Culture Wars/Current Controversies

‘The Serious Cost of Straight Hair’

Last fall, after the National Institutes of Health released a study that associated chemical hair straightener use with a small risk of uterine cancer, hundreds of women began linking their health issues to relaxers — and looking to make cosmetics companies pay for the harms they’ve suffered. Black women use relaxers at the highest rate of any group, and they are also nearly twice as likely as white women to die from uterine cancer (this is one of the largest racial disparities for any cancer). The Cut’s Angelina Chapin spoke to several women who began straightening their hair as children, and now, in their 30s, have undergone chemotherapy and hysterectomies and are grappling with not being able to build the family they’d always wanted, or with the possibility that they won’t be around to watch their kids grow up. “I shouldn’t have ramifications at 33 from a product I used at 5,” one woman who plans to file a lawsuit next month told Angelina. “I gave you not only my life but my money, and now I’m dealing with one of the worst things that can happen. You should own that.”

— Catherine Thompson, senior editor, the Cut

The Cost of Straight Hair The products Black women rely on to give their locks body and shine are now alleged to give them cancer, too.

Art: Shaina McCoy

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J.Crew brings back the icons

J.Crew is celebrating 40 years by bringing back its most iconic pieces — and its most iconic catalog cover model, Lauren Hutton. From timeless trench coats to signature shirts, shop the brand’s most memorable pieces.

Shop the icons

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