Toxic Chemicals in Black Hair Products

Blog author: Kiliyah Mair, Research Assistant and Project Lead on ECSI (Early Childhood Safety Initiative)

The Institute of Family and Community Impact an OhioGuidestone initiative envisions a society full of resilient children with limited adverse childhood experiences and increased benevolent experiences. One of the ways we achieve this in partnership with Ohio Children’s Trust Fund is through our Early Childhood Safety Initiative. An initiative committed to increasing early childhood safety by providing parents and caregivers with the tools they need. Benevolent childhood experiences are built by positive adult connections, and these connections are strengthened when parents have what they need to thrive. One of the ways the Early Childhood Safety Initiative allows us to help families is by addressing neuroendocrine disrupting chemicals in hair products marketed toward Kinky Curly Kids.

Toxic Chemicals in Black Hair Products Disrupt Physical Development in Children

Black hair products often contain harmful chemicals called neuroendocrine disruptors that alter and harm our physical development. Because early childhood is the most crucial stage in the physical development process, exposure to chemicals that affect our hormones and reproductive systems during this time can be devastating. The harms of exposure to neuroendocrine disrupting chemicals were explored in our blog post last month, click here to read and learn more! 

Countries in Europe have taken action to restrict and limit such harmful chemicals because of the damaging effects they can have on our bodies. However, countries like the U.S. still allow neuroendocrine disrupting chemicals to be mixed into the hair products that we as Black people often use on our hair and children’s hair. Here is a list of hair chemicals commonly found in Black hair products that you and your family should look out for on your next shopping visit. We advise you to be cautious of products containing these chemicals and to limit how often you use them when possible. As always, protect the heads and hearts of babies with Kinky and Curly Hair! 

Infographic of 6 common toxic hair chemicals.

6 toxic hair chemicals commonly found in products marketed toward kinky curly kids!


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