These chemical hair straighteners could put you at a higher cancer risk

There’s the age-old adage that claims “Beauty is pain,” but at what cost? A recent study conducted by The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences reveals women that incorporate permanent hair straighteners and dyes in their routine salon-at-home rituals pose an increased risk of developing breast cancer later in life.

Breaking down the study

This study originally published online by the International Journal of Cancer last December posits women who use permanent hair dyes and chemical straighteners are high-risk candidates for developing breast cancer in the future. Even more troubling is the statistic that claims,

“Women who regularly used permanent hair dye in the year prior to enrolling in the study were 9% more likely than women who didn’t use hair dye to develop breast cancer. Among African American women, using permanent dyes every five to eight weeks or more was associated with a 60% increased risk of breast cancer as compared with an 8% increased risk for white women,”

The aforementioned data was collected from an experimental group of about 47,000 women in a Sister Study launched by researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Conversely, the control group of women who used temporary, natural and semi-permanent dyes remained unaffected.

However, even more troubling is how African American Women are disproportionately affected by the chemicals found in these highly toxic chemical straighteners. Let’s get more into those findings here:

Researcher and co-author of this Sister Study Alexandra White, Ph.D., head of the NIEHS Environment and Cancer Epidemiology Group elaborates on this worrisome statistic,

“In our study, we see a higher breast cancer risk associated with hair dye use, and the effect is stronger in African American women, particularly those who are frequent users.”

Dale Sandler, another co-author and chief of the NIEHS Epidemiology Branch recommends women take the following precautions before embarking on that new hair-do,

“We are exposed to many things that could potentially contribute to breast cancer, and it is unlikely that any single factor explains a woman’s risk. 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.”

Further research must be conducted to solidify the correlation between breast cancer and the use of toxic hair straighteners and dyes but there are steps you can take to lessen the risk of developing breast cancer in later years. Let’s take a deep dive into what you can incorporate in your salon-from-home ritual next!

Using natural straighteners and dyes, instead

As previously stated in the study conducted by the NIEHS, the use of natural straighteners and dyes greatly reduces your chance of developing breast cancer. Natural straighteners like this one: You Be-Natural Keratin Straightening and Conditioning System. These are the benefits of using a natural straightener.

• Great for transitioning out of chemical straighteners

• Provides flawless straight styles

• Provides smooth and frizz-free curly styles

• Repairs and strengthens damaged hair

• Promotes healthy hair growth

• Makes hair humidity resistant

• Delivers healthier easier to manage hair.

In conclusion

According to this new study, switching to natural straighteners and dyes can literally be a lifesaver. Your hair, along with your good health, will thank you in the long run.