Relaxers Linked to Uterine Fibroid Tumors?

A new study is making waves in the hair community for linking relaxers to uterine fibroid tumors. Check out the video and let us know your thoughts!

Hair Today, Tumors Tomorrow?:



Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...


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78 thoughts on “Relaxers Linked to Uterine Fibroid Tumors?

  1. I need more research. I’m not saying that relaxers aren’t linked to fibroids but one study does not a definite conclusion make. Either way, I am glad for many reasons that I no longer relax.

    I will say this though, because I live with fibroids I’ve done a lot of reading and I remember coming across articles that attempted to link the placenta that is used in a lot of AA hair products with fibroids. The theory was that the excess hormones in the placenta (animal or plant) affected the growth of the fibroids. So I asked my naturopath, someone whose already of a more holistic, natural mindset, and she said, “no. The minimal amount of placenta in the hair products would have a hard time entering the blood stream.”

    Of course, she is one doctor but that is also the point. More study and research into hair products (ALL types. Brazilian Blowout products were not initially intended for women with afro-textured hair.) is needed.

    Hopefully this study will be the first of many.

    And while I do believe my naturopath, I’ve started bypassing the placenta products, just in case.

  2. @ Katrina-I agree with the person who said seek out a repo endicrinologist-they have more training than just a regular gyno.

    I am African American and I have been natural most of my life. I had extremely large fibroids that had to be removed via a myomectomy. The first doctor I sought out told me nothing was wrong and that it was in my head. I could barely even stand up because of the pain and never ending bleeding. Two weeks later I sought out a different dr who diagnosed me with fibroids and immediately removed them. Spare urself any more pain and seek out a new doctor.

  3. Actually there are studies that proves this. When I posted this same topic on my Youtube account, the information came from the January 2012 – Journal of Epidimiology. The study ranged from 1997-2007.

    The frequent use of relaxers, which causes scalp burns and sensitivities, makes it easier for hormone disrupting products (shampoos, conditioners, etc) to enter your system and results in fibroids and all kinds of health issues.

    • I believe the news report is talking about the same paper. I linked it above.

      The scientists do not say that there is ‘proof’. Proof is a very strong word in science. I will quote their conclusion

      These findings raise the hypothesis that hair relaxer use increases uterine leiomyomata risk

      They are saying that their findings could be used to test the theory that hair relaxer use increases fibroid risk. They are not saying that hair relaxer use increases or causes fibroids.

  4. Notwithstanding all the debate about the “validity” of the study, I am happy that people are at least looking into it. It was recognised as early as 1999 that scientific research into this issue was sorely lacking. I appreciate the right to choose but exposing what is known to be a risky and at times painful process does not undermine that right, what it will do is encourage the producers of traditional chemical relaxers to develop safer methods which are affordable. If we do not require change and expose the possible dangers of the chemical relaxer (and burning and scalp damage are recognised risks), manufacturers will never have the incentive to create a safer product because frankly it is not in their interest to do so, although I have little doubt that it is within their capabilities. The Black Hair Care Industry is worth billions of dollars but if producers are able to create a product for .50cents and sell this to the consumer for US$10 then why would inject any of that cash into research and development if consumers are not calling for a safer product? Many times when these sorts of articles do the rounds online many are quick to dismiss them as hogwash but that reaction does not serve the interests of those who are either relaxed or natural. I do not believe that this is some natural hair conspiracy. The choice to go natural is intensely personal and the fact that more people are choosing to do so is a relatively new phenomena. However, should you choose to go the relaxed route I think you owe it to yourselves to encourage research and require from manufactures a better product.

  5. Personally, although this is negative health news for us black women, at the same time, this is a great opportunity for us to do some analysis of the beauty rituals we have adopted in our lives thru our parents who didn’t know any better. We are saying to the world that we hate the way God has made us and we want to look like another race (no wonder the world disrespects Blks and downgrades blk women like it does) – we give them reason to. Then, to throw pie in God’s face, we blk (christian) women proclaim that we ‘love the Lord.’ But our persistent hate for our hair shows that we don’t love the unique crowning beauty that God Almighty as graced us with. “We suffer cause of lack of interest in knowledge.”

    • To AlkebulanQueen: Just because some Black women choose to relax their hair does not meane want to look like another race. Also, we are not “throwing pie in God’s face”. God made you naked, but do you walk around naked now? If not, are you saying you are ashamed of the body God graced you with? Stop speaking negatively about the choices others make, just because you don’t agree with it. We are all accountable for our own choices!

  6. Speaking as a professional stylist … I have worked with several of my clients in getting them off of relaxers for reasons other than showing them how to work with their natural hair was best for other reason. As far as using “chemicals”on our hair and the whole slavery thing .. Well one doesn’t neccessarily have anything to do with the other. The clients I spoke with are not happy with the at home maintenance it takes to do their hair and in being active in sports and the gym they do not have the time to press out natural hair. No different than the majority of us deciding to drive and risk air pollution over horse and buggy.
    I worrying about the risks of using relaxers, have any of you ever considered the odd products you use? The shampoos? The perfumes? Or for that matter cell phones and microwaves? Processed foods? Smoking? Drinking? Freezing water in plastic bottle and the BPA. There are many things we will become ill from …. Relaxers are probably one of the few things we need to worry about.

