Research Raises Concerns About Safety Of Hair Dyes, Chemical Straighteners

Hair Dye Causes Cancer

Hair Dye Causes Cancer

Taking into consideration their overall health, lifestyle habits, and hair products they used, researchers found that those who reported that they used permanent hair dye and hair relaxers, 2,800 ended up developing breast cancer.

Author Alexandra White, Ph.D., head of the NIEHS Environment and Cancer Epidemiology Group said the study's results are pretty conclusive.

"Our findings do suggest that women should consider their use of hair products in light of the fact that the chemicals in hair dye and chemical straighteners may influence their risk of developing breast cancer", said Dr.

The data, which was collected from 46,709 women who participated in the Sister Study, found that women who regularly used permanent hair dye the year prior to enrolling in the study were 9 percent more likely than those who didn't to develop breast cancer.

For us, heavy hair dye use (once or more every 5-8 weeks), increased our risk up to a whopping 60 percent, compared to only 8 percent for white women. While there is some prior evidence to support an association between breast cancer risk and chemical straighteners, he said, the results need to be replicated in other studies before a definitive answer can be found.

Hair straighteners were associated with an 18% increase in breast cancer risk.

"One of our hypothesis is that products marketed to dye a black woman's hair might be different than the products used for white women's hair", White says. "While it is too early to make a firm recommendation, avoiding these chemicals might be one more thing women can do to reduce their risk of breast cancer".

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Erin Nau, a licensed clinical social worker with the Adelphi Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline, says it can't be determined what exactly causes cancer. The study did not look at the specific ingredients in the products women were using, only at whether they had used the product and whether they developed breast cancer. "However, as the article readily admits, more study is necessary".

Personal hair product use varies depending on ethnicity.

The risk was notably higher among black women.

Anne McTiernan, MD, PhD, one of the report's lead authors and a cancer prevention researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, notes that while being physically active, keeping a healthy weight, and reducing alcohol intake will help you lower your breast cancer risk, you can't control your genes, and you may still get diagnosed with breast cancer even if you run marathons and eat buckets of spinach and kale.