In the last decade, there have been different mental health challenges among students due to academic stress, especially during examinations. This has led to the need to explore the relationship between psychoactive ingredients, behavioral responses and academic stress in relation to the use of hair creams. The objectives of the study were to identify hair creams containing psychoactive ingredients in use by female students, assess behavioral responses manifested by female students due to use of these hair creams and compare behavioral responses due to the use of these hair creams across the different departments as it relates to academic workload. The study was a cross-sectional survey of four hundred female students (100 to 500 levels) of the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, in the Faculties of Pharmacy, Basic Medical Sciences, Administration and Social Sciences. The sample size was determined and randomly obtained from the population. A semi-structured questionnaire which was used as a data collection instrument was pretested. The data was subsequently organized with descriptive statistics like frequencies, percentages and analyzed with inferential statistics like Chi Square, Kruskal-Wallis tests and Mann Whitney test for post-hoc determinations. Twelve percent of the respondents confirmed using hair creams containing psychoactive ingredients. The hair products that contain psychoactive ingredients were Morgan hair cream (4.2%), Dax (2.8%), Mega growth (2.8%), Kuza Indian Hemp (1.4%) and Bergamot (0.8%). The behavioral responses (Anxiety (p=0.217), Mood disorders (p=0.14) and Depression (p=0.234)), were not significantly manifested due to psychoactive ingredients of hair creams. Also, there was no significant relationship existing between academic workload and behavioral responses from the use of hair creams (Anxiety (p=0.079), Mood disorders (p=0.141) and Depression (p=0.169)). The study concluded that only 12% of hair creams contain psychoactive ingredients and these hair creams are Morgan Dax, Mega growth, Kuza Indian Hemp and Bergamont hair creams. Data gathered indicated that there was insufficient evidence linking female students' usage of hair products containing psychoactive chemicals with their behavioral responses, and also, that academic workload did not have a role in the behavioral responses that were being displayed.
Key words: Psychoactive ingredients, behavioral responses, academic stress, hair creams.
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