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STUDY: Hair Relaxers Linked to Fibroids in African American Women

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I got wind of the following information last week listening to the Tom Joyner Morning Show. And I’m not gonna lie; this info totally blew my mind. Now I must admit, I’ve been watching this natural hair revolution of sorts  by my beautiful Black sisters; and, as far as trends go, I figured it would eventually disappear like my Malcolm X baseball cap and beads from ’89.

Yes, I’ve seen this sort of thing happen before; yes I have, and it was after Spike Lee released Skool Daze. It really didn’t take off; but, for a minute their was a Nappy vs. Perm war in the late 80s. I must say that it’s been cool seeing sisters having the courage to go against the grain and rock it natural in recent years. That’s right, score one for that one brother listening to Brand Nubian’s One For All and still selling incense on Fulton Mall out in Brooklyn; you sisters make him proud.

Now ladies, I’m not advocating that you all go natural, or for women who do. However, I’m sharing what I think to be some very good information in the interest of your health and well being. Do with the following information whatsoever you wish; frankly, I’m more concerned about the kinks in your mind, rather than what’s on your head. That said, check out the following from blackdoctor.org:

A new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology has linked hair relaxers to uterine fibroids, as well as early puberty in young girls.

Scientists followed more than 23,000 pre-menopausal Black American women from 1997 to 2009 and found that the two- to three-times higher rate of fibroids among black women may be linked to chemical exposure through scalp lesions and burns resulting from relaxers.

Women who got their first menstrual period before the age of 10 were also more likely to have uterine fibroids, and early menstruation may result from hair products black girls are using, according to a separate study published in the Annals of Epidemiology last summer.

Three hundred African American, African Caribbean, Hispanic, and White women in New York City were studied. The women’s first menstrual period varied anywhere from age 8 to age 19, but African Americans, who were more likely to use straightening and relaxers hair oils, also reached menarche earlier than other racial/ethnic groups.

While so far, there is only an association rather than a cause and effect relationship between relaxers, fibroid tumors, and puberty, many experts have been quick to point out that the hair care industry isn’t regulated by the FDA, meaning that there’s no definite way to fully know just how harmful standard Black hair care products really are.

Now see, I thought it was just me that noticed how young girls nowadays were becoming physically developed much earlier than they were when I was in junior high. All this time I thought it was something the white man had put in the fried chicken. I figured since he wasn’t able to make money off our sisters through slavery anymore, his plan was to get them all thick and curvy and put them in rap videos. But a sneak attack by using hair relaxers as his tool? Um, yeah; I didn’t see that one coming at all. First they tried to kill us by introducing crack cocaine; yep, and now this?

(PHOTO BY NIKKI BOERTMAN)

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Written by:

Published on: February 22, 2012

Filled Under: Culture, Gender, Race

Views: 3108

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  • http://twitter.com/KweenOfLove ♡Keys♡

    I’m not surprised. I mean, a lot of my friends who have been pregnant always tell me that they’ve been advised during pregnancy to not relax their hair. So, if it’s something doctors feared would interfere with the proper development of a baby…it stands to reason that it could cause adverse effects in the uterus. Great food for thought. 

    btw…loving the “I’m more concerned about the kinks in your mind, rather the ones on your head ” comment. lol

  • http://mybrowneyedview.com msladydeborah

    I posted that link when it first came out and it was totally ignored.  But I have believed for years that we have to be very careful about the types of products we use on our scalp, especially when you consider that our pores are wide open during the time that our hair is being treated.

    I have seen my friends go nuts due to hair damage and loss because of chemical treatments. The information that is contained in this article should be of concern to the sistas who are good to go with relaxers. 

  • Msmungin51

    Thanks for this article info

  • Sndolunkulu

    I always suspected that there was a chemical war going on against black folks!!!

    Now i know it exists!!!!

  • http://www.besthairrelaxer.net/ Relaxers for Black hair

    This study is going rounds for few months now and I personally think this is a flawed one. There might be truth to what they are saying but how they arrived at the conclusion doesn’t get any score here. Just because more black women are reaching puberty before 10 can’t mean hair products are responsible. I too prefer it better for women to stay natural but they should also have the option to choose what they want.

  • sarai

    So, what’s the reason for our black boys looking 16 when they’re 12?

  • Pingback: Black Women, Relaxers, The Uterine Fibroids Study, Early Puberty & Journalistic Credibility | Girl friend,Find your girl friend on here()

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