A new study by the American Journal of Epidemiology connects early puberty in girls to use of hair relaxers. The study shows that girls who use hair relaxers are more likely to have uterine fibroids and to deal with early menstruation.
The reasons for the connection are not clear as of yet because Black hair-care products are not regulated by the FDA.
Three hundred African American, African Caribbean, Hispanic, and White women in New York City were studied. The women’s first menstrual period varied anywhere from age 8 to age 19, but African Americans, who were more likely to use straightening and relaxers hair oils, also reached menarche earlier than other racial/ethnic groups.
While so far, there is only an association rather than a cause and effect relationship between relaxers, fibroid tumors, and puberty, many experts have been quick to point out that the hair care industry isn’t regulated by the FDA, meaning that there’s no definite way to fully know just how harmful standard Black hair care products really are.