The study, conducted by researchers from the National Institutes of Health and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, was published this week in the International Journal of Cancer.
“Our findings do suggest that women should consider their use of hair products in light of the fact that the chemicals in hair dye and chemical straighteners may influence their risk of developing breast cancer,” said Dr. Alexandra White, one of the study’s researchers and head of the National Institutes of Health’s environment and cancer epidemiology group. “The overall risk is not large and chemical hair products are just one of many factors that may influence a woman’s chances of getting breast cancer.”
She added that since semi-permanent dyes were not associated with breast cancer risk in this study, women could consider switching to these hair products.
Research into the link between hair dye use and breast cancer risk has been inconsistent, with some studies reporting a positive association while others concluding there is no higher risk.