Hair care products mainly used by black women and girls have been linked to hormone and asthma-related illnesses and even cancer, according to a recent study. If this doesn’t sound bad enough, the study also found that majority of the harmful chemicals were not mentioned on the products’ ingredient labels.
Researchers conducting the study tested 18 different hair products—including hot-oil treatments, relaxers, and conditioners—and found potentially harmful chemicals called endocrine disrupters in every product examined. These chemicals can interfere with the body’s hormone balance, leading to possible reproductive disorders, asthma or even cancer in those exposed.
Sources say these chemicals can also be absorbed by our bodies via skin or inhalation, and women are more susceptible during puberty and pregnancy.
According to Scientific American, “Black women are more likely than white or Hispanic women to suffer from hormonal diseases that are exacerbated by substances that disrupt hormonal balance. A 2016 study showed black women in the U.S. have higher concentrations of such chemicals in their bodies than do women from other ethnicities.”
In response to the study, researchers are now calling for more regulations within the beauty industry.