The plight of the Black woman’s hair has become cause for a lot of struggle. For those rocking the natural look, they feel a sense of heightened accomplishment, but are open to scrutiny. Yet those with straightened hair are in fear of it constantly sweating out, and people with weaves and wigs are lost somewhere in the shuffle.
Thankfully, a new study has arisen proving what was already pretty obvious: Black women stay away from the gym to protect their hair.
A new Reuters Health report took on the daunting task of picking apart Black hair and getting to the root of the problem.
Researchers found about two of every five African-American women said they avoid exercise because of concerns about their hair, and researchers say that is concerning given the United States’ obesity epidemic.
“As an African-American woman, I have that problem, and my friends have that problem. So I wondered if my patients had that problem,” said Dr. Amy McMichael, the study’s senior researcher and a dermatologist at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
McMichael and her colleagues, who published their findings in the Archives of Dermatology on Monday, said hair care can be tedious and costly for African-American women.
Rochelle Mosley, who owns Salon 804 in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, told Reuters Health some of her African-American clients come in once per week to get their hair straightened at a cost of about $40.
They may not want to wash their hair more than once a week to keep their hairstyle, and may avoid sweating because of that.
In order to be sure that their hypothesis was viable, researchers surveyed 103 Black women, and found that over half were working out for less than 75 minutes a week. The figure isn’t great considering that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that double that number be allotted to exercise per week.
No word yet if hair problems are linked to obesity in the Black community, but stayed tuned.