Straight Talk

The ethnic haircare market is worth more a billion dollars a year worldwide. One of the most popular products is the hair relaxer which many women consider to be a must-have. Relaxers are chemicals which make frizzy hair poker-straight, sleek and manageable. Think - Michelle Obama or Beyonce.

Millions use these products worldwide. Some go to salons to have it done, and others use home-kits. There's controversy about whether these products have an adverse cultural effect because they make non-white women look more European. And there are cases where relaxers have caused damage to hair or burns to the scalp.

Lesley Curwen goes to a hair salon in Battersea in south London to talk to customers about relaxing, and interviews John Corba, the managing director for SoftSheen Carson Europe, part of L'Oreal which is the biggest player in the ethnic haircare market.

Plus pop star Jamelia tells us about her 'addiction' to hair relaxers. But she admits she discourages her daughters from using them because of possible damage.

Available now

18 minutes

Last on

Mon 11 Jan 2010 02:40 GMT

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