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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26-29

Assessment of the knowledge, attitude, and practice of using hair-smoothing products among women in Saudi Arabia


Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Hail, Hail, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Fawwaz F Alshammrie
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Hail, Hail
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jdds.jdds_44_20

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Background: Hair-smoothing products have been developed by the cosmetic industry, targeting the popular desire among women for beautification. The products are also used as a treatment for hair. All hair-smoothing products contain different levels of formaldehyde, which is classified as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization. Purpose: This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice of using hair-smoothing products among women in Saudi Arabia, as well as identifying common side effects of their use. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2020 in Saudi Arabia. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to more than 1600 women, administered in the Arabic language using paper and an online survey. Results: Only 35% of the participants had previously used hair treatments, whereas 24% of the participants identified formaldehyde as a carcinogen. Close to two-thirds (59%) of the participants used hair treatments to facilitate management of their hair. About one-third (35%) of participants read the instructions for hair treatments before their use. The main symptom participants mentioned related to formaldehyde exposure was hair loss (34%). The majority of users (71%) use personal protective equipment during their use of hair-smoothing products. Conclusion: Our study demonstrated low levels of knowledge, a number of misconceptions, and faulty practices. Women must be made aware of the risks of some hair-straightening products that contain large concentrations of formaldehyde exceeding the recommended exposure levels. Therefore, we recommend raising the overall general public knowledge and awareness of hair-straightening products by establishing marketing campaigns and spreading knowledge through social media.


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