Haircare greatly exposes Black women to carcinogens
Wash N Fro avoids risky cancer causing services and supports prevention of hair loss during chemo. This October, Wash N Fro is partnering with HairToStay, non-profit organization, to raise funds for scalp-cooling caps.
[HAMPTON, VA, October 4, 2023—] Of the 16.1 million adult Black women in the U.S., researchers have found that 30% increased risk of breast cancer because they are more likely to use chemical straighteners and 34% of adult Black women are potentially exposed to dangerously high levels of carcinogens by wearing synthetic extensions for long periods. While the lifetime risk of breast cancer is similar for White and Black women, Black women are more likely to be diagnosed when they are younger and with more aggressive breast cancer subtypes. Black women are also more likely to die from breast cancer than women of any other racial or ethnic group and much of the reason is because of their cosmetic practices.
Information collected by the Black Women’s Health Study revealed that 64% of 50,543 women said that they first started using hair relaxers before age 20. These statistics do not even include the many preteens and teens in the Black community who frequently wear synthetic braids and use chemical straighteners as well. Black/African American women make up approximately 52% of the population in Hampton Roads, VA. Please be aware of the risks some hair-grooming habits pose. Intervention is critical!
Wash N Fro, a natural hair salon, in Hampton, VA has the desire to help reduce these numbers through education and offering alternative grooming practices from those that pose such a great health risk. The founding owner, Jasmine Lowe, a licensed cosmetologist, noticed there were a lot of people with natural hair, but not enough hair stylists that catered to healthy natural hair maintenance. After Jasmine realized this, she quickly made it her mission to provide the natural hair community with a solution.
Wash N Fro currently offer services and workshops focused on safe and proper natural hair care maintenance. One of the primary focuses within the salon is avoiding dangerous chemicals, maintaining scalp health, and healthy hair retention. As stylists who deal with clients’ hair every day, Wash N Fro knows how connected you are to your hair. So, In effort to help those who have already been affected by cancer, during Breast Cancer Awareness month, Wash N Fro has launched a fundraising campaign with HairToStay’s non-profit organization.
Funds raised will go toward purchasing scalp-cooling caps for those who have already been affected by cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy. By collaborating on this fundraiser, low-income cancer patients can afford to keep their hair. If you’re told that you have to undergo chemo, it used to mean that you’d definitely be losing your hair, but now there is hope that you don’t have to. Scalp cooling, or cold capping, is a medical technology that is saving the hair of thousands of women across the globe, and giving cancer patients access to a little more control over how they look during and after treatment.
HairToStay is the first and only national nonprofit dedicated to helping cancer patients afford scalp cooling, whether they choose manual cold capping or an automated scalp cooling system. They bring in money through donations and fundraisers that go directly to grants for women who cannot otherwise afford cold-capping. The grants are need-based and cover up to $1,500 per patient, putting cold-cap therapy within reach for those who would otherwise never be able to afford it. They also devote efforts to spreading the word about scalp cooling so more people going through chemotherapy know it’s an option.