Let’s Get it Straight: Hair Products May Increase Cancer Risk
Cancer Risk Cancer Cancer Prevention

Let’s Get it Straight: Hair Products May Increase Cancer Risk

Dr. Talia Henkle
Dr. Talia Henkle

In 10 seconds? Certain hair dyes and hair straightening chemicals might increase the risk of certain cancers–particularly for Black women. Scientists believe certain chemicals that impact our hormones, called endocrine disruptors, may be to blame.

What are endocrine disruptors? Our endocrine system produces hormones, which regulate bodily functions ranging from hunger to sexual maturity. Endocrine disruptors, or EDs, are chemicals that interfere with normal functioning of our hormones. EDs are found all over the place–in plastics, food, cosmetics, soaps and hair products. Due to the well-established role of hormones–particularly estrogen–in tumors such as breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer, researchers were interested in investigating if EDs play a role in cancer risk.

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