If you're like most African American women, you've probably used hair grease to style and protect your natural hair at some point in your life. And if you're like most women, you may not have known that there are some serious health risks associated with using hair grease products made with cancer and fibroid-causing ingredients.
So, what are fibroids? Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in the uterus and can range in size from very small to large enough to fill the entire pelvic cavity. They're usually benign (not cancerous), but they can cause a variety of symptoms including heavy menstrual bleeding, pain, and pressure in the pelvic area. Fibroids are most common in African American women, and while they can occur at any age, they're most likely to develop during childbearing years.
Fact Check: The European Union classifies petrolatum as a carcinogen and restricts its use .
There are a variety of hair grease products on the market that claim to be safe for use on natural hair, but many of them contain ingredients that have been linked to cancer and fibroids. Some of the most common offenders include petroleum jelly, parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances. These ingredients are all known endocrine disruptors, which means they can interfere with the body's hormone production and regulation.
Exposure to endocrine disruptors has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, as well as a variety of other health problems including reproductive issues, birth defects, and developmental disorders. In fact, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified parabens as "possible human carcinogens."
So, what does this mean for you? If you're using hair grease products that contain any of these ingredients, you may be putting your health at risk. Fortunately, there are a number of safe and effective hair grease alternatives on the market that can help you achieve the same results without the potentially harmful ingredients.
Dr. Brenda Davis is a natural hair enthusiast and influencer