The FDA is considering a ban on specific hair-straightening products, including chemical relaxers and pressing agents, due to health concerns tied to substances like formaldehyde. These chemicals are found in about half of products designed for Black women, compared to just 7% for White women. Their use is associated with a higher risk of certain cancers, particularly among Black and Latina women. Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Shontel Brown are calling for an FDA investigation, but implementing a ban through the proposed rule may take time.

Chemical hair straighteners, often aimed at Black women, contain harmful substances linked to cancer. Long-time users are suing beauty companies over cancer concerns. The FDA’s proposed rule, though not product-specific, could affect many due to common chemical use. A study found a 150% higher risk of uterine cancer in women using specific straighteners. Representatives Pressley and Brown support the FDA’s move, especially for affected Black women. Millions start using these products early and continue through life. Some, like Rhonda Terrell and Jennifer Mitchell, sued brands, claiming products caused their cancer. Terrell started at eight and continued into her forties, battling cancer and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the cancer returned. Mitchell, who started in third grade, was diagnosed at 28 and needed a full hysterectomy. Companies like L’Oreal, facing lawsuits, insist their products are safe. The proposed FDA rule is a big step toward addressing the risks linked with these treatments.