The US Food and Drug Administration is proposing a ban on certain hair-straightening products, such as chemical relaxers and pressing products, that are often marketed to Black women and have long been linked to health problems.
Why has it taken so long? That's one of the controversies as the proposal would target products that contain or emit formaldehyde.
Studies show women who use the products often face more than twice the risk of developing uterine cancer compared to those who don't use them.
The FDA's website offers pages of warnings about the use of any products containing formaldehyde as well as special warnings about hair-straightening processes like those that use keratin, linked to what it says to an increase in uterine cancer.
For Kenya Cephas, owner of Salon Femi in Bloomfield, New Jersey, those products are risks not worth taking when it comes to her clients and her staff.
"California banned formaldehyde a very long time ago, Florida as well, so, I tried to follow that what I found out," said Cephas. "A lot of the straighteners has a lot of formaldehyde, and I felt being that you had to wear a gas mask or other protective gear, it wasn't the best thing for us and the clientele."
After years of complaints and concerns, the FDA is now considering issuing a proposed rule to ban straighteners that contain formaldehyde or chemicals that produce it once the product is heated.
However, some say it's misdirected oversight.
"Honestly, what scares me most is the food we eat," said Sterling Cary to Eyewitness News.
Cary is a beauty school student and a bone cancer survivor.
She says her cancer was not related to hair products, and she doesn't fear using hair straighteners on herself.
"Right now, I honestly feel the FDA focus should be on what we put into our bodies," Cary added.
Shaquenya Anthony has been a hairstylist for 20 years. She says clients should have the choice.
"Just like we choose what we want to eat, we should be able to choose what products we want to use in our hair," Anthony said.
The FDA says International Agency for Research on Cancer lists formaldehyde as a carcinogen.
So many salons that specialize in African American hair have turned to all natural, organic even. It's best to have a consultation with your stylist.