Racial/ethnic differences in hormonally-active hair product use: a plausible risk factor for health disparities

J Immigr Minor Health. 2012 Jun;14(3):506-11. doi: 10.1007/s10903-011-9482-5.

Abstract

Estrogen and endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that are associated with several health outcomes have been found in hair products. We evaluated the proportion, frequency, duration, and content of hair products in a racially/ethnically diverse population. We recruited n = 301 African-American, African-Caribbean, Hispanic, and white women from the New York metropolitan area. We collected data on hair oil, lotion, leave-in conditioner, root stimulator, perm, and other product use. Estrogen and EDC information was collected from commonly used hair products' labels (used by >3% of population). African-American and African-Caribbean women were more likely to use all types of hair products compared to white women (P < 0.0001). Among hair product users, frequency varied significantly by race/ethnicity, but not duration. More African-Americans (49.4%) and African-Caribbeans (26.4%) used products containing placenta or EDCs compared to whites (7.7%). African-American and African-Caribbean women were more likely to be exposed to hormonally-active chemicals in hair products.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Estrogens / adverse effects
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hair Preparations / adverse effects*
  • Hair Preparations / toxicity
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • New York
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Women's Health

Substances

  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Estrogens
  • Hair Preparations