Women and girls of African decent are engaged in a discussion over Natural Vs. Relaxed hair. Of course the battle goes deeper than hair, it’s about identity, history and everything that surrounds that. It also includes men and boys, though that’s rarely discussed. It’s far more than just aesthetics and as mentioned in this video it’s also about health. Continue reading
As a Black woman with “natural” unchemically relaxed hair I don’t say most of this stuff but this was a funny video.
Last year I heard famed nutritionist, comedian and activist Dick Gregory claim the number 1 cause of death in Jamaica was skin bleaching. I have no confirmation on that though I have asked around and I think it’s an exaggeration but maybe the question is how much of an exaggeration is it? I do know skin bleaching is a serious issue in the African diaspora.
Skin bleaching products are widely available in every beauty supply store in any Black community I’ve ever been too. I consider this a public health issue because, much like the powerful chemicals in hair relaxers as Chris Rock pointed out in his documentary Good Hair, there are surely long term health effects of skin bleaching. Some of those effects are more immediate as one woman commented in the documentary there are persons who bleach their skin and are now unable to go out into the sun without being fully covered because their skin would burn.
This documentary via wickedhype.com is sure to include that this phenomenon also affects men and boys, not just girls and women. Do you think this is a serious health issue that needs to be addressed? Do you agree with skin bleaching? Do you think it shouldn’t be considered an epidemic in Jamaica? Do you think it has any relationship to self-hatred or is merely a cosmetic choice? Do you think skin bleach and hair relaxers are completely separate issues?
Photo Credit: “a p p l i e d” by Jesse Wright
What are carcinogens?
Carcinogens are substances or exposures that cause or aggravate cancer.
Where can I find them?
Carcinogens can be found in foods, beauty products, or even cell phones. It was also recently reported that carcinogens were being found in Brazilian blowouts, a popular salon hair straightening process.
Do carcinogens cause cancer immediately?
Generally, no. But different carcinogens have different cancer-causing potential. Some may cause cancer quickly while others require more prolonged exposure.
What are some known carcinogens?
- Naphthalene, found in tanning beds, mothballs, and coal tars.
- Formaldehyde, found in many beauty products.
- Aspartame, found in soft drinks as an artificial sweetener.
- o-Nitrotoluene, found in dyes.
- Aluminum, found in antiperspirants.
For a full list, check out Cancer.org.
What can I do to limit my exposure?
Eat organic foods and choose organic or natural hair products. Read ingredient labels and become educated about what you’re putting on and into your body.
“I was [driving and] trying to put my foot on the brake, but my leg was jumping. I couldn’t keep the brake down and almost crashed. “I couldn’t write because my nervous system was so bad — I couldn’t even use a pen.” -Missy Elliott as told to People Magazine
Missy Elliott has Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that has no cure. Continue reading