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For years women have been perming our hair without much thought to what the chemicals did to our bodies. While some black women have decided to give up the “creamy crack” because of the damage its done to their tresses, a pair of new studies could cause others to forgo their next touch up.

According to researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, women who used childhood hair products, such as perms and “hair oil”, were much more likely to reach puberty before those who did not.

The study recruited 300 women from various ethnic backgrounds between the ages of 18-77.  Researchers then asked the group why type of hair products they used before age 13. What they found was interesting. According to the numbers, “African-Americans were more likely to use hair products and reached menarche earlier than other racial/ethnic groups.”

In another study, researchers at the Slone Epidemiology Center in Boston also found that black women who used relaxers have a higher risk of uterine leiomyomata, or fibroids.

While both studies showed links between relaxers and other health issues in black women, doctors believe that more research is needed on these topics. However, these studies, again remind us that we have to be vigilant about what goes in and on our bodies.

How do you decide what hair products you use? 

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