Hair dyes and straighteners linked to higher cancer risk, especially for black women

Hair dyes and straighteners contain chemicals that are being studied for their health effects.
Srdjanpav/Getty Images

(Patty Neighmond/ NPR) — New research raises concern about the safety of permanent hair dye and chemical hair straighteners, especially among African American women. The study was published Wednesday in the International Journal of Cancer.

Previous research in animals has found links between certain chemicals in hair dye and straighteners and cancer. But findings from other human studies on the association between hair dyes and straighteners and cancer have been inconsistent. This large, prospective study provides firmer evidence of a link.

Researchers analyzed data from an ongoing study called the Sister Study, looking at medical records and lifestyle surveys from 46,709 women between the ages of 35 and 74. Women answered questions about their use of hair dyes and straighteners. While earlier studies on hair dye and cancer risk included mostly white women, the new study includes 9% African American women.

Researchers found that women who used permanent hair dye or chemical straighteners were at higher risk of developing breast cancer. (…)

read full story

share/partager