According to the United States surgeon general, Black women are harming their health avoiding physical activity because they’ve invested considerable amounts of time and money in their hair.
Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, who is Black herself, knows the issues Black women have when it comes to “sweating out” their hair.
“Oftentimes you get women saying, ‘I can’t exercise today because I don’t want to sweat my hair back or get my hair wet,’ Benjamin said.
Dr. Rebecca Alleyne, a breast cancer surgeon in Los Angeles, said she ran, cycled or swam six days a week until a year and a half ago, when she stopped wearing hair extensions, which required little maintenance, and began pressing her hair.
“I noticed I would stop for two or three days when I got it pressed,” she said. “The barrier for me was the $60 and two-and-a-half-hour investment in a hair salon that kept me wanting to preserve my hairstyle.”