, 2022-10-20 15:45:00,
DETROIT (WXYZ) — A new study by the National Institutes of Health links chemical hair straighteners or relaxers to uterine cancer.
In the study released this week, researchers surveyed more than 33,000 women over the course of 11 years. They found that women who used the products more than four times a year were twice as likely to go on to develop uterine cancer. The study also previously linked hair dyes and chemical straighteners to breast and ovarian cancers.
The NIH says because Black women statistically use the products more often, they’re at higher risk for the cancers.
“My crown is very important to me. This is your first introduction to people. When people see you the first thing they look at is your hair,” said Donna Williams as she sat at her hair appointment.
Williams says she got her first relaxer many years ago and then went natural for a period of years. She says it was only recently, after getting a short haircut that she decided to chemically straighten her hair again.
“As time (passes), you get older you think okay I need a change. So, I thought let me get a big chop and normally with the short hair the go-to is to get a relaxer,” said Williams.
Williams is one of many women who use chemical straighteners to maintain a specific hairstyle like finger waves.
“My grandmother was a stylist and her sister, my great aunt. She had a salon in her home in her basement and I was just always around hair. So it’s like I’m continuing her legacy,” said hair stylist Kimberly August.
August has been in the hair business for nearly three decades and currently works at the Gift Box Hair Suite in Farmington Hills. She says a lot of her clients still request relaxer hair care services.
“It’s fairly popular for me because I do more short, relaxed hair,” said August. “It’s just no way around it. When it’s short, it has to be relaxed or it’s not going to work. Doesn’t necessarily have to be bone straight but it has to be straight in order to hold the style.”
August says after she applies and thoroughly rinses out the relaxer. She then molds her clients short style, puts them under the dryer and then prepares to style with a curling iron. She says maintaining healthy hair while having a relaxer is possible but it does require routine visits to the salon for trims and hydration…
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