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Are "ethnic hair care" products dangerous?

Head down any aisle at the local pharmacy or beauty store, and you'll find a range of products marketed specifically to women of color. You'll find specialty relaxers, texturizers, shampoos, treatments, conditioners and much more, all intended for "textured" hair. This seems like a good thing, right? After all, African-American women spend $7.5 billion every year on hair care products, so it's a market that companies would be foolish to ignore.

However, according to new research, many of those products contain ingredients that are harmful. In fact, the numbers are staggering: 75 percent were found to have hazardous ingredients. The nonprofit group that conducted the research took a hard look at more than 1,100 products marketed to women of color. Of these, 665 were for hair care. The group found that out of every 12 products, one ranked highly dangerous on their scale. Another independent study concluded, "black hair products are found to be some of the most toxic beauty products on the market."

Of course, it's the world's worst-kept secret that relaxers are full of harmful chemicals, but many of the products that ranked in the "moderately high" or "high" category when it came potentially harmful ingredients were natural hair brands.

The lesson here is that just because a product is on the shelf at a store you trust doesn't mean it's perfectly safe. Many products are released without much testing or regulation and end up harming people before anything is done about it. If you've been affected by a dangerous or defective product, you might want to speak with an attorney who works with product liability.

Source: theroot.com, "From Relaxers to Some Shampoos: Too Many Products Marketed to Black Women Are Bad for You," Shayna Watson, December 23, 2016

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