It’s no lie that most black women suffer from Uterine fibroids, also known as uterine leiomyomata. It is a benign tumour that grows on the walls of the uterus of an affected woman.
Uterine fibroids are common amongst most women with African decent, who are between the ages of 30-45 years old.
A study conducted by Dr Lauren Wise of Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center tracked the lives of more than 23,000 pre-menopausal Black American women from 1997 to 2009.
It pointed out that a significant majority of African-American women who were diagnosed with uterine fibroids also admitted to using chemical relaxer treatments on their hair at some point.
Laboratory analysis of the ingredients of chemical hair relaxers showed that the active ingredient in “lye” relaxers is sodium hydroxide. This ingredient is potentially harmful to body tissues and can cause dermatitis, lesions, hair loss, chemical burns, and skin irritation. In addition, hair relaxers are known to contain hormonally active compounds, such as parabens and phthalates.
Researchers also added that hormonally active chemicals like phthalates and parabens which are found in hair relaxers have been known to cause a harmful estrogenic effect on the cells of animals.
This study published so many years back impacted many black women giving how much a health hazard uterine fibroids are. It’s not the driving force of the natural hair movement, but it’s also no doubt one of the reasons why some women chose to stop relaxing their hair while embracing their kink and curls.
The natural hair movement has led to a boom in this sector of the industry, with many more black beauty brands gaining grounds in the area. However, this has led to a drop in the sale of relaxers by 36.6% between 2012 to 2017 according to market intelligence agency, Intel