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The Link Between Uterine Cancer and Hair Straightening Chemicals

The Link Between Uterine Cancer and Hair Straightening Chemicals

Get the latest on a new study published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute regarding the link between uterine cancer and hair straightening chemicals.

October 19, 2022

Quadeera Teart

FeelWell Magazine — Researchers from The Sister Study have just published a new study connecting the chemicals in hair straightening products to uterine cancer.

The study published on Monday, October 17, 2022 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The Sister Study is a study conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences from 2003 to 2009. Each woman in the study had a sister with breast cancer and committed to helping the organization identify risk factors that would help the research team identify ways to prevent breast cancer. The study included data of 50,000+ women between the ages of 35 - 74. These women answered questionnaires regarding their use of certain hair products, including perms, dyes, relaxers and straighteners.

This is not the first time we've heard of a link between chemicals in hair products and cancer, but it is the first time we're hearing about it being linked to uterine cancer. Uterine cancer includes two types of cancