Recent research has discovered that women who use permanent hair dyes or chemical hair straighteners are at greater risk for breast cancer.
Researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences compared data from 46,709 women and discovered that those who regularly used permanent hair dye in the 365 days before the study were up to 9% more likely to develop breast cancer.
The study also determined that African American women were 60% more likely to develop breast cancer after regular permanent dye use, compared to 8% for white women.
"Researchers have been studying the possible link between hair dye and cancer for a long time, but results have been inconsistent," said corresponding author Alexandra White in a press release. "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. "
The research did not find any strong evidence that semi-permanent hair dye increases breast cancer risk. It did, however, find an association between chemical hair straighteners and this cancer.
Women who used chemical hair straighteners at least once every 5 weeks were 30% more likely to develop breast cancer. The press release stated that “while the association between straightener use and breast cancer was similar in African American and white women, straightener use was much more common among African American women.”
Scientists plan to conduct further research in order to confirm these findings.