Hair dye, straighteners may increase breast cancer risk for black women


If you love a fresh perm, or like to change your hair colour, then you might want to really get into this. 

A study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that permanent hair dyes and chemical straighteners increase the risk of breast cancer in black women.

The study was first conducted between 2003 and 2009. It  included more than 46,000 women living within the US and Puerto Rico.

Nearly three-quarters of black women who participated in the study reported using a hair straightener in the past year.

The researchers did a followup study eight years later, and it was found that almost 3,000 of the women included in the sample had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Professor Marvin Reid, director of the Tropical Metabolism Research Unit at the University of the West Indies’ (UWI), agrees with these findings. “It is not an unusual finding because they’ve been some studies which seem to suggest this kind of thing. The thing we must recognize is that hair products are chemicals. We’ve always known that some of the chemicals in these products can cause cancer,” he said.

Professor Marvin Reid (Photo: Twitter)

“Too much chemical usage is likely to be bad, and one of the bad things that will happen because of it is cancer,” he continued.