Black women frequently use chemicals to relax and straighten hair. The reasons to use these hair straightening chemicals are many which include societal expectations and of course ease of having straightened hair. But, the cost of such societal expectation is proving to be quite costly for women. Most of these products are loaded with chemicals which are linked to cancer risk, asthma, obesity and early puberty.
It’s a fact that most products for body, hair and makeup have multiple toxic compounds. Researchers mention that health disparities which exist between the white and black women might be due to the presence of excessive toxic hair chemicals in African American women.
This was proved in a study in 2016, which revealed that black women’s bodies had more toxic chemicals. This was much more in women of other ethnicities.
Anti-frizz products, root stimulators and relaxers contain as much as 70 chemicals which are certainly more than the toxins known to human body.
Parabens and Phthalates are known to cause disruption in the hormone function. It is also closely linked to premature puberty in girls and is also a cause of pre-term births.
Nonylphenol is linked with overweight and increasing cancer risk. Formaldehyde leads to respiratory issues and increases the chance of miscarriage as well.
Several of these products are linked to skin and eye irritation, they can cause blistering and burning of scalp, they can damage the hair follicles and lead to hair loss also. These products can also cause respiratory problems.
A certain product might have more than 30 different toxic chemicals. The user might not even be aware that these chemicals are present, and they react when combined with one another.
It’s no surprise that black women have several more health disorders and these are related to these chemicals when compared to other ethnicities.
Black women suffer more than the Hispanic or white women from different disorders associated with the hormonal or the endocrine system.
Hair relaxers are often linked to problems of uterine fibroids in case of black women and girls. The rate is at least twice or thrice higher than in case of other women. According to estimates, uterine fibroids can affect as many as 80% black women in their life.
According to another study, it is revealed that cosmetologists who are exposed to such products during pregnancy are at a higher risk for miscarriage.
Among black women, breast cancer is one predominant cause of death. Black women are known to suffer from a more aggressive form of cancer when compared with other women.
Also, studies have revealed a link between using these hair products and early puberty in girls.
The black hair care market is known to account for more than $500 billion sales every year. The sad part is that very few of these products are tested for toxicity or their effects on human health. In a few instances when they are tested, they are usually found to be more toxic than other different products available.
The Black Women for Wellness Report refer to the complexities around the toxic and harmful nature of hair products, expectations from the society and the immense role of the many hair salons in black communities.
Scientists have mentioned a link which lies between the synthetic toxic compounds and the hormonal imbalances.
Factors Which Cause Early Puberty and Imbalances in Hormones
A common condition is high blood sugar level from a diet which is rich in processed carbohydrates. Processed carbohydrates include pastries, bread, pasta and sugar. These types of food can lead to obesity, resistance to insulin and diabetes which increases the risk of puberty and can also lead to other types of hormonal disorders.
High insulin and excessive body fat can increase the production of estrogen. Obesity and diabetes are quite common amongst the African Americans. Yes, genetics have a role to play. Black people in the US do not have proper access to healthy food, safe and secure outdoor space for exercising and nutritional education.
There are a few compounds found in common foods which are estrogenic. A study reveals that when infants were fed soy formula, their estrogen levels increased 13,000 to 22,000 times higher than the normal soy. The antibiotics which are given to animals and the sex hormones given to beef and the dairy cattle are a reason.
It is known that puberty starts earlier in those who stay far from the equator. Such people also suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Research reveals that black people or those who have dark skin in the USA suffer from vitamin D deficiency. This deficiency is due to increasing exposure to the sun. If an individual takes 10,000 IU in a day of vitamin D, it can be quite helpful.
A diet which is rich in whole foods, helps in restricting sugar intake and also limits the exposure to different chemicals. It helps in preventing hormonal disorders.
Contact my office to know how to reduce the toxic burden on the body. Know how you can support the organs and help in removing toxins. It helps in reducing the risk of serious and chronic health disorders.