If you have a really specific question and don't mind slogging through journal articles, you can search here (but you have to learn how to word your searches): Search Journal of Cosmetic Science Archive
I use Safari and if I try to download their PDFs if crashes Safari, so I get the articles in other ways. I doubt everybody has that problem. My computer just likes to give me hassles.
Hair "science" is mostly chemistry and most of what goes on happens as "surface chemistry" and protein chemistry so if you've had much chemistry in school, lots of the real research you read will trigger those memories. Anything you know about proteins will help too.
I love Tonya McKay's articles.
Don't discredit your own experience - a lot of science is "try it and see what happens and see if we can explain how it works at a later date." What and why are 2 different questions.
You might look on Amazon.com for hair science textbooks, and then request them through interlibrary loan. Cheap and easy!