While hair relaxers can work wonders for achieving straight hair, using these products might come with a major health risk. Because most hair relaxers contain toxic chemicals, including formaldehyde and phthalates, which are endocrine disruptors, they can eventually lead to uterine cancer. A recent study in which over 33,000 women participated found that using hair relaxers more than four times a year doubles the risk of developing uterine cancer. 

Roughly 60% of the women who reported using hair relaxers were Black. Since most women who use these products are Black, they are more likely to experience uterine cancer. Alarmingly, uterine cancer deaths are on the rise nationwide, and they are the most prevalent in Black women. Black women lose their lives to uterine cancer at twice the rate of white women. One of the contributing factors to these grim statistics might be using hair relaxers.

The highly toxic chemicals lurking in hair relaxers can easily enter the bloodstream through the lesions caused by applying these products to the scalp. Once inside the body, they can gradually cause irreversible changes to the hormonal system, as they are endocrine disruptors. Uterine cancer is a hormone-sensitive disease, which means its growth and survival depend on a hormone – in this case, estrogen. Most uterine tumors are considered to be hormonally driven.

Unfortunately, the bad news does not end here, as using chemical hair relaxers can also be responsible for ovarian cancer, another hormone-sensitive disease. According to a study, frequently straightening your hair with these products increases the risk of developing ovarian cancer by a whopping 50%. Considering these dire findings, Black women should cease using chemical hair relaxers and find safer alternatives to straighten their hair.

In the photo, the terrible consequences of using relaxers


Four Safe and Effective Alternatives to Straighten Your Hair

  1. Keratin Treatment

This chemical process entails introducing keratin protein to your natural hair. The keratin enters the porous areas of your hair to give it that healthy look. Keratin is one of the most important proteins for smooth hair. Perhaps the greatest benefit of a keratin treatment is that the results last up to six months.

However, you should pay close attention to the product that is going to be applied to your hair, as some keratin treatments contain formaldehyde. If you are looking for a safe keratin treatment, we recommend our Hair Straightening Treatment Amazonliss Tanino, which is formaldehyde-free.

  1. Silicone Cream

As another viable alternative to chemical hair relaxers, silicone cream is a great way to achieve straight hair without using any heat tools. These creams are heavy and have a thick consistency, making them perfect for those with thick hair. You should use silicone cream when your hair is partially dry, and you should first apply it to your roots. The downsides of this method are that silicone cream is a temporary solution and that it is usually quite difficult to wash out.

  1. Heat Styling

You can use this easy method in the comfort of your home, and you will only need a flat iron to straighten your hair. For the best results, you should divide your hair into small sections and then straighten them. To protect your hair from damage, you should use a special hair spray while using a flat iron. While heat styling might damage your hair in the long run if you use it frequently, it is a cheap and effective way to have straight hair.

  1. Vegetable Oils

Vegetable oils can also be a good alternative to chemical hair relaxers, and you can also use this method in the comfort of your home. They have been used since ancient times to soften hair. You should make sure you only use cold-pressed, virgin oils, as they are the most beneficial to your hair. Some of the most popular oils for hair straightening are coconut, argan, olive, and jojoba oil. The disadvantage of this method is that vegetable oils might weigh down your hair.

Are you still unsure about what hair straightening method to use? If so, check out the Toxic Hair Relaxer Awareness Campaign, by virtue of which you can request a free product made by ethical companies that do not include harmful chemicals in their hair relaxers. Nutree Cosmetics has also joined the campaign, so you can now receive one of our hair relaxers. All you have to do to request a product is to fill out the form on the page, and someone will contact you for more details.

 About the Author

Miguel Leyva is a case manager at Atraxia Law. He offers assistance to women injured by toxic hair relaxers. Miguel Leyva helps women with uterine or ovarian cancer gather and organize relevant information about their injuries so they can file a claim.

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