When it comes to their hair, Black women face a difficult choice

Eris Eady was scrolling through social media this week when she saw a news headline linking hair-straightening chemical products to an increased risk for uterine cancer. She paused.

In the early 2000s, she worked as a cosmetologist and frequently used the products to straighten her hair and other women’s as well. Back then, she says, cosmetology schools rarely offered lessons in how to take care of Black women’s natural hair – those interested in learning had to teach themselves.

“It wasn’t a place where natural hair could thrive. It was a tough environment to stay rooted in – no pun intended,” she says.

Read more about JPB Fellow Chandra Jackson’s research.