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A woman gets her hair done

Jasmine Valentine, who owns Crowned by Jai, sister company of Peace of Fine, prepares a client’s hair for a weave at The Exotic Haus Salon Suites in the Roseland neighborhood, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Pat Nabong

A woman gets her hair done

Jasmine Valentine, who owns Crowned by Jai, sister company of Peace of Fine, prepares a client’s hair for a weave at The Exotic Haus Salon Suites in the Roseland neighborhood, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Pat Nabong

Smooth and straight — and now sick? Thousands of Black women are suing the makers of hair relaxers in federal court in Chicago.

Black women in America have turned to hair relaxers to chemically straighten their hair since the early 1900s. Those chemicals are under scrutiny after decades of concern. Several scientific studies in recent years have found frequent users of those products have a higher risk of getting certain kinds of cancers. Now some of those companies are being sued in state court and federal court right here in Chicago. WBEZ’s Natalie Moore explains the significance of these lawsuits – and how Black women are responding. Host: Mary Dixon

Jasmine Valentine, who owns Crowned by Jai, sister company of Peace of Fine, prepares a client’s hair for a weave at The Exotic Haus Salon Suites in the Roseland neighborhood, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Pat Nabong

 

Black women in America have turned to hair relaxers to chemically straighten their hair since the early 1900s. Those chemicals are under scrutiny after decades of concern. Several scientific studies in recent years have found frequent users of those products have a higher risk of getting certain kinds of cancers. Now some of those companies are being sued in state court and federal court right here in Chicago. WBEZ’s Natalie Moore explains the significance of these lawsuits – and how Black women are responding.

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