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Healthy Hair Campaign of Roxbury Salons

Project Details

Year: 1999
Location: Roxbury
Project Manager: Jodi Sugerman-Brozan,Alternatives for Community and Environment, Roxbury.
Partners: Bowdoin Street Health Center, Roxbury/Dorchester/Jamaica Plain/MattapanHair Salons, Boston University School of Public Health, Massachusetts School of Public Health.


Spurred by concerns of youth conducting a community mapping project and asthma rates five times the state average, Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE) of Roxbury decided to investigate toxics in its area hair salons. As a result of the wor k you are about to read about, ACE won the 1999 Governor's Award for Toxics Use Reduction! They have also been funded for another year to develop a Healthy Hair Tool Kit for any community to develop their own campaign.
 In 1999, ACE was awarded a TURN grant to conduct the state's first healthy hair campaign. An advisory panel of scientists, public health experts and business representatives was formed to investigate the common products and services in use at area salons in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan.
 ACE and their partners surveyed participating salons regarding the services most provided and the products used. Results showed that relaxers (for hair straightening) and hair dyes were the most frequently used products. Material Safety Data Sheets we re collected on as many products as possible to assess the potential risks Less toxic products were then sought for these applications. See Healthy Hair Survey results .
 ACE also held numerous workshops regarding understanding what is in hair care products and potential health effects. The information gathered through the workshops and other efforts is featured on the Healthy Hair Poster. Over 250 posters have been distributed and many of the healthy salons feature them.
 Finally, in partnership with area salons and alternative hair product manufacturers, the coalition hosted the state's (and maybe the Nations!) first Healthy Hair Show in September 1999 which featured hair styled with less toxic products and processes. Alternative vendors also showcased their less toxic products.

Beyond TURN

This project was the inspiration for much of the subsequent healthy cosmetology work.

This page updated Tuesday November 29 2016