The Strange Connection Between Hair Straightening and Uterine Cancer

Women with frizzy hair have been straightening it for decades. For some, it’s the only way they can tame their unmanageable locks. However, studies have shown that the chemicals used in hair straightening products can promote the development of uterine cancer in some women.

While uterine cancer only accounts for approximately 3% of all new diagnoses, it is still the most common form of cancer of a woman’s reproductive system.

What the Research Suggests

A recent study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) suggests that women who regularly use products to straighten their hair have a higher risk of uterine cancer than women who never use these products. Researchers, however, did not find any increased risk for those who use other hair products such as hair coloring, bleaches, or perms.

The almost 11-year study of over 33,000 women from the ages of 34 to 74 discovered that women who used products to help straighten their hair over four times a year doubled the likelihood of developing uterine cancer.

Hair Straightening Chemicals

Researchers have discovered that certain chemicals used in products that help to straighten hair could increase the user’s chance of developing uterine cancer. These include formaldehyde, certain metals, parabens, and bisphenol B. The increased risk could be because these cancer-causing chemicals are easily absorbed through the scalp. These products commonly burn the user’s scalp which increases the absorption rate.

Know the Risks of Hair Straightening Products

Although more research is needed, using these products does put women at an increased risk of developing uterine cancer. Women with a family history of his serious condition should know the risks associated with using hair straightening products.

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