Black Female Surgeon General says Many Black Women Jeopardize their Health for the Sake of 'Pretty' Hair


dr-regina-benjamin.jpgThe U.S. surgeon general paid a visit to the annual Bronner Bros. International Hair Show on Sunday with a special message for African American women.

 

According to CNN.com, Dr. Regina Benjamin discussed the reluctance of some black women to  exercise because it will sweat their hair out.  It turns out Benjamin has struggled with this issue too.
Below, CNN's Q&A with Dr. Benjamin.
What brings you to the hair show?
Actually it's the perfect event. My priority as surgeon general is prevention.  Everything that we do is to try to build a healthy and fit nation.
What we find when talking particularly with African American women - I'm later finding this with other women, too - was that when we talk about exercise, we hear, "I don't want to sweat my hair back or I don't want to mess up my hairstyle.  It cost me too much to get my hair done this week."
When United Healthcare came and talked about this last year, it was a successful at the Bronner Bros. Hair Show with 60,000 hairdressers.  What better audience would be to help us find exercise-friendly hairstyles? This is trying to encourage women to continue to exercise and be healthy and give them a way to do that without messing up their hair.
Is there evidence that this hair issue is really why some women don't exercise  or is this anecdotal?
There are some studies there. I've talked to a number of women and that's the first thing they'll tell you.   I know that was an issue for me. I didn't want to mess up my hair. You sweat a lot in your hair and it changes your hairstyle completely.

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