In May 2022, Level Up released research which revealed that 95.5% of Black British women do not trust big beauty brands to sell them safe products.
A study of 1,024 Black British women aged 25-44, conducted by Level Up and Treasure Tress, sought to understand Black British women’s experiences of hair relaxers. The survey was the first of its kind in the UK, and revealed that:
Almost 2 in 3 (63%) Black British women had experienced negative side effects from using hair relaxers The most common negative experience from hair relaxers was scalp burns (44%) followed by hair loss (38%) 98.7% of Black British women think beauty brands need to do more to keep black hair products safe 97% believe that hair products containing lye should be banned
Some women who took part in the survey had experienced permanent hair loss as a result of using hair relaxers at a young age.
Under UK cosmetic regulations, consumers have a right to request the product safety sheets for products (detailing ingredients, hazardous ingredients, and data on side effects) – and companies must respond within 30 days. On 14th March 2022, Level Up submitted a product safety request to L’Oreal for two hair relaxers (Dark and Lovely Superior Moisture Plus relaxer kit and Dark and Lovely Beautiful Beginnings Scalp Care Relaxer).
We’re still waiting for a response.