Black women’s hair care products are killing us. Why isn’t it done anymore?


<span>Photo: Hero Images Inc./Alamy Stock Photo / Alamy Stock Photo </ span>“src =”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTQyMw–/ 1unlTb3yDoAVJS_K9ebFDw-~ B / aD02MDA7dz0xMDAwO2FwcGlkPXl0YWNoeW9u /″ -/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTQyMw–/–~B/aD02MDA7dz0xMDAwO2FwcGlkPXl0 ></div>
<p><figcaption class=Photo: Hero Images Inc./Alamy Stock Photo / Alamy Stock Photo

new study It reveals that some scientists and researchers have been suspicious for years. Frequent and long-term use of lye-based hair relaxers can have serious health consequences such as breast cancer. In this study, published in the Oxford University Carcinogenesis Journal, black women who used these products more than 7 times a year for more than 15 years were about 30% more at risk of developing breast cancer than infrequently used users. I found out.

The research team also analyzed Survey data From the Boston University Black Women’s Health Survey, we tracked over 50,000 African-American women for over 25 years, observing their medical diagnosis and factors that could affect their health. result? Of the women followed from 1997 to 2017, 95% reported using lye-based relaxers, and eventually 2,311 developed breast cancer.

This additional risk factor is only part of the large racial disparity in the incidence of breast cancer in American women.We are already know Black women have the highest incidence of breast cancer before they reach the age of 40, are more likely to develop much more aggressive breast cancer than white women, and are more likely to die of breast cancer at any age, to be precise. It can be 40% higher. ..

And when it comes to the role of hair care products in that imbalance, this is nothing new. 2019 survey Release The International Journal of Cancer found that permanent use of dyes increased the risk of breast cancer in black women by 45%, while the risk of white women using these products was about 7% higher.

In the first place, it is important to find out why black women are so overvalued in the market for these harmful products. For centuries, black women in the west have been described as poor in skin tone and hair texture, unprofessional and almost undesirable.

Also today, Anti-black hair discrimination Due to the rampant setting of many professionals, especially in the role of facing businesses and customers, black advocacy groups and US legislators have been working to pass new legislation, including: Make hair discrimination illegal.. But so far, only 13 states have passed the “crown law.”

Biased, white-centric cosmetology standards have led many black women to accept hair and skin treatments that pose a serious risk to their health, often without their knowledge.And despite the abundance of evidence pointing out these risks, corporate and government regulators not doing Almost enough to protect black women, the main consumers of these products.

For context, 1 in 12 Cosmetology and personal care products sold to black women in the United States have been found to contain highly dangerous ingredients such as lye, parabens and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives.Survey from non-profit organizations Environmental Working Group Also, less than 25% of products sold to black women scored lower on the assessment of potentially dangerous ingredients, compared to 40% of products sold to the general public that researchers classified as low risk. I also understood that.

This issue spans all aspects of the beauty industry. Whitening productsAnother legacy of the cultural idea that dark skin is less desirable is a thriving industry in the United States.Women of color reportedly Consumable Over $ 2 billion for such products in 2020. Users report chemical burns and lifelong scars.

Warnings about the dangers of these products are minimal, and many black women lack the information to decide which products to use.To counter this, the EWG Database Lists all known personal care products for blacks, along with information on their ingredients and potential problems. Unfortunately, this type of effort has not been done on a large scale and is not supported by the companies that actually manufacture and sell these products. There is no doubt that this gap will continue to put black women at risk.

In a society that imposes predominantly Eurocentric standards of beauty, desirability and respect on all women, black women in particular shape themselves to these standards in order to be accepted in a social and professional environment. I am under great pressure. It is important that personal care companies and governments play their respective roles in keeping black women consumers safe and healthy.