Correlation is not causation.
Now that that’s out of the way… There’s a recent study floating around about the correlation between hair relaxer use and developing fibroids. Fox News Houston reported Boston University’s research and let me just say, the reporting is laaaazy! They even went so far as to say that the majority of Black women are going natural because they were influenced by Chris Rock’s Good Hair… after asking one woman… >.< (That’s definitely not true for me. Is there someone out there who this applies to??)
There’s also no link to the actual study included with the initial report and the follow-up had to be some kind of joke. But that’s another topic all together. Funny enough, I was just watching the episode of Family Guy with Rush Limbaugh in it and they mentioned how everything that Fox News reports is a lie. I probably shouldn’t even waste my time writing this. lol
(Ignore the quality & start at 9 seconds!)
Luckily, Nikki Walton of curlynikki.com was able to meet up with the leading author of the study, Dr. Wise, and ask for a little clarification. She also went a step further and shed some light on the situation, including the strengths and weaknesses of the study. You can read Nikki’s post here.
Now, after reading through all of this information I’ve formed some kind of opinion that I’m of course going to rant about here :).
We’ve all heard the excuses for why Black women won’t wear their hair natural:
- I can’t get a job/move up the corporate ladder with my natural hair.
- I’m addicted to the creamy crack! *twitch twitch*
- Natural hair isn’t for me.
- I don’t have that “good hair”, girl!
Etc. Etc. Etc. But if there’s some possibility that we are making ourselves sick by putting relaxers in our hair, shouldn’t we want to find out more about it?! I ask this specifically because of the lady at the end of the Hair Today, Tumors Tomorrow article (she is seen getting her hair permed in the video included with the story). She says:And all of a sudden, oh, it’s supposed to be bad for you? Well by now, you know, if something was gonna happen, it would’ve happened.
And that’s the end of that. This saddens me. While I definitely agree with Curly Nikki when she says that we shouldn’t demonize women who decide to relax their hair, I also think that we should tell others who are getting perms about other alternatives. That’s not to say that you now have the right to just walk up and tell anybody how you feel about the way she wears her hair. *Insert Evelyn Lozada voice here* It doesn’t work that way boo boo!
But we should still educate the women that we love. Knowledge is power & there’s no better way for someone to live a marvelous life than to be informed! A lot of times when we’ve been doing something for so long and someone comes along and lets us know, “Hey, that’s actually not good for you”, we have that we’re-all-gonna-die-one-day-so-it-doesn’t-matter-anyway mentality. If we constantly have that attitude then what’s the point of going to work? Abiding by laws? Getting out of bed in the morning?
I just think that it’s worth finding out more about and not something that we should sweep under the rug and disregard. Why add one more thing to the long list of things that can potentially harm us?
I’m guessing the lady in the video might think: how much harm can one more thing do?