Science and Hair inspiration – Samantha

It is officially spring  and with that I want to start something new and fresh. I write here about my haircare routine, products, tips and  my experience about PhD. However, we all very different and certainly have different hair, for that reason I want to connect with more ladies from STEM to ask how they deal with bad hair days or what hair products they love. I want to show that ladies that work in the lab and do science also love beauty , hair and cosmetic products!

One of the most inspiring people that I have met in  social media world is Samantha – she is the best combination of brains, beauty and science motivation! She always talks about science with so much excitement and I thought I have to ask her few questions regarding haircare and how she manages to keep her hair looking so beautiful and still rocking the science! Over to You Samantha…


Describe your research and what are you working on?

The adult human brain is made up of about 160 billion cells, which includes 1000s of different cell types! I am studying stem cells in order to understand how the complex brain builds and maintains itself. We have found that there are special types of brain stem cells early on in the developing mouse embryo that stick around into adulthood where they can be specifically targeted to produce new cells, which could be helpful in cases of brain injury or disease.

What is your hair type and what do you love most about your hair? 

My hair is a mix of wavy and frizzy and it is very thick. Whenever I go to a hairdresser they always comment about 10 minutes in, “wow…. you have a LOT of hair.” I used to hate my hair as a kid because it wasn’t stick straight like a lot of other girls, but now that I’ve learned to embrace a bit of frizz I love how easy going it is. I love the dark colour and that I don’t have to wash it that often! 

What is your current haircare routine? 

My haircare routine start with washing my hair once every 5 days or so, which is great because it takes forever to dry and I ain’t got time for that! I have been using live clean shampoo/conditioner for over 5 years now because it seemed like they made a good effort to use more eco-friendly packaging, but admittedly I’ve never really looked up how much better it actually is than other products. I honestly like the smells and price point!

What is your favourite or most common hair style you tend to have during crazy days in the lab?

I always show up to the lab with my hair down – either naturally wavy or heat-straightened, then the first thing I do before putting on my gloves is pull it back and twist it into a bun. On REALLY long days I’ll do a braid, but only if I want to procrastinate starting my experiment =)

What is your top tip for haircare routine? 

Since I do use heat on my hair pretty often I try to minimize how much further heat damage I do by letting it air dry (also because I’m lazy to blow dry haha). But when you have a special occasion and what your hair to be super shiny then I do recommend a good blow dry. My favourite hair stylist @darrenjansenhair recommends blowdrying until it feels dry, then doing it a bit more so that it is 100% dry because that helps flatten the cuticle enough to lock in shine.

Shop Samantha’s haircare products

The most crazy hair myth or fact you have heard?

 I feel very sceptical when I seecosmetic product that claims that it’s delivering proteins that will do something magical to your face/hair . I bet most of the effects we see with beauty products are due to hydration and exfoliation (in the case of the face) so I don’t think people need to go off spending so much money on all these random cosmeceuticals. With haircare specifically, probably anything promising to repair split ends is a load of crap, but you’re the expert so I’d love to hear your elaborations on my suspicions!

My answer:That is a great one – I completely agree that a lot of beauty/hair products are in beautiful bottles and have huge claims that not always work. It is very important to look at the ingredients and see what is actually in that ‘magical’ bottle.  Personally some of my most favourite hair products don’t have massive claims on the bottle but they are so rich in all good ingredients (hydrolysed protein; zinc pyriothine; pathenol and etc) that help to protect, moisturise and maintain healthy pH of my hair. Formulation is the key, not a claim. However, it is impossible to find a product that will completely repair the hair. Consistency of good haircare – washing right, not using much heat, protecting, moisturising is the key for healthy and beautiful hair. 

What are your overall thoughts about hair ?

 We should all take a minute to reflect on whether we’ve ever paid our hair some respect. I grew up always trying to change my hair and make it behave in ways it didn’t want to, but as soon as I stopped and thought about what my hair was actually like instead of what I wanted it to be like, things started going a lot better. I love that natural hair styles are coming more in VOGUE and they can be difficult to embrace but I think there is so much value in carving your own hair trend and embracing your diversity. People might comment or be annoying about it, which is unfortunate, but I think it can be very personally rewarding and a gateway to accepting ourselves a little more.

I used to avoid working out on days where my hair was freshly styled because it takes a long time to style my hair and I sweat a lot so working out would ruin all my effort…When I thought about that it made me realize how unfair I was being to myself – like actually being unhealthy because I wanted to look good, how does that even make sense?! So now I workout 4x a week and I am a lot more willing to rock some frizz and my wild, natural hair and wear it as a badge of pride instead of shame. It’s a small change in attitude that’s positively changed my outlook and a lot of habits for me.

I really love the way Beyonce has been encouraging shifts in hair trends and the way her sister Solange talks about hair as a source of pride in her new album. I hope we can all move in that direction together and be less insecure and more self-loving (Yes Samantha!).

Thank you Samantha so much for sharing and really encouraging to love our hair and ourselves, as always truly inspiring. 

Follow Samantha:

Instagram: @science.sam

Twitter: @SamanthaZY

Check out her page: