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Is it true that hair dye can cause cancer? Fact Check

Although seen as a harmless activity, the habit of shining hair is often associated with an increased risk of cancer? Is the paint used to color hair something dangerous? Check out the medical explanation in the following review.

Is it true that hair dye can cause cancer?  Fact Check

Get to know the types of hair dye

Hair dye or dye actually consists of various chemical substances. Currently, there are various types of hair dyes that are sold in the market.

There are three types of hair dye that are commonly found in the market, namely:

  • Temporary dye (temporary). This type of dye will cover the surface of the hair but not get into the hair shaft. The color in the hair will disappear after one to two washes.
  • Semi-permanent dye. This type of dye can last longer than the temporary type, but the dye is not absorbed into the hair roots. The color on the hair will disappear after five to 10 washings.
  • Permanent dyes (oxidative). This type of hair dye will permanently change the chemical structure of the hair shaft. You will often find this type of dye in salons. Hair dye will not disappear until new hair appears.

Also Read: 10 Benefits of Hazelnut Oil for Hair Health

Cancer Potential and Its Relation to Hair Dye

Hair dyes or dyes can contain thousands of different chemicals. Some of the chemicals in it can form a chemical compound known as formaldehyde. This formaldehyde compound will be released into the air during the hair coloring process.

Therefore, people who frequently dye their hair or who work as hairdressers have a higher risk of being exposed to this substance.

Formaldehyde compounds are classified as carcinogenic, a substance that can cause cancer or trigger the growth of cancer cells.

Several other compounds in hair dye can also interfere with the work and amount of hormones in the body, thus affecting cancer risk.

A study in animals revealed, exposure to high doses Compounds that are included in the aromatic amine group in hair dye can cause cancer. The research also found that the chemical can turn healthy cells into cancer cells.

Types of Cancer Associated with Hair Dye

Several types of cancer are known to arise due to hair dye, including:

1. Breast Cancer

Some studies show that hair dye may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer. However, studies do not provide consistent results.

A 2019 study found that women who used permanent dyes had a 9 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer compared to those who didn’t dye their hair.

Another study also found that women who dyed their hair had a 23 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer compared to those who didn’t dye their hair.

2. Bladder Cancer

Hairdresser and barber Those who are exposed to hair dyes at work have a higher risk of bladder cancer.

The study, combining 42 studies, found that hairdressers who had worked for more than 10 years had an increased risk.

Another study showed that 1,500 people who use hair dye at least once a month can increase the risk of bladder cancer. This risk will increase in women who have used permanent hair dye for 15 years or more.

Also Read: 10 Natural Ways to Nourish Hair, Easy to Do

3. Blood Cancer

Several types of blood cancer, such as leukemia and lymphoma, are also linked to hair dye.

Research involving more than 10,000 women found that women who had a habit of dyeing their hair before 1980 had a slightly higher risk of developing lymphoma, compared to women who did not dye their hair.

This result could be due to the fact that hair dye formulations at that time contained chemicals that could cause cancer.

4. Prostate Cancer

Not only in women, dyeing hair is also done in men. The risk of getting prostate cancer will increase in men who do hair coloring.

A 2017 study found that people who dye their hair have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer compared to those who don’t dye their hair.

Additionally, a 2021 study states that hair dye may increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Risk Factors for Getting Cancer Due to Hair Dye

The more often you are exposed to chemicals that cause cancer, the higher your risk of getting this condition.

The following are several factors that can increase the risk, including:

  • exposure type. People who work as hairdressers in salons are more likely to be exposed to chemicals from hair dye than customers whose hair is colored.
  • Duration of use of hair dye. The more often you re-dye your hair, the risk of developing cancer will increase.
  • Frequency. The more often you dye your hair, the more often you are exposed to the chemicals in hair dye.
  • Hair dye color. Dark hair dyes, such as black and brown can contain more carcinogenic chemicals compared to light color hair dyes.
  • genetics. Hair dye that absorbs into the blood circulation will be broken down in the liver. People who have slow liver enzyme metabolism are more likely to develop bladder cancer.

Also Read: 11 Ways to Overcome Hair Loss and Dandruff, Easy and Safe

Safe Hair Shining Tips

Here are some safe tips for dyeing your hair, including:

  1. Follow the directions listed on the packaging. Heed all written warnings.
  2. Be sure to check for an allergic skin reaction before applying hair dye all over your hair.
  3. Wear gloves when applying hair dye.
  4. Do not leave the hair dye on longer than directed.
  5. Rinse the scalp thoroughly with water after use.
  6. Do not use hair dye to dye your eyebrows or eyelashes as this can cause irritation and eye problems.
  7. Don’t scratch or brush your scalp for three days before dyeing your hair.
  8. Do not color your hair if your scalp is irritated, sunburnt, or otherwise damaged.
  9. Wait at least 14 days after bleachingstraighten your hair, or curl your hair before coloring your hair.

Hair dye contains various chemical substances, some of which are carcinogens and can cause changes in the body’s hormones. Therefore, you need to be careful when coloring your hair.

In the market there are several hair dye products derived from plants. Even though it has some drawbacks, such as not being able to last long and not being able to change hair color drastically, these products can be an option for those of you who are worried about chemical hair dyes.

  1. Anonymous. 2021. Does Using Hair Dye Increase Your Breast Cancer Risk? (Accessed 28 February 2023).
  2. Anonymous. 2022. Hair Dyes and Cancer Risk. (Accessed 28 February 2023).
  3. Akers, Mechelle Renee. 2023. Does Hair Dye Cause Cancer? (Accessed 28 February 2023).
  4. Robinson, Mary. 2021. Do Hair Dye and Hair Relaxers Increase Cancer Risk? (Accessed 28 February 2023).
  5. Watson, Stephanie. 2022. Does Hair Dye Increase Cancer Risk? (Accessed 28 February 2023).

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