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Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, US Surgeon General and a black woman who might know a thing or two about relaxers, had a few choice words for the attendees at the Bronner Brothers International Hair Show.

“Often times you get women saying, ‘I can’t exercise today because I don’t want to sweat my hair back or get my hair wet. When you’re starting to exercise, you look for reasons not to, and sometimes the hair is one of those reasons.”

She ain’t neva lied. It’s absolutely true that some women exercise less (or not at all) due to a fear of sweating out their hair style.  There’s nothing controversial about her statement and in fact it’s nice to see such a high level person directly address issues that impact black women’s health. But according to a New York Times article, some health analysts question whether Dr. Benjamin should be speaking out on such a “niche” issue (their term, not mine).

“The role of the surgeon general is traditionally, and appropriately, to take on big issues,” said Jeff Stier, a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank. “I don’t know whether the surgeon general’s role is to engage in smaller issues like this. It strikes me as bizarre.”

Bizarre, eh? Government studies say that 50 percent of black women 20 years old and up are overweight or obese.  Addressing any topic that could help lead to increased physical activity and healthier, longer lives seems pretty reasonable.  It’s not about addressing a “small issue,” it’s about tackling a major health issue in an informed, comprehensive way.

All that said…have you ever skipped the gym so you wouldn’t mess up your hair? You have? Well, cut it out girl! Oh and be sure to check out Michelle Obama’s hair stylist Johnny Wright in this video where he gives tips on keeping the do tight while you get your body right.

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