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Is Your Hair Giving You Cancer?

Is Your Hair Giving You Cancer?

By Pandora Dewan

“Billions of dollars are spent on hair care products and services every year in the U.S. alone.

But, while glossy, blow-dried hair might look strong and sleek, the products you use to style it could be giving you cancer.

“Although the association between straighteners and uterine cancer in the aforementioned study did not differ by race, the association was more pronounced in Black women: despite making up only 7.4 percent of the study population, 60 percent of the participants who had used chemical straighteners were Black women.

“The use of hair straightener products varies among ethnic groups, and people who use hair straightener chemicals on a regular or frequent basis may have a higher cancer risk because of this,” Johnson-Arbor said.

Llanos said the disproportionate impact of hair products on Black women was not isolated to chemical hair straighteners.

“Salon workers are also particularly vulnerable to these toxic chemicals due to their high levels of exposure in often poorly ventilated areas.

A study in 2014 by Women’s Voices for the Earth, an NGO working to reduce the impacts of toxic chemicals in products aimed at women, found that salon workers are at a greater risk of certain health problems compared to other occupations, including cancers, birth defects, reproductive disorders, asthma and immune disease.”

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