It seems when testing is done on anything for public health, African Americans are often left out or poorly represented. There has been research on the air quality in mainstream hair salons, but sadly black salons have largely been left you.
Teleah Slater, an undergrad student at Brandeis, was one of the 12 students who worked on the study-- which was a partnership ith Boston’s Resilient Sisterhood Project and LA-based Black Women’s for Wellness. The group went door-to-door, and made cold calls to over 90 Boston-area black hair salons to find participants for the study. Slater was super excited about the project. “I jumped at this chance because it’s something I’m very passionate about, environmental health in general. It aligned with my academic interests and my personal interests in environmental issues and hair care for black women.”
The study showed particulate levels in 7 out of 10 black hair salons were significantly higher than allowed outdoor levels and the Carbon dioxide levels were over the recommended limits. In addition, inadequate ventilation was found in the salons. This one study, however, is not enough and more research needs to be done. Researchers in the field are also hoping that this undergraduate research sparks more interest by scientists to take a closer look at the conditions many black women and men are facing in their hair salons.