Big beauty brands like L'Oréal must remove toxic ingredients from hair relaxers. The price of Black women's beauty should never be our health.
For years, Black women have used hair relaxers – a cream that straightens our curls and coils. This week, Oxford University published a shocking study that found that Black women who repeatedly use hair relaxers containing a chemical called lye are at a 30% increased risk of breast cancer.
Lye, also known as sodium hydroxide, is a heavy-duty chemical used to unblock drains.
Brands including L’Oreal, Revlon and Motions all sell products that include lye – and some of these products are targeted at young girls.
It’s time to demand that all beauty brands remove lye and other hydroxides from their hair products.
Why is this important?
Lye, also known as sodium hydroxide, is a heavy-duty chemical used to unblock drains. It's also a key ingredient, alongside other harmful hydroxides, in big brand hair relaxers used by Black women. A long-term scientific study has shown that its repeated use is connected to serious health effects, including breast cancer.
Even products that are marketed as "no lye"– but still contain harmful hydroxides including calcium hydroxide and lithium hydroxide – have been linked to hair loss and scalp burns. It's time to demand #NoMoreLyes in Black hair products
As long as these products are still being sold, Black women are at risk of serious health conditions. It’s time to demand that all beauty brands remove lye and other harmful hydroxides from their hair products.