Hair Dyes Unlikely to be a Cause of Cancer – New Study Finds

hair dyes

For decades, people have considered hair dyes to be one of the primary causes of cancer. Although it is enlisted as a ‘probable’ carcinogen by the World Health Organization, researchers have recently concluded that dyeing hair is highly unlikely to lead to cancer in a new study, which appears in the British Medical Journal. 

According to the present statistics, nearly ten percent of the men and eighty percent of the women in the US use hair dyes at some point in their life. Usually, there are a number of options available when it comes to dyeing hair and a person can choose as per their choice and preferences.

For instance, while some may go for conventional dyes, others prefer natural and safer alternatives. The most ‘harsh’ of all dyes is a permanent one that does not fade over time and remains on hair no matter how many times they are washed.

Although it is considered damaging, a big number of people go for permanent dyes as they do not need constant re-touches and most shades are unlikely to change over time. However, a number of people, at the same time, believe that it may increase the risk of multiple cancers.

On the topic of dyeing hair and cancer, there is a lack of medical literature but the WHO has confirmed that only people who are constantly exposed to hair dyes, including experts and workers at salons and parlors may have a higher risk.

On the other hand, people who get their hair dyed once in months or a year are unlikely to have an increased risk of having different types of cancer.

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The new research, however, suggests that even hairdressers and beauticians have very low chances of having cancer. In addition, it should also be noted that hair dye does not increase the risk of all cancers but only a few forms.

To reach this conclusion, the researchers examined the data of approximately 117,200 women, all of whom were healthy and did not have any form of cancer at the beginning of the study.

After looking at the participants for around thirty-six years, it was found that the majority did not have a major increase in the risk of cancer.

The use or administration of hair dyes did not elevate the risk of many of the cancers such as kidney, bladder, blood, immune, colon, lung, and brain cancers at all. On the other hand, some women had more chances of having two types of cancer known as Hodgkin’s lymphoma and basal cell carcinoma.

Although the risk of having certain cancers due to hair dyes is elevated only to a very limited extent, health experts still suggest women protect themselves just for precaution.

For reducing any risk of cancer due to dyeing hair, try increasing the number of months between getting a re-dye or a roots touch.

Secondly, the exposure to chemicals that have been linked to cancer can also be decreased by using hair products less frequently than before. Another alternative can also be using natural and comparatively safer products.


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