Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Webinar: How Hair Reveals the Futility of Race Categories

Archived Webinar

The Zoom webinar with Tina Lasisi aired October 21, 2020, as part of the "HOT (Human Origins Today) Topics" series. Watch a recording in the player above.


Tina Lasisi is a biological anthropologist and Ph.D. Candidate at Penn State University. Her research helps us better understand human diversity and answer the question, "Why did modern variation in human scalp hair evolve?"

How does a closer look at variation in scalp hair texture uncover the complexity of human diversity? Using computational image analysis, we can look at hair variation without invoking racial terminology (e.g. Caucasian or "Afro" hair) or relying on subjective descriptions of hair. In this video, Lasisi explores the fascinating biology of human scalp hair variation. 

Moderator: Briana Pobiner, paleoanthropologist and educator at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

Related Resources

Resource Type
Videos and Webcasts
Grade Level
Anthropology and Social Studies
David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins