When Tiah Tomlin-Harris got diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38, she had no family history of the disease. However, she believed one key component may have led to her diagnosis: her lifestyle.
Convinced that this was the case, Tomlin-Haris asked a social worker at the hospital if there was anything she should be doing to prevent her cancer from worsening or coming back after remission. Tomlin-Harris, who has a master’s in chemistry and worked in the pharmaceutical industry, read about chemicals in beauty products being linked to cancer risk. However, the social worker wasn’t so convinced that the beauty products were the culprit. In fact, the social worker told Tomlin-Harris to continue using them because there was nothing she could do. Lifestyle changes don’t work.
Despite this, Tomlin-Harris still felt strongly about the harmful chemicals and toxins often found in common beauty products so she set out on a mission to educate Black women and ensure that they had better information than she did.
“Since the diagnosis, I’ve been busy helping other men and women fight, Tomlin-Harris said, according to a blog post. “I started a Facebook group called My Breast Years Ahead – Atlanta, helping women who have been affected by any type of cancer in the Atlanta area, connect and share their journey.”
In 2019, she joined Bench to Community, a research initiative in California dedicated to informing Black women about the harmful chemicals found in beauty products. The team is currently conducting research into how chemicals in beauty products may uniquely affect Black women.
Tomlin-Harris also co-founded My Style Matters, a 501c grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and supporting underserved families impacted by cancer.
“There are beauty supply stores everywhere in our community, on every corner,” Tomlin-Harris told Insider. “Beauty