You use & idolize American Black Hair products.
You believe in labels like i.e. "natural" or "eco".
You believe that all ingredients are on the label.
– it's time to wake up and smell the shampoo.
This might be the most important page on the whole site.
A few centuries ago we covered our faces with white lead powder makeup to become beautiful. Unfortunately, the lead slowly poisoned us and destroyed the skin, caused hair loss and teeth to blacken. Awful? Well, yes. But the question is – have we really become that much wiser?
Today we dye our hair with toxic, hazardous substances and wash our babies with cancerogenic and harsh allergenic ingredients. We buy products with "fragrance" that can affect the hormone system and styling products that can damage our DNA.
As if this wasn't bad enough – the most harmful and toxic substances are found in products aimed at women and children with dark skin and curly hair.
The far majority of these products come from the US. In the EU 1300 chemicals are banned from use in cosmetics. In the US. it's 11.
Here we will publish scientific research that aims to raise awareness about the dirty business of cleansing products, with a special focus on products aimed at people with dark skin and curly hair.
"The story of cosmetics" will give you a brief behind the scenes, all-you-need-to-know, to be able to understand what we all as consumers are up against and how important it is to start making the right healthy choices.
Produced by The Story of Stuff a non-profit organization transforming the way we make, use, and throw away stuff. The mission is to tell stories and inspire action to change the narrative of how our stuff is extracted, produced, distributed, consumed and disposed of.
NIEHS study links hair dyes and chemical straighteners to higher breast cancer risk, particularly among black women
The Sister Study is conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, one of the National Institutes of Health, of the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Download an article.
Download the study
Silent Spring Institute is the leading scientific research organization dedicated to uncovering the links between chemicals in our everyday environment and women’s health, with a focus on breast cancer prevention.
The UK Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association insists that there are rigorous laws in place to assess and confirm the safety of products for Afro hair. Chemicals found in some Afro hair products in many parts of the world are being linked to breast cancer and infertility 2018.
BBC Minute's Seren Jones has been finding out more about the impact of these chemicals.
BBC News comment on Silent Spring Institute study saying that hair products for Black women contain hazardous ingredients.
Download the 5-year study
Black Women for Wellness (BWW) is a CA, based non-profit organisation that informs, change and find solutions regarding health and wellness issues in the American Black community.
WMC News comment on Black Women for Wellness study saying that hair products for Black women contain hazardous ingredients.
What can I do?
The best advice we can give you is - educate yourself and choose wisely.
Knowledge is power.
To feel or look beautiful should not come at a potentially deadly price.
Choose products that heal instead of harm. For every clean product you buy, a bad one stays on the shelf. That is power. That is change.
Learn which ingredients to avoid and how to check a label.