Is There a Link Between Hair Relaxers and Fibroid Tumors?

Or is this a tactic to scare people into buying new products?

Recently, there has been a surge of information about hair relaxers and how they are linked to uterine fibroids in African American women. I do not believe everything I read, especially if it is posted on a social network. So I had to do my own research and what I found was pretty interesting.

Uterine fibroids are a buildup of non-cancerous muscle tissue found in the uterus. They can grow as large as an orange and are extremely uncomfortable. For some reason, they are found mostly in African-American women.

In my opinion, the correlation between fibroids and hair relaxers seem pretty sketchy. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, women who relaxed their hair have a greater chance of getting fibroid tumors and young girls are more susceptible of starting their cycle at an early age.

Other researchers suggest that this is possible by the chemicals entering the body through the burns on the scalp. This issue I have with this information is this is all speculation—there was no hard evidence to be found. 

It is no secret that African American women relax their hair more than any other ethnic group.

Based on the few blogs I’ve read and my conversations with other African American women, it’s just a coincidence that the women used in these studies just so happened to be Black women with chemically straightened hair. And because they are more likely to have fibroids, those in charge of these studies created this assumption.

Often times, I feel the information that is put out there is nothing but a tactic to scare people into jumping on the bandwagon and buying new products. And recently, this new wave of “all naturale” hair trends leads me to believe this is the same scenario.

I am certain that hair relaxers can do some damage to the hair and scalp if not used properly. The chemicals are pretty strong and will burn if left on the hair for an extended period of time.

However, to put out information that clearly requires more research is very misleading. There needs to be more concrete facts to support the link between hair relaxers and uterine fibroids.

For more information surrounding this topic, check out the links below and please leave your comments. I am very interested in hearing everyone’s opinion.



SuF May 14, 2012 at 01:50 PM
This also is just opinion, I'm no scientist, but if you think of hair as connected to the rest of the body, then it sort of follows that if you put evil chemicals onto it, and onto the scalp, and they burn (i.e. through tissue on the scalp), then those chemicals are leaching into one's system--and that can't be a good thing. It may seem like hair is apart from the body but if one imagines putting something as noxious directly onto one's skin (into the eyes, any other sensitive part of the body that isn't "protected" by hair), it's a pretty awful thought and might lead one to think that it would cause internal damage. I agree that studies can be misleading, there are loads of examples, and also that believing what one reads on a social (non-scientific) site is a bad idea, and it's also true that reports are issued that are meant to encourage or force people to buy new things, whether a hair product or a car or everything else....But regularly putting those chemicals onto one's body can't be good. Think about the 18th century, when white women used powder that had arsenic (or was it lead? I can't recall, but it was some bad shit) in it to make themselves even whiter. Not a good idea either.
Nicole May 14, 2012 at 02:51 PM
I think you are wise to be skeptical of new scientific findings and to not believe everything you read. However, dismissing an epidemiological study published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal "Based on the few blogs I’ve read and my conversations with other African American women" is pretty dismissive of what could turn out to be a valid and important finding. The study in question looked only at African-American women - in other words, it compared black women who relax their hair with black women who do not, rather than comparing black women and white women. Certainly the findings warrant further research before we can claim conclusive evidence, but it seems premature to dismiss the study entirely. Also, do you know of any connection between the researchers and the cosmetic industry? I'm also skeptical of companies pushing new products on consumers, but unless you know that the researchers actually have some ties to the industry, I think it's inappropriate to make such accusations.
James Sanford May 17, 2012 at 03:47 PM
For a lack of technical terms lye base product enter the pores and reduce the body ability to fight off bacteria thus making you more acceptable to infection.


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