The Two Most Common Hair Products Linked With Cancer: Should You Use Them?

Using hair products to take better care of your hair – there is nothing wrong here. With so many factors working against your lustrous locks, hair care products can help protect and maintain them.

The issue is that chemicals in these products may start producing side effects. And some of these can be life-threatening, so you’d rather not get these freebies with the hair styling product you buy.

This article gives a closer insight into the worst possible side effect of hair straighteners and hair dyes – cancer. Read on to know more.

The Hair-Raising Side of Hair Care and Styling Products

Are hair care products dangerous? This is a simple question for which there is no straight answer. Sure, these can be dangerous when there are certain toxic chemicals. At the same time, the most commonly used products contain chemicals that are known to cause health problems but in controlled amounts. 

Some of the common side effects of hair products are rashes, skin infections, hair fall (ironical, yes), eye irritation, and so on. These are nothing serious that some home remedies or basic medication cannot fix. Sadly, there are far more dangerous issues that these may cause. Although, the degree and span of exposure, ethnicity, and other factors matter here.

Hair Styling Products And Their Connection With Cancer

Want to know how dangerous cosmetics like hair straighteners and hair dyes can be? Here is a closer look:

Cancer and Hair Straighteners

A 2019 study stated the risk of increased ovarian and breast cancer in women using permanent hair dyes and hair straightening products, especially those of the African American community.

Then came the 2022 NIH study, which mentions that women using hair straightening products more frequently had a higher chance of developing uterine cancer. The chemicals responsible are parabens, bisphenol-A, formaldehyde, etc. 

In both studies, black women were more at risk because they were the more active users of such products. And within a few days of the report’s release, 32-year-old Jenny Mitchell, a uterine cancer survivor who went a hysterectomy, sued five major cosmetic brands. She had no family history of the illness, and the claim was that her cancer was due to the prolonged use of hair products.

This was just the start, and soon other lawsuits followed. It was only recently that all of the hair relaxer lawsuits were consolidated into an MDL (multi-district litigation). More and more victims like Jenny Mitchell are coming to light and engaging in lawsuits. 

There are various attorneys and law firms helping women file a hair straightener cancer lawsuit. TorHoerman Law, LLC suggests eligible victims must preserve evidence to support their claims. It can be in the likes of medical records, medical bills, doctor’s notes, witness statements, and so on.

This is among the handful of major lawsuits against hair product manufacturers. As of April 2023, both the MDL and further research on hair straitening products as a cause of uterine cancer are yet to reach a concluding chapter. As a result, victims are looking up to attorneys and law firms to deliver them justice.

Bladder Cancer and Hair Dyes

Hair dyes have been a product of concern for decades. However, there has been no significant evidence that states the side effects of hair dyes can be harmful. Various factors cause such limitations.

To begin with, hair dyes can be of different types – permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary. Next, there are a variety of chemicals used in manufacturing them, the list of which has changed after the 1980s. So any reports of older hair dyes causing cancer are not trustworthy anymore. 

And then there is the problem that it’s not just users but those working with them that are exposed to hair dyes. There are indeed a few findings that mention that exposure to hair dye can increase the risk of bladder cancer for those working as barbers or in salons. No such effect has been observed on consumers. 

Then some researchers support the claim that hair dyes increase the risk of certain leukemias and lymphomas. As for breast cancer, there have been mixed results. 

The Way Forward

As more studies link the use of cosmetics with life-threatening illnesses, consumers are becoming careful of what they use. Shifting to hair styling products made of natural ingredients seems like a viable solution.

There are many claims and plenty of studies that show the link between hair cosmetics and other illnesses. However, others reject the findings completely. Thus the lack of data and pending research is preventing the release of any conclusive evidence. 

For the foreseeable future, focusing more on the ingredients of hair products is the right way to go. 

 

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