Deep conditioning, detangling, and braiding are some of the basic pieces of caring for our natural hair but there’s been a sneaky gal trying to knock us down. She is EDCs; a.k.a Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and the gal is everywhere. As if the journey to natural hair care wasn’t hard enough!
For centuries, women of color have been conditioned to believe the appearance of our natural hair is unkempt and unmanageable. Forcing relaxers down our throats to make our curls looser and our hair straighter which ultimately led to permanent damage to our hair and sometimes our self esteem. Now we’re learning not only were we damaging our hair, but we were damaging our bodies and the natural production of our hormones. EDC’s are natural or human-made chemicals that may mimic, block, or interfere with the body’s hormones, which are part of the endocrine system. But why is this important? The Endocrine system plays a major role in regulating vital bodily functions from fertility, to reproduction, to even regular development. Messing with this system can throw off the entire balance of our body’s natural ability to maintain our overall health.
When I say you can find EDC’s everywhere, I mean everywhere. From hair products, to personal products, to even our food, EDC’s are causing extreme adverse effects which, unfortunately, is predominantly affecting women of color the most. Over use of certain products where the chemicals are high can lead to early menstrual cycles, obesity, breast cancer, early menopause and more. Scary business honestly. Luckily, as we’re working to cultivate a greener world, that includes adding green products to our everyday lives. Whether that's switching to all organic hair products and cleaning supplies or outing the brands that harm us and demanding change, we recognize and are working for solutions.
What can you do? The solution is a bit easier than one would imagine. Just read the ingredients girl! Nine times out of ten, the proof is in the print and when you know better, you buy better. Though not all products will have the ingredients listed, there is a great tool we can use to help us decode and separate ourselves from those nasty EDC’s. Use Yuka. This app can make avoiding EDC’s in products and food much simpler by scanning the product and reading the results. Our hair is our home, and we deserve to embrace all of its natural beauty, safely. We may not be Bill Nye the Science Guy, but we are Gorgeous Green Girls and we can navigate these chemicals to better our health and our future.