Lye is used to cure many types of food, soap making, air straightening products and is commonly the major constituent in commercial and industrial oven cleaners and clogged drain openers, due to its grease-dissolving abilities. Lye decomposes greases via alkaline ester hydrolysis, yielding water soluble, easily removed (e.g., rinsed away) residual substances.
There is a plethora of science-backed concerns about Black hair products. The Chemicals used in Black hair products enter the body through the scalp, particularly when there is a burn or cut on the skin. They upset the internal chemical balance which leads to complications. These topical applications can also cause chemical burns or blindness. Black hair care products (relaxers in particular), have been linked to ailments such as reproductive problems, fibroids, heart disease, cognitive disorders, cancers, early puberty, altered immune systems and other health risks. Many of these health risks are life-threatening and therefore should not be ignored by African women.