Why are Black women more affected by hair relaxers than white women?

Since Black women have naturally curly hair that is extremely difficult to straighten without using chemicals, they are more likely to use hair relaxers on a regular basis. Moreover, they are more likely to start using hair relaxers from adolescence, as there are products specifically marketed to teenagers and even children.

answered by Gary Anderson

Up to 96% of Black women used their first hair relaxer when they were younger than 19

A study from the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology assessed hair product usage, including the use of chemical hair relaxers, during various stages of life among Black women. The researchers, who used data from 1,555 women with a mean age of 33, found that 89% of women reported using hair relaxers and the use of these products:

  • began in childhood for 9% of the women
  • increased during adolescence for 73% of them
  • decreased in adulthood for 29% of the participants

Consequently, most Black women use chemical hair relaxers during adolescence and adulthood, as these products have been heavily promoted by celebrities such as actresses, models, and entertainers. In a way, straight hair is the norm in this day and age. While the first hair relaxer was invented in 1909, these products became truly popular in the 1990s and have recently made a comeback, but with a price. Because of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals they contain, hair relaxers can cause uterine cancer, endometriosis, and ovarian cancer, among many other serious health issues.

Another reason why Black women are more affected by hair relaxers is that they use these products significantly more frequently than white women with curly hair, as the latter have less dangerous options for straightening their hair, such as heat styling, which does not involve any chemicals. By using chemical hair relaxers frequently, exposure to the harmful chemicals in these products occurs more often, increasing cancer risk substantially. Some of the substances in hair relaxers cause scalp irritation, lesions, and burns, which facilitates the infiltration of toxic chemicals into the bloodstream by skin absorption.

If you are a Black woman who has just found out about the dangers of chemical hair relaxers and wants to switch to safer alternatives, we invite you to check out our Toxic Hair Relaxer Replacement Initiative, by virtue of which you can request a free product to straighten your hair. The ethical companies we collaborate with offer non-toxic hair relaxers and to receive one, all you have to do is fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

We can efficiently help you file your toxic hair relaxer claim

If you have been regularly using hair relaxers and developed uterine cancer, endometriosis, or ovarian cancer, you might be entitled to financial compensation from the liable manufacturers. Our skilled attorneys, who have over 30 years of professional experience, will carefully assess your care to determine your eligibility. The only documents we will need from you are your medical records stating your diagnosis and proof of having used hair relaxers, such as receipts or hair salon bills. Since we understand how difficult struggling with cancer can be, our compassionate legal team will do their best to accommodate you and take care of the most complex aspects of the process for you.

Once we deem you eligible, our diligent attorneys will begin preparing your toxic hair relaxer claim for submission, and it will be filed with all the responsible manufacturers so that you can obtain the largest sum of money you deserve for your unjust suffering. If you are too ill to participate in the legal process, you can ask a family member to help you, and we will also do our best so that your involvement in the process will be minimal. This way, you can continue focusing on your health and treatment. We are committed to going to great lengths to obtain the most favorable results for your case. It is also important to know that we work on a contingency fee basis.

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