There is a correlation between chemical relaxers and serious health ailments however this does not mean causation. While I have no doubt that chemicals in salons or anywhere else for that matter can and do cause disease, rampant speculation is no more scientific than lack of evidence.
Black women are more prone to fibroids so their appearance along with the use of relaxers means little. I do agree that there needs to be more thorough research into chemical laden cosmetics that we use and more education on just what we are working with in the salon. The article makes the point that the salon owners who were a part of the study also agree and are eager to gain the knowledge they will need to stay safe and green.
Adewumi is currently working with the city of Inglewood to create a pilot healthy hair salon recognition program. And she’s still in salons, talking to workers about their health.
On the whole, she says, stylists have been receptive and eager to learn more about greener products and practices. “We’re definitely very aware about economics,” she says. “This is what they do for a living, they are pillars in the black community, they are really strong women in terms of starting their own businesses. We come in with this open approach.
We just want to talk to them, to know how they’re doing … addressing [health] issues in a holistic sense, and then bringing up the conversation around product use.”
The bigger picture more so than making this just about relaxers is the lack of education for the regular black salon that works with all sorts of chemicals including relaxers and might not have access to the tools they need to make their work safe.
For the larger more commercial salons it is easier for them to create safer environments for their workers and customers which needs to be also duplicated in smaller salons specifically black ones. Additionally this is not just limited to hair, nail salons are also subject to the same kind of chemical exposure!
I agree with the article when the writer made the point that to help with safety across the board legislation also needs to change. However we all know how long it takes for laws to pass even when it is for the general benefit of State’s citizens.
To protect salon workers across the board, federal cosmetic regulations will need to change. Scranton and Adewumi want to see legislation that requires manufacturers to list ingredients on all beauty product labels; bans ingredients linked to cancer, birth defects, and developmental harm; empowers the FDA to recall unsafe products; and enforces stricter salon safety standards. With the powerful chemical lobby standing in the way, advocates have their work cut out for them.
We think at the very least if you go to the salon or you work at one you owe it to yourself to get educated about the chemicals you are using.
If you think that consistent exposure to chemicals in salon has caused you health problems then it is worth it to avoid using chemicals all together or get safe about it. We encourage you to read the article for yourself and share your opinion below!