If you’re a person who dyes their hair on the regular, listen up.
A new study has found a potential link between certain types of hair dye and breast cancer.
Researchers at the University of Rutgers studied over 4,000 African-American and white women. From 2002 to 2008, they asked women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer if they had treated their hair twice within the last year.
This included looking at African-American women who used darker hair dyes (either dark brown or black) and white women who used chemical relaxers.
Women who hadn’t been diagnosed with breast cancer were also studied.
The results showed that African American women who used darker hair dyes were 51% more likely to be at risk for breast cancer than African American women who did not.
White women who used chemical relaxers had a 74% increased chance of breast cancer.
White women who used both darker hair dyes and chemical relaxers had double the risk of breast cancer compared to white women who did nothing to their hair.
Specific products that the women used were not mentioned.
“I would be concerned about darker hair dye and hair straighteners. We should really think about using things in moderation and really try to think about being more natural,” epidemiologist Tamarra James-Todd told Reuters.
“Just because something is on the market does not necessarily mean it’s safe for use.”
The lead author of the study, Adana Llanor, also commented on the somewhat surprising results: “A lot of people have asked me if I’m telling women not to dye their hair or not to use relaxers. I’m not saying that. What I think is really important is we need to be more aware of the types of exposures in the products we use.”
Another study which looked at the results of over 14 research experiments found that there was no definitive link between hair dye and breast cancer.
However, it’s something to consider when booking your next appointment.
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