Study Links Relaxers with Fibroids

Fibroids are more common with black women than any other races. A few years ago I was talking about it at a dinner and this guy said to me “it’s the chicken, sistas eat too much chicken that’s the problem” at the time I laughed and said “no I know a vegetarian that’s had them it’s the relaxer” It was half a joke and half serious as why on earth would so many be suffering.

Anyway when this email hit my inbox the other day my jaw dropped! I must have missed this during all my wedding planning but even Black Girl with Long hair talked about it in 

A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology has linked hair relaxers to fibroids, as well as early puberty in young girls. In case you dont know Fibroids are non-cancerous (benign) tumors that grow from the muscle layers of the uterus (womb)

Relaxer burns
Image from thankgodimnatural

There have been numerous blogs and news pieces talking about it According to the study, scientists followed more than 23,000 pre-menopausal African-American women from 1997 to 2009 and found that the two-to-three times higher rate of fibroids among black women may be linked to chemical exposure through scalp lesions and burns resulting from relaxers. Read more here: More info

Since our haircare industy isn’t regulated and Relaxer companies don’t ever publish a full list of ingredients in their products the study was unable to say if there is a definite link. This kind of thing needs more research and study.

Of course relaxer companies will quickly publish another study quashing whatever was found out but reading it does make me feel uneasy.  I have to say, is it really worth it? We can still have straight hair by blowdrying and pressing so why bother with the risk?

Take care of your body.  It’s the only place you have to live. – Jim Rohn


  1. Anonymous says:

    Relaxers should be taken off the market altogether as they seem to be unregulated and I suspect not properly tested either. I don’t think anyone should use relaxers as you can never be sure what chemicals are in them. ALL Salons should be able to do a wash and blow dry and pressing or use ghd etc straighteners if you want a straight look. I have this done occasionally on my natural hair and it looks lovely as my hair has body. Relaxing left my hair limp and lifeless. We should only use natural products on our hair. Your health is too important to risk.

  2. Anonymous says:

    That picture is horrible. I’m not surprised by this finding, relaxers are an unknown quantity, and companies are prone to selling black people rubbish as most of us do not question these things.

    What saddens me the most is that they are being used on children. It used to be that you first got it done at around 15, but for some time now parents have been using this stuff on children as young as five!

    If there was going to be legislation, I would say start with an age limit to at least protect the children, but that would be difficult to enforce. So I would be behind any move to have them taken off the market. There are safer alternatives if you want straight hair.

  3. To begin, that photo is horrifying. Secondly, if you’ve checked out the documentary from Chris Rock “Good Hair”, you’d see a chemist demonstrating the damage relaxers do. It completely disintegrated an aluminium soda can. But it’s difficult to re-program Black women to embrace their authentic Blackness. Natural is who we all are as Black women, however that ritual of slapping a chemical mixture on the scalp and new growth has become more natural than maintain what God bestowed Black people with. It’s a travesty! And makes me believe that this fibroid/hair relaxer issue is a little bit more than happenstance, it goes deeper than that particularly since it’s mostly Black people who engage in this process for the most part.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I know a lady who has fibroids and has had natural hair all her life.
    So relaxes can’t be blamed.
    She has become a vegetarian now and this has improved her condition.