Whether we’re natural, wear weaves, or relax/perm our hair, I think we can all agree that finding the right hair product is important. But what if those hair products are causing us more harm than good?
That’s exactly what happened to Christal Love, who like many Black women was pretty adventurous with her hair.
“Natural was a stigma back in the day,” Love says. “I used to perm my hair. I used to color my hair all of the typical things that women do.”
Her love for being adventurous with her hair continued until 2016 when she found a lump on her breast.
“She said no it’s stage three — maybe stage four,” Love recalls.
After undergoing chemotherapy, she was able to successfully beat breast cancer, but staring at her bald head forced her to take a hard look at the hair products she was using.
“We’ve heard about them being linked to issues and cancer being harmful to us,” she says. “But after cancer that’s when I’m like ‘Ok I got to pay attention to what I put into my body and put on my body.”
Parabens are one ingredient that can be found in many popular Black hair products. To get to the root of what effect parabens have on Black breast cancer patients, the Bench to Community Initiative conducted research.
What did they find?
“We saw increased cell growth in the Black breast cancer cell line with the paraben treatment but did not see the effects in the white breast cancer cell lines at the dose that was tested,” says Dr. Lindsey Treviño, the study’s lead researcher.
This proved to Love that her hunch was right so she decided to