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The Question Is What Is Good Hair? The Answer Depends On Who You Ask

Yussuf J. Simmonds, Co-Managing Editor of the L.A. Watts Times, writes are column today asking the question “What is Good Hair”. Yussuf jumps right into the issue with great background and then seeks out different individuals to ask them the age old question “What is Good Hair?”

Good hair, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder – so too is bad hair and ugliness. But what really is “good hair”? Is it the texture, the color, the quality or the quantity? Is it the origin, the ethnicity, where it is or where it’s not? Could it be a combination of the above or none of the above? Human beings, especially Black human beings, seem to have always been obsessed with the hair on their heads – how it looks, the color, the style and the quality, to say the least. Whether they bought it at the wig store or it’s naturally theirs, the proliferation of hair salons, wig stores, barber shops (community institutions) and hair stylists provides ample proof of the importance of hair and/or the lack of it – the hair that’s on their heads, that is.

We really like this article and the responses to the question. We believe that stories like these help move us forward as a community and provides us with the opportunity to embrace our natural coils.

We hope everyone will take a moment and read the Yussuf’s column.

Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 Introduced On Capitol Hill. Why Should You Care You Ask? This Is Why.

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 that will finally address the outdated “Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976”.

Why should we care you ask? The proposed legislation would require that chemical manufactures demonstrate the safety of their chemicals before they could continue to be used in everyday household products.

What does this mean to you? Senator Lautenberg answers that question with this quote:

“The average American has more than 200 industrial chemicals in their body, including dozens linked to cancer and other health problems. The shocking truth is that the current law does not require tests to ensure chemicals used in everyday household products are safe,” said Senator Lautenberg. “The EPA does not have the tools to address dangerous substances and even the chemical industry has asked for stronger laws to assure consumers that their products are safe. My 'Safe Chemicals Act' will breathe new life into a long-dead statute by empowering EPA to separate the chemicals that help from the chemicals that hurt.”

Yes you read that right, we have over 200 chemicals in our bodies right now and many of those are linked to cancer. As of now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lacks clear authority to deal with many of these chemicals. This means chemicals such as BPA (baby bottles), phthalates (lotion, hair spray, nail polish), formaldehyde (Brazilian Blowout) and lead (hair dye) will continue to be used by hair and beauty cosmetic companies in the U.S.

As we mentioned earlier today, the U.S. is behind Europe, Japan and even “Saudi Arabia” in regulating these toxins. With the introduction of this legislation we have a chance to catch up and finally start ensuring that the products we use each day do not cause us serious health issues.

This legislation is sure to be opposed by some very powerful and wealthy interests in the U.S. (and world). The only way something like this becomes law is if the public is so aware of the issue and demands change.

This means it is time for us to act and let us share with you how. It is important that we contact Senator Lautenberg in writing and offer support for this bill. Here is the best way to contact the Senator.

Online: http://lautenberg.senate.gov/contact/index1.cfm

Telephone: D.C. Office (202) 224-3224

Letter: Hart Senate Office Building
Suite 324
Washington, D.C. 20510

In addition to contact Senator Lautenberg, we must also lobby or own elected officials. Not sure who represents you and/or how to contact them. Here is a useful link:

League Of Women Voters Website: http://hq-salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/5950/getLocal.jsp

We hope you will join us in advocating for the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011. It is time to update consumer protections that have not been changed since 1976. We deserve safe beauty and hair products.

Australia Raises Concerns About Toxic Beauty Products

Rosslyn Beeby, The Canberra Times Australia, writes an overview of ongoing concerns by consumer advocates in Australia regarding toxic chemicals in cosmetic products.

Chemicals used in everyday cosmetics are exposing Australians to potentially serious health risks from toxic ingredients banned by other countries.

Commonly available products contain substances banned in Europe, Japan, Sweden and Saudi Arabia. They include deodorants, artificial musk and vanilla fragrances, liquid soaps, anti-ageing creams, hair straightening products, nail polish, children's bath foams and baby's skin lotions.

Reading the articles quickly finds that the United States and Australia are in the same position of dragging their feet to deal with the potential hazards of toxins in cosmetic products. For example, the first real government warning for the Brazilian Blowout came not from the U.S. EPA but the U.S. Department of Labor.

It is unacceptable that we continue to have government agencies in the U.S. that continue to turn their back on public safety. When countries like “Saudi Arabia” are taking the lead on consumer safety you have to wonder just how broken our government agencies are.

Until our Federal Government can overcome the millions of dollars spent by corporations to lobby against actions to protect consumers from toxins, it is important that we educate ourselves on what is safe and what we should avoid. To read about ingredients to avoid in your hair and beauty products, jump over to Coily Embrace.