The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dying To Look Pretty? -- Black Hair Dye May Cause Deadly Cancer!

Woman getting black hair dye

Let's face it; hair dyes of all types contain chemicals, and chemicals are known to be carcinogens, which means they can cause cancer. In fact, over 5,000 different chemicals are used in hair dye products, according to the National Cancer Institute -- yikes! Although manufacturers eliminated "some" of these chemicals in the 1970s, there are still plenty left that can lead to cancer.

How hair dyes cause cancer and why black dye is the worst

The rule of thumb, according to the National Cancer Institute, is that the darker the color, the more chemical agents are used. So, black hair dye would contain the most chemicals. Dyes that penetrate the hair shaft are the ones to be concerned about because they are absorbed into the skin and also inhaled. Research has shown that blood cancers such as leukemias and lymphomas, breast cancer and bladder cancer are the biggest cancer concerns.

Who is at risk?

While cancer is a concern for both women and men who use semi-permanent or permanent hair dye, people working in the hair care industry are also at risk. They are exposed to the chemicals every day. While it is not clear how much exposure to black hair dye will increase the risk for certain types of cancer, researchers are continuing to study the issue.

In the meantime, whether or not to use black hair dye remains a personal decision. Other options that may be discussed with your hairdresser are using more natural, vegetable-based products. They may not be as effective with color, but they would be far safer to use.

For more information about hair dyes and cancer, visit www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/intheworkplace/hair-dyes
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.
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