Hair Dyes increase the risk of cancer in women: Harvard StudyHealthy Living

September 07, 2020 12:30
Hair Dyes increase the risk of cancer in women: Harvard Study

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Using permanent hair dyes to cover grey hair or to color the hair in various shades has become a trend now. Women need to know the serious consequences of this habit.

Permanent dyes for hair have many chemicals in them though the companies claim them to be natural. Women who use these dyes need to know that they can increase the risk of some types of cancer including breast, skin, and ovarian cancers.

According to a study conducted by Harvard University and published in The Journal of the BMJ, the natural hair colors have found to impact on the likelihood of some cancers.

The use of hair dyes has become a common routine in the lives of women especially among the older age groups.

The study from Harvard University has found that 50 to 80 percent of women and 10 percent of men older than 40 years use dyes in the US and Europe.

To have a better understanding of the risk of cancer due to the hair dyes, researchers have analyzed data of 117,200 women from the Nurses’ Health Study which included the assessment of hair dye exposure.

None of these women have any history of cancer and they were observed for 36 years. The use of permanent dyes was associated with an increased risk of basal cell carcinoma of the skin. The risk was higher in women with naturally light hair.  

The results of the research found an increased risk of three types of breast cancer. Those include estrogen receptor negative, progesterone receptor negative, and hormone receptor negative.

Ovarian cancer too was linked too was linked with the use of permanent hair dyes. The risk increases with the increase in the amount and the frequency in which the women use the hair dyes.

The risk of Hodgkin lymphoma was also seen with the use of permanent hair dye with the women who had naturally dark hair. The darker colors are said to have higher concentrations.

In a nutshell, here are the diseases you can be prone to if you use hair dyes:

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  • Breast cancer.
  • Ovarian cancer.
  • Hodgkin Lymphoma.
  • Skin cancer.

Though you can use homemade dyes to reduce the risk of contracting these diseases, here are the things you need to follow to color your hair in the safest way.

  • Do not leave the dye on your scalp for more than the recommended time.
  • Rinse your head thoroughly with water to remove any excess dye etched to your scalp.
  • Make sure to wear gloves while applying the dyes.
  • Do not mix two different products unless the instructions say so.
  • Follow all the instructions written on the product as it is.
  • The common and the most dangerous ingredients in the dyes include ammonia, peroxide, p-phenylenediamine, diaminobenzene, toluene-2, 5-diamine, and resorcinol.
  • All the above chemicals can cause serious skin, eye, and lung irritations.
  • These also can cause chemical burns, blisterings to the scalp, hair loss, and even cancer.

By Gayatri Yellayi

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