On 25th April 2018, researchers from the Silent Spring Institute and Battelle Memorial Institute in the USA published the results from their study, which investigated the endocrine disrupting and asthma-associated chemical content of black hair products. They found that the black hair products tested contained 45 endocrine disrupting or asthma-associated chemicals. Most concerning, they discovered that hair relaxers marketed at children, contained five chemicals that are regulated by California’s Proposition 65 or prohibited from being used in the EU.

In addition the study showed that ingredients lists were incomplete, meaning that the researchers found chemicals in the products that were not listed on product labels. This is extremely misleading and means that women can’t make an informed choice about the products they purchase.

You can listen to Dr. Jessica Helm from the Silent Spring Institute and I discuss this latest study in the video below.

It is abundantly clear that something needs to be done about raising awareness of this very serious issue. I am pleased to be working with the team behind Lake Health and Wellbeing, to see what we can do to begin to address the issue of harmful chemicals in black hair products.

This issue has persisted for too long and we have to take a stand and do something about it. Before we do that, we’d like to hear from you and would be very grateful if you could complete the survey below, which should take about 5 minutes.

If you have problems with the survey below, you can complete it on Survey Monkey’s website HERE.

Create your own user feedback survey

2 replies added

  1. Jed May 16, 2018 Reply

    Hi Tola, this is such an important article. I hope many Afro/Caribbean users of afro hair products get to see this very beneficial information. I would like to know whether you have used the clay washes e.g. Moroccan clay and bentonite clay among others? Would you consider them chemical free as well? Or are there hidden ingredients? The packets, i find,- do not mention any ingredients…..

    • tola_okogwu May 18, 2018 Reply


      I do indeed use clay washes. I use a mix of Rhassoul, Bentonite and Kaolin clay and I buy them from New Directions UK, a trusted supplier. You want to find a reputable seller and buy as pure a batch as you can. Clays are one of the most natural ways of cleansing your hair. You won’t find any ingredients much as you wouldn’t find ingredients on a bottle of water. Look for the words ‘pure’ and ‘100%’

Leave your comment