Dr. Crystal Porter founded Mane Insights, LLC to scientifically research the specific needs of curly ethnic hair. For over 17 years, she has been providing knowledge about hair to individuals, professionals and industry leaders.
Dr. Crystal spent the majority of her career at L’Oréal, USA. There she managed the Physics Laboratory and Consumer Insights teams, studying the biophysical characteristics of hair and pigmented skin within different ethnic groups. This allowed her and her researchers to understand behaviors that are related to consumers’ experiences.
After studying hair of people from all over the world, she learned that there was very limited information on the hair of people of African origin. Dr. Crystal feels the state of Black women’s hair is at an all-time low as a result of a myriad of misinformation held by seemingly well-qualified, trusted experts. Incensed by the status quo, Dr. Crystal left L’Oréal, USA armed with a more than a decade of expertise. Her aspirations of debunking hair myths and miseducation reached further than corporate confines.
I see young girls, victims of irreversible scalp damage. My heart aches when I see it because we, as mothers, want what is best for our children. I want to empower mothers, professionals and industry leaders with true knowledge so that our daughters will grow to become confident women who are proud of their crowning glory.”
Dr. Crystal has contributed to L’Oréal’s global classification of curl in hair and has authored numerous scientific journals, presentations and book chapters on various topics such as hair straightening and ethnic hair. Her hair research on people of African descent has been quoted in leading reference materials within the areas of dermatology and cosmetic science.
Dr. Crystal lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband of over 20 years and her two girls. Over the past fourteen years, she has shared her ethnic hair expertise with fellow scientists and the public sector at global venues.
Crystal E. Porter, PhD. is the country’s leading hair scientist and owner of Mane Insights, LLC, a company that conducts research to further understand the specific needs of curly hair. As a recognized contributor in the world of hair science, she also provides knowledge about hair to individuals, professionals and industry leaders. She is passionate about debunking myths and empowering others to properly care for their hair.
Dr. Crystal spent the majority of her 17-year career at L’Oréal, USA where she managed the Physics Laboratory and Consumer Insights teams studying the biophysical characteristics of hair and pigmented skin within different global ethnic groups and to understand behaviors that are related to consumers’ experiences. During the past sixteen years, she has shared knowledge about ethnic hair with fellow scientists and the public sector at global venues. She has also contributed to L’Oréal’s global classification of curl in hair and has authored scientific journals, presentations and book chapters on various topics such as hair straightening and ethnic hair.
Dr. Crystal began her career in cosmetic science at Unilever in the year 2000. While there, she was part of a measurement science group and conducted research for aid-to-formulation. She also is a Research Coordinator for the Center for STEM Education and Research (CSER) at Chicago State University, which is where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry. She is responsible for developing research programs in the area of hair science to expose underrepresented STEM students to research opportunities that will result in scientific breakthroughs.
During her undergraduate education she participated in internship programs at Argonne National Laboratory where she studied Chronobiology and researched NMR shift reagents at Rochester Institute of Technology. Her Doctorate was received in the area of Physical Polymer Chemistry from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. During her graduate studies she thermally characterized polymer thin films using modulated differential scanning calorimetry and studied the mechanical behavior of polymer composites. She also patented a skin cream and was inducted into the scientific research honor society, Sigma Xi.
Dr. Porter is a wife and mother of two daughters. She is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Within Delta, she has served on the Educational Development Committee for the Glen Ellyn Area Alumnae Chapter and served as Chair of Sciences and Everyday Experiences, an informal science education project funded by the National Science Foundation, from 2007 to 2011.
Dr. Porter’s personal passion resides in the educating and mentoring of underrepresented youth about the opportunities in the field of science. In addition, she actively initiates efforts within Chicagoland schools and the general public to close the academic achievement gap that exists among Black students. As such, she is one of the founding members of P.A.T.H.S. (Parents and Administrators Together Helping Students), a parent group within Indian Prairie School District 204 whose mission is to work with school administrators to empower parents in helping their children to excel academically. Her commitment to philanthropy is further exemplified as a current supporter and past member of the Board of Directors for C.H.A.R.M., a not-for-profit outreach and mentoring organization.