Are Certain Hair Treatments Linked to Breast Cancer?

What we put on and inside our body in the name of beauty has real health consequences. Permanent hair dye & chemical straighteners are linked to a higher risk of breast cancer, particularly in Black women. 

The Study

The International Journal of Cancer Researchers tracked over 47,000 American women and found that women who used permanent hair dye or chemical straighteners were at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. The increased risk for White women who regularly used these products was 7%. For Black women who regularly used these products, their risk jumped by 45%.

Hair products sold in the US contain more than 5,000 chemicals including parabens that are linked to reproductive and hormone problems and known carcinogens such as formaldehyde, which is used in some popular hair smoothing and straightening products.

In the EU, at least 1,300 chemicals are banned or restricted in cosmetics while the US has outlawed or curbed 11.

Black women on average use more personal and hair care products that other women. And studies have shown that products marketed to Black women contain more toxic chemicals than those marketed to any other group.

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