Jun 24, 2019 | Updated: 11:41 AM EDT

Using Hair Dyes And Relaxers Might Increase The Risk Of Breast Cancer In Women, Study Reveals

Jun 21, 2017 06:10 AM EDT

The study discovered that using dark or brown hair dyes increase the risk of breast cancer by 51 percent in African-American women.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Hair dyes and relaxers were discovered to be associated in an increase risk of breast cancer but further evidences are needed.

A study conducted by researchers from the Rutgers University in New Jersey discovered that hair dyes and relaxers might have a connection to an increased risk of breast cancer. The team accounted social and economic backgrounds upon asking the African American and Caucasian women diagnosed with breast cancer.

According to Web MD, the study involved 4,285 women from New Jersey and New York diagnosed with a form of cancer. The women were asked about their usage of hair dyes and relaxers. The team assessed that the results vary on how long they used the hair dyes, the shade of the dyes they used and their race.

With that said, the African-American women were found out to have 51 percent higher risk of breast cancer upon the use of dark brown or black hair dyes. Meanwhile, the Caucasian white women who use chemical hair relaxers or straighteners were found out to have a 74 percent higher risk. Yet, it was mentioned by the team that they do not suggest that direct usage of hair dyes or relaxers could lead to breast cancer.

"Just because we found these associations doesn't mean that if you dye your hair dark, or any color, you're going to get breast cancer. But at the same time, the study points to something else we should be mindful of," study lead researcher and epidemiologist with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers School of Public Health, Adana Llanos explained on NJ.

More so, Llanos cleared out that their study doesn’t point out that hair dyes and relaxers cause breast cancer. However, she said that estrogen might be the clue to the relationship of hair products and breast cancer. They didn’t ask the participants which brands they used but Llano said that the estrogen not noted in the product components might have a role in the link between breast cancer and hair dyes.

Nonetheless, the American Cancer Society stated that most studies didn’t discover any link between hair dyes and relaxers with breast cancer. Llanos and her colleagues noted that further research is still needed to prove any conclusions between hair dyes and breast cancer. The study was published in the journal Carcinogenesis.

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