has over 30 years of expertise studying hair. He had a distinguished twenty-year academic career as a Professor of Pathology and Dermatology at the Yale University School of Medicine and was for ten years Director of Skin Biology at Johnson & Johnson. Most recently, he helped found and served as Chief Scientific Officer for a biotech startup focusing on hair follicle regeneration. He has lectured extensively on the biology of the hair follicle, written over 200 peer review scientific publications and served on the Adjunct Faculties of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Drexel University, and Georgia Institute of Technology. He lives in Princeton, NJ.


"Ask a woman about her hair, and she just might tell you the story of her life. Ask Kurt Stenn, author of this lively history, and he'll explain the origins and science of hair in terrifically readable stories. The more I learn about hair, the more I'm convinced that studying it is a doorway into learning about everything that matters-where we come from, where we might be going, and why we're so unbelievably obsessed with our hair." -- Elizabeth Benedict, editor, 'Me, My Hair and I: Twenty-seven Women Untangle an Obsession' "Kurt Stenn unravels the physical and social marvels of hair, demonstrating the myriad ways in which hair of all sorts is essential to our health and happiness. The story of hair reveals more about our past, present and future as human beings than we commonly realize, and Stenn's fast-paced and clear-sighted tour of science, history, and present-day society will give the reader a fresh appreciation for something so common and yet so wonderful." -- Christopher Oldstone-Moore, author of 'Of Beards and Men: The Revealing History of Facial Hair' "A well-researched, clearly-told, and entertaining account of the biological, evolutionary, historical, sociological, and aesthetic aspects of hair." -- Rush D. Holt, CEO, American Association for the Advancement of Science "I absolutely reveled in Kurt Stenn's magnificent book. It's the best-researched, best-written and most entertaining compendium I've read on the subject. In clear, crisp prose, Dr. Stenn tells the story of hair through a wonderfully calibrated prism of history, art, culture, society, industry and science. I recommend it for anyone who has-or remembers having-hair." -- Armen Markarian, former President and CEO, Bosley Hair Restoration and Hair Club USA, Inc. "In Hair, Kurt Stenn establishes himself as the poet laureate of hair. He weaves brightly colored illuminating and enticing yarns that encompass the universe of hair-from barbering and wig-making to the use of the fiber in paint brushes and musical instruments to the detailed and fascinating biology of hair formation and hair disease. The warp and weft of his interests sparkles and delights." -- Lowell A. Goldsmith, MD, Dean Emeritus, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry "As a biologist, I enjoy books like Hair that shine a light into the murky corners of the human experience. Professor Stenn, a world authority on hair, is also a great storyteller. Hair is a treasure trove of information, some of which will set your hair on end. A good book that is clear, concise, and well-thought-out." -- John Gaudet, author of 'Papyrus: The Plant that Changed the World' "If you think you know everything about hair, you are in for a surprise. Stenn uses this seemingly mundane subject to weave a splendid tapestry, shimmering with fascinating stories from all aspects of life. After reading this book, you'll admire the wonder of your hair even on a bad hair day." -- Vladimir Dinets, author of 'Dragon Songs: Love and Adventure among Crocodiles, Alligators, and Other Dinosaur Relations' "Thoroughly researched and thoroughly enjoyable, encompassing not only human hair of the head but of the chin and body too (not to mention sheep's wool, beaver fur, wig-making and wearing, perming, dyeing and curling). Everything we have ever done to, or with, our hair is here." -- Jacky Colliss Harvey, author of 'Red: A History of the Redhead'

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