Survey: Do black women love their hair more than their health?

Exercise black women

On the 19th December the Huffington Post reported on a study which said that 40% of black women (in the US) avoided exercise to maintain their hairstyles. The study was led by senior researcher Dr Amy McMichael, a dermatologist at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

To get the results they interviewed 103 African-American women ranging in age from 21 to 60 and asked specific questions which included how much and what types of exercise they do.  All of the respondents believed it was important for them to exercise but 40 percent reported avoiding exercise at times due to hair-related issues.

To me this is nothing new.  In the past I have read lots of articles like this where it says that black women don’t like to exercise because of our hair. As I read the article (which you can find here) I wondered is this really the case? Or are there other reasons?

Certainly in the UK we have had some changes over the past five years. Society is becoming more aware of healthy eating and exercise and we also have a large rise in black women ditching their relaxer and having natural hair. Does this new knowledge in natural hair care change our attitudes towards our lifestyle or does it make no difference?

I know that without a healthy body I wouldn’t have time to enjoy my hair and still went to the gym with relaxer but how do others feel?

I think it’s really important to get a wider sample of people. Whilst I read about the study online in several places they only asked 103 women and they were all based in the US. Without more data there is no way we can find how to help and encourage more of our sisters to take our health seriously. I would also be interesting to see if black women in the UK have the same attitude.

So with all that said I have decided to conduct my own study and I really need your help. I have created a survey which you can fill out anonymously. I want a minimum of 500 people responding so I will need you to fill it out and ask every sister you know to also fill it out no matter how they wear their hair or where they live.

With your help we can get some real data and I will publish the findings. I am hoping that we might just be able find out if black women really do avoid exercise and if we do is it because of their hair or another reason.

Survey Link

Thank you so much for your time.