Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Ellie Brindle and Julius Doyle Propose Alternative Hair Specimen Collection Method Among Extremely Short‐Length Afro‐Textured Hair

Posted: 2/25/2019 (CSDE Research)

CSDE Biodemography Director Ellie Brindle and CSDE Demography Trainee Julius Doyle alumnus, Biocultural Anthropology PhD, recently published “Development and validation of hair specimen collection methods among extremely short‐length Afro‐textured hair” in the American Journal of Human Biology.  In their article they show that although cortisol deposited into growing hair is an important biomarker of psychophysiological stress, current hair sample collection methods are suited only for straighter-textured hair types. They propose an alternative method for collecting samples among participants with Afro‐textured and extremely short‐length hair types.

The proposed method involves sampling hair from all sections of the scalp, making it feasible to extract and analyze cortisol in extremely short‐length Afro‐textured hair types. They found no statistical differences between samples collected using the currently prevailing and the proposed methodologies. This research underscores the importance of diversifying hair cortisol research beyond the limitations of developing collection methodologies only suited for straighter‐textured hair types.

Julius Doyle continues to work on implementing this methodology is a Presidential Diversity Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, Binghamton University.

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