Sistah Queens and Brotha Kings, I plead with you, please stop relaxing your hair. I say this not be on the “natural-is-better-so-I’m-hating-on-you” tip. I’m telling you this out of love and concern. The hair and beauty industry is unregulated so manufacturers are using deadly chemicals to make a quick buck off of us. Researchers are starting to study products developed for and marketed to black people. The findings are reprehensible.
First of all, the ingredients in many hair products have been found to be carcinogenic. That means they cause cancer. They
According to the FDA, high exposures to that preservative have been linked to leukemia and other rare cancers. This hazardous ingredient is used in “hair-smoothing” products aka relaxers.
That’s not all. Relaxers also have what’s known as endocrine disrupting chemicals. The endocrine system controls all the hormones in our bodies so if something is disrupting it from working efficiently; it’s going to affect every aspect of our lives, even though we may not know it. I’m talking about our metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, mood, and autoimmune function. Diseases that run rampant in black families such as breast, ovarian and testicular cancers, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Graves disease, gout, lupus, fibroids and more, could be the result of the hair products we use.
Recent studies have found that girls using relaxers reach menarche early due to the endocrine disrupting chemicals. Only black girls are using relaxers. You ever wonder why your daughter is developing early, it may be because of the products you use. What makes me even madder is the products with the highest amounts of toxic ingredients are marketed “just” for black girls. Detanglers have also been found to have high amounts of these chemicals too so you need to do more than stop using relaxers. Check all of your hair products.
Besides making black girls start their period earlier than those of other races and causing more severe cancers in our families, a lot of products used in the black community have chemicals associated with asthma, including several fragrances. Maybe this is why there is a higher prevalence of asthma in black children and women than the general population. Could the chemicals we put on our hair cause this? It’s a real possibility.
I’m a product junkie so I’ve used several products that have been found with high concentrations of toxic chemicals, mostly when I had a relaxer: Smooth N Shine Polishing Instant Repair Hair Polisher, Organic Root Stimulator Carrot Oil, Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise, Queen Helene Cholesterol Hair Conditioning Cream, Lusters Pink Classic Light, BB Maximum Strength SuperGro conditioner with Vitamin E, Dax Pomade, Soft & Beautiful Just for Me No-Lye Conditioning Relaxer, and PCJ Pretty-n-Silky No-Lye Conditioning Crème Relaxer. I’ve also used several products that haven’t been tested. You live and you learn, right. Check out the studies for yourself to learn about other products. Click here and here.
My hope is that you will look carefully at the ingredients on the labels of your hair products. If you cannot pronounce the names of the ingredients, they are man-made and could be toxic. I try to buy products that have ingredients that I can eat like olive oil, mango butter, aloe, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, shea butter, etc. These are plant-based ingredients that are natural and won’t harm you (although it can go bad if it sits too long). Some trustworthy brands that I endorse are The Mane Choice, Ailkay Naturals, Kinky Curly, Camille Rose Naturals, and Harmony Beauty Company. Good luck people. Be safe and take care.