This week a new report* showed that everyday hair products targeting Black women may be causing serious health problems. The report, based on years of research, highlights several areas of concern including: skin and eye irritations, respiratory disorders, cancer and reproductive Issues.
The report calls for more research into the health consequences of Black hair care products and points to the huge risks being taken with Black women's health in an industry worth over £300 billion a year. I (Rachael here) am not really surprised by this report. Sadly, those who gain financially from filling shelves with cheap chemicals promising beautiful, shiny hair are unconcerned with the health risks: they are not made by the Black women who use such products themselves.
We should be safe to assume that if something was really that dangerous we wouldn't be able to buy it. Unfortunately this is not the case. The report documents recent research linking popular black hair care products to breathing problems, allergies, early puberty and fibroids.
We started Afrocenchix in part because of my allergic reactions to Black hair "care" products. I'm now very glad that I suffered from burns, rashes and other problems as the need to change to natural and organic products created in collaboration with scientists, has likely helped me to avoid a whole host of other skin problems! We hope it has helped many other women too.
What are your thoughts on the report? Do you think there should be more regulation around black hair care and why do you think it is lacking?