    • i guess that’s what you tell your clients huh?

      don’t worry about the relaxer. worry about the bpa in the bottle and the processed food.

      black women have some of the worst overall health. they should consider all potential sources of toxins and rid their lives of them as much as possible.

  7. I’m so glad that I decided to go natural! Not only did I let go of perms but my mother, sister, and niece did as well. I’m super happy you guys post this because I missed it when it came on and now I can try a new place here in Houston to get my hair done.

  8. Wow,

    This is very telling. I used to relax and came down with fibroids. Still dealing with them but I have gone natural and won’t turn back. My hair looks and feels very healthy and has a natural radiance. I think black women should go back to just blowdrying and flat ironing their natural hair. Leave chemicals alone. I don’t like bushy afro or kinky looking styles but that’s a personal opinion. What works for me for everyday is letting my hair airdry in a loose bun. I put serum on it while it’s wet and pomade to smooth it down in the bun. But it dries smoother while tied back and I’ll style my bangs in front, which gives a “done” look. Many will learn the tricks to working with their natural hair. It requires trial and error and little patience and research on what curly girls all over the world do to manage their hair. This way you can experiment with more info and find out what works on your individual hair. Let’s get back to the basics but with style and elegance only.

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  13. Thank you all for this article. I relax yearly, and have started going longer and longer in between relaxing. I believe I’ve made up my mind to stop. I think that we should focus on the African American womans overall health. NOT just relaxers. We need to focus on working out, eating properly, getting our checkups and taking care of ourselves. I have three beautiful daughters, and they always say “mommy, I like your hair, because it’s long.” So, when I take their hair down, I always stretch it out and tell them that their hair is just as long, but healthier! I wish more women that were natural did not ATTACK relaxed women. If a friend of mine would’ve shared this information, as opposed to telling me that I have a slave mentality, I probably would’ve stopped years ago. I only started because I had swim class every day and burned my hair/face trying to press in a hurry. Sometimes, we are our own enemy. I can’t tell you how I’ve been attacked on natural sites. I’ll ask questions about products and processes, for myself -making the change- as well as managing my daughters hair. Thank you to everyone that posted on this site! This has to be the first site that was a positive experience.

  14. Why is it whenever the topic of hair relaxers come up, it’s always linked to having “low self-esteem”? Why not, because it’s just the way we want to present ourselves. We should have beauty options, like any other race does, without also looking down on our “natural” assets. I relax my hair, but I also don’t think there’s anything “wrong” with my hair, i just choose to straighten it..

    • I agree. WE ARE THE ONLY RACE FIGHTING AND HARRASSING other Black women about hair. Everyone should have a choice on how they choose to wear their hair. Albeit it appears that the natural hair women attack the relaxed/weave hair women more than anyone. I’ve worn my hair both ways and I interchange. With this summer being so warm and I wanted a chic look for weddings and other occasions, I gave myself a relaxer this summer. I even throw in weave (THE CURSE WORD) on occasion when I want to. I have the highest esteem and never let them tell you that you do not have high esteem because you choose to relax or weave your hair. The Devil is liar! LOL Yes; I do workout avidly, but I manage to keep my hair looking good whether relaxed or natural. One other thing, there are many reports out there regarding relaxers, but has there ever been conclusive scientific evidence to support it. Until I see that resource by a reputable company, people will beleive anything.

  15. How black women can avoid fibroids and Ovary Cyst

    1. Do not go to a University Hospital where they do Research. You dont want to be a guinea pig.

    2. Find a gynecologist with a good bedside manner that shows respects towards you and does not seem to see as a black patient or treat you as such.

    3. Be serious with your doctor but try to make a relationship were they take you serious and bond with you.

    4. Eat organic as much as possible. Avoid cheese at all cost. And if you must only eat dairy on occasions and make sure it is low fat preferred.

    5. Eat more fruits and vegatable versus eating foods containing soy, and other processed ingredients.

    6. Leave estrogen hair products alone. Do not use paraben skin and hair products.

    7. Avoid bpa in bottles.

    8. Check your water supply and try to drink natual or pure water if possible.

  16. Although there are numerous factors (poor diet, environmental toxins, etc.) that can contribute to the development of uterine fibroids, one must admit that just reading the ingredients listed on the relaxer box is enough to convince any rational thinking woman that the chemicals could eventually adversely affect one’s body. However, for the sake of style or tradition, we continue to use the “creamy crack”. Sadly, if there is a link between relaxers and uterine fibroids (which I believe, since many of the chemical in relaxers are known hormone disrupters) I doubt the manufacturers will change the formula for the safety of the consumers. After all, the black hair care industry is dominated by Asians and why should they care about the health of black women?

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