"Researchers have been studying the possible link between hair dye and cancer for a long time, but results have been inconsistent", Alexandra White, Ph.D., a study author and head of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Environment and Cancer Epidemiology Group, said in a press release.
In a study published Wednesday, researchers at the National Institutes of Health found that using permanent hair dyes and chemical hair straighteners can result in a higher risk of developing breast cancer, compared to women who don't use the products.
The use of hair dye and chemical hair straighteners may be associated with a higher risk of breast cancer, according to a new study.
Alcohol has always been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer, but how much is enough to make a difference?
While researchers stress that more work needs to be done, these findings are important, especially given that Black women are more likely to die from breast cancer than white women.
Based on a 2017 review of 119 studies involving 12 million women from around the globe, the authors found that for every 10 grams of alcohol-that's 3.3 ounces, less than a typical juice glass-breast cancer risk increased 5 percent for pre-menopausal women and 9 percent for post-menopausal women. Also, thicker and coarser hair like ours absorbs the dye better and there has been strong evidence that links "a colorless chemical in hair dye that has been shown to bind to DNA in breast tissue and potentially lead to DNA damage linked to cancer".
Also, the researchers concluded that "only a one-year period of using hair dye or hair straightener prior to the study was enough to impact breast cancer risk, which does not seem reasonable", she said.
Raymond said studies linking hair dyes - especially dark colors - to cancers like lymphoma and bladder cancer have been emerging for decades. "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".
"Thus differences in exposure to chemicals through hair products may contribute in part to racial disparities in breast cancer incidence", the study says. For example, long-term clinical trials with a control group and placebo would be more definitive but this type of study "would be hard if not impossible to do".
One reason for this statistic could be that medical professionals tend to find this cancer at an earlier stage in white women.
Well, there is some good news as temporary or semi-permanent dye use were not strongly linked.
For the study, which is featured in the International Journal of Cancer, researchers reviewed data from a previous study that involved 46,709 female subjects.