By Jenna Brooks
Black hair care is a giant industry, with sales in the hundred millions each year. However, with so many different products and a massive audience, not all brands are trustworthy and not every product that states it’s marketed specifically for black women’s hair is natural and safe to use.
There’s actually a fatal flaw in the black hair care industry, and that is the exposure to toxicity many are facing with their hair care products. A recent study closely examined nearly 20 different hair care products many black women use frequently, from leave-in conditioners to hair relaxers to even anti-frizz polishes, and they found that they all contained notable amounts of hazardous chemicals. These chemicals included parabens, which can change hormone levels and even cause diseases.
This is something to especially take note of due to the fact that these levels of toxins not only cause irritation and sensitivity for your scalp but can also have much more serious effects like birth defects and cancer. Mixing different hair care products, as well, creates many different chemical reactions, further causing damage in the women’s body. These chemicals can explain early puberty rates and infertility in many young black women and are definitely something the industry needs to take note of as an important issue to fix. Choosing to look at the ingredients on the back of your products, and shopping with more natural, trustworthy brands, however this will largely take reform and regulation from the industry itself in hopes to see real change.