Do hair dyes or straighteners increase breast cancer risk?
Full article: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ijc.32738
Many women use products to color or straighten their hair. A large U.S. study linked the use of permanent hair dye and straighteners to increased breast cancer risk, particularly among black women. This XRAY reviews the limitations of this study and highlights the need for additional research before accepting these conclusions. (1/29/20)
No specific guidelines beyond general safety suggestions exist for use of hair dyes and breast cancer.
The FDA suggests these tips to keep you safe when using hair dyes:
- Follow all directions on the package.
- Do a patch test on your skin before using dye on your hair. Rub a small amount of dye on your skin. Let it dry for 48 hours. If you develop a rash, do not use the dye on your hair.
- Wear gloves when applying hair dye or relaxers.
- Do not dye your eyebrows or eyelashes, which may be harmful to your eyes and may even cause blindness.
- Do not leave the product on longer than the time indicated by the directions.
- Rinse your scalp well with water after using hair dye or relaxers.
- Keep hair dyes and relaxers out of the reach of children.
The American Cancer Society suggests:
- Some people might want to avoid or limit exposure to hair dyes for other reasons. For example, some of the ingredients in hair dyes can cause serious allergic reactions in some people. Hair dyes can also actually cause hair loss in some people. Some doctors advise women to avoid having their hair dyed during pregnancy (or at least until after the first trimester). Not enough is known about hair dye use during pregnancy to know for sure if this is a problem, but doctors often recommend this just to be safe."
Questions To Ask Your Health Care Provider
- What lifestyle factors or changes might have the largest impact on my breast cancer risk?
- Does my family history suggest that I may have an inherited mutation in a breast cancer gene?
- How frequently should I be screened for breast cancer and by what test?
FORCE is a national nonprofit organization, established in 1999. Our mission is to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by adult hereditary cancers.