Is Your Hair Routine Causing You Harm?

As Black women, we are serious about our haircare routines. It is not our regular salon visits, but getting our ‘dos tight daily is also critical. But a new report says some of our routines may be causing us more harm than good. We may inhale several milligrams of cyclic volatile methyl siloxanes from our haircare products.

The study looked at routines including straightening, curling, waving, and oiling our hair and the products and appliances used. It examined their potential impact on our health as well as the environment. When we use hair products like shampoo or conditioner, the exposure to the compounds is small.

If you have been following the news, you know about the potential ban on keratin treatments designed to straighten hair and the controversy surrounding relaxers. This study also impacts those of us wearing wigs. We use flat irons and curling irons when we style them, too.

The news is not all bad. However, there are habits we can adopt to minimize exposure to the emissions:

  • Cut back on the use of heated tools. Get out of the habit of relying on them daily.
  • When you use a flat or curling iron, work with the lowest temperature possible.
  • If the bathroom has an extractor fan, turn it on. (According to the study, the emissions will clear in about 20 minutes.)
  • Switch to hairstyles that don’t require heat (even if it is occasionally).