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Article

Hair Maintenance and Chemical Hair Product Usage as Barriers to Physical Activity in Childhood and Adulthood among African American Women

1
Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA
2
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA
3
Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA
4
Intramural Program, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9254; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249254
Received: 6 October 2020 / Revised: 7 December 2020 / Accepted: 7 December 2020 / Published: 10 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Fitness and Health Improvement)
Qualitative studies have identified haircare practices as important culturally specific barriers to physical activity (PA) among Black/African American (AA) women, but quantitative investigations are lacking. Using the Study of Environment, Lifestyle and Fibroids data among 1558 Black/AA women, we investigated associations between hair product usage/hair maintenance behaviors and PA during childhood and adulthood. Participants reported childhood and current chemical relaxer and leave-in conditioner use. Self-reported PA included childhood recreational sports participation, leisure-time PA engagement during adulthood, and, at each life stage, minutes of and intensity of PA. Adjusting for socioeconomic and health characteristics, we used Poisson regression with robust variance to estimate prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each PA measure for more vs. less frequent hair product use/hair maintenance. Thirty-four percent reported ≥twice/year chemical relaxer use and 22% reported ≥once/week leave-in conditioner use at age 10 years, and neither were associated with PA at age 10 years. In adulthood, ≥twice/year chemical relaxer users (30%) were less likely (PR = 0.90 [95% CI: 0.79–1.02]) and ≥once/week leave-in conditioner users (24%) were more likely (PR = 1.09 [95% CI: 0.99–1.20]) to report intense PA compared to counterparts reporting rarely/never use. Hair product use/maintenance may influence PA among Black/AA women and impact cardiometabolic health disparities. View Full-Text
Keywords: hair preparations; African Americans; child; women; exercise hair preparations; African Americans; child; women; exercise
MDPI and ACS Style

Gaston, S.A.; James-Todd, T.; Riley, N.M.; Gladney, M.N.; Harmon, Q.E.; Baird, D.D.; Jackson, C.L. Hair Maintenance and Chemical Hair Product Usage as Barriers to Physical Activity in Childhood and Adulthood among African American Women. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 9254. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249254

AMA Style

Gaston SA, James-Todd T, Riley NM, Gladney MN, Harmon QE, Baird DD, Jackson CL. Hair Maintenance and Chemical Hair Product Usage as Barriers to Physical Activity in Childhood and Adulthood among African American Women. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(24):9254. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249254

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gaston, Symielle A., Tamarra James-Todd, Nyree M. Riley, Micaela N. Gladney, Quaker E. Harmon, Donna D. Baird, and Chandra L. Jackson. 2020. "Hair Maintenance and Chemical Hair Product Usage as Barriers to Physical Activity in Childhood and Adulthood among African American Women" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 24: 9254. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249254

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