Does Hair Dye Cause Cancer? New Study Raises Concerns

December 9, 2019

Does hair dye cause cancer? Let’s just say if you’re one to touch up your locks every month or so, you may be shocked to read about the scary connection researchers just discovered.

The results of a new study suggest the risk of breast cancer increases with more frequent use of chemical hair products, including permanent hair dye and hair straighteners.

For women using permanent dyes every five to eight weeks, for instance, the risk of breast cancer increases by about 60 percent in African American women and eight percent in white women.

Researchers suggest that although it’s unlikely the use of chemical hair products alone will determine a woman’s risk of breast cancer, avoiding these chemicals may beneficial. It’s one more way a woman can reduce the risk of becoming one of the one-in-eight women who develop breast cancer in the United States.

Does Hair Dye Cause Cancer: Study Takeaways

A study published in December 2019 in the International Journal of Cancer found that women who use permanent hair dye regularly were 9 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than those who didn’t use these products.

The study used data from the Sister Study. It looked at 46,709 women ages 35 to 74 who had a sister with breast cancer, but who were breast cancer-free themselves. The Sister Study, conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, sought to find causes of breast cancer by studying the environment, genes and experiences of breast cancer patients and their sisters.

The questionnaires given during study enrollment asked for hair product uses in the past 12 months. During the study follow-up, which was a mean of 8.3 years later, 2,794 breast cancer cases were identified.

Here’s what researchers learned from the data based on hair product use:

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