The two most common hair products associated with cancer are: should they be used?

Using hair products to take better care of your hair – nothing wrong with that. With so many factors working against your shiny locks, hair care products can help protect and preserve them.

The problem is that the chemicals in these products can cause side effects. And some of them can be life-threatening, so you’d rather not get these freebies with the hair care product you buy.

This article provides a more detailed look at the worst possible side effect of hair straighteners and hair dyes: cancer. Read on to learn more.

The depilatory side of hair care and styling products

Are hair care products dangerous? This is a simple question for which there is no clear answer. Of course, they can be dangerous when certain toxic chemicals are present. Meanwhile, most commonly used products contain chemicals known to cause health problems, but in controlled amounts.

Common side effects of hair products include rashes, skin infections, hair loss (ironic, yes), eye irritation, and more. These are nothing serious that some home remedies or basic medications can’t fix. Unfortunately, there are far more dangerous problems it can cause. Although, degree and duration of exposure, ethnicity and other factors are important here.

Hair styling products and their link to cancer

Want to know how dangerous cosmetic products like hair straighteners and dyes can be? Here is a closer look.

Cancer and hair straighteners

A 2019 study found an increased risk of ovarian and breast cancer in women who use permanent hair dyes and hair straighteners, particularly in the African-American community.

Then there was a 2022 NIH study that found women who used hair straighteners more often had a higher chance of developing uterine cancer. The chemicals responsible are parabens, bisphenol-A, formaldehyde, etc.

In both studies, black women were at greater risk because they were more active users of such products. And within days of the report, uterine cancer survivor Jenny Mitchell, 32, who underwent a hysterectomy, sued five major cosmetic brands. She had no family history of the disease, and it was claimed that her cancer was caused by long-term use of hair products.

This was just the beginning, and other court cases soon followed. It was only recently that all hairdressing lawsuits were consolidated into an MDL (multiple class action litigation). More and more victims like Jenny Mitchell are coming forward and going through court cases.

There are various attorneys and law firms that help women represent a hair straightening cancer lawsuit TorHoerman Law, LLC suggests eligible victims should preserve evidence to support their claims. It can be in the form of medical records, medical bills, doctor’s notes, witness statements, etc.

This is one of several major lawsuits against hair product manufacturers. As of April 2023, both the MDL and subsequent research on hair straighteners as a cause of uterine cancer have yet to reach a final chapter. As a result, victims are looking for lawyers and law firms to get them justice.

Bladder cancer and hair dyes

Hair dyes have been a concern for decades. However, there is no substantial evidence that 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 number of chemicals used in their production, the list of which has changed since the 1980s. So any reports of older hair dyes causing cancer are no longer credible.

And then there’s the problem that not only users, but those who work with them are exposed to the hair dyes. Indeed, there are several findings that indicate that exposure to hair dyes may increase the risk of bladder cancer for those who work as hairdressers or in salons. No such effect was observed on consumers.

Some researchers then support the claim that hair dyes increase the risk of certain leukemias and lymphomas. As for breast cancer, different results have been recorded.

Way forward

As more studies link cosmetic use to life-threatening illnesses, consumers are becoming cautious about what they use. Moving on to hair styling products that are formulated natural components appear to be a viable solution.

There are many claims and many studies showing the link between hair cosmetics and other diseases. However, others completely reject the findings. Thus, the lack of data and pending research prevent any definitive evidence from being published.

For the foreseeable future, focusing more on hair product ingredients is the way to go.

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