WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Institutes of Health recently published the results of a study that examined the long-term effects of hair dye and hair straighteners have on women who use them. The researchers who reviewed the data generated by the study learned that there is an increased risk that using chemical hair dyes and straighteners will cause breast cancer as compared to women who do not use chemical hair dyes and straighteners. The results of the study indicate frequently using chemical hair dyes and straighteners will increase the risk of breast cancer over those women who do not use hair products as often.
The study conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) involved 46,709 women. The study examined the occurrence of breast cancer among the cohort in women who often used permanent hair dye or straighteners. Overall, nine percent of women who used permanent dye chemicals in the year preceding the study faced an increased risk of breast cancer than women who did not use permanent chemicals in their hair.
One ethnic group appeared to be particularly vulnerable to developing breast cancer. The research indicated that African American women who used permanent hair dyes in five to eight-week intervals increase their risk of developing breast cancer by 60 percent. By contrast, Caucasian women who use permanent hair dyes with the same regularity face an eight percent increased chance of developing breast cancer.
Temporary dyes do not pose a similar threat to women’s health, according to the study. The research team commented that scientists had studied the effects of permanent hair dye use and cancer without obtaining clear results.
Permanent chemical hair straighteners also pose a substantial health risk to women. Using permanent chemical straightener in five to eight-week intervals could increase a woman’s chance of growing breast cancer by 30 percent.
The researchers suggest that additional studies are needed to confirm the results. The scientists said many factors contribute to developing breast cancer. However, avoiding permanent chemical dyes could reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
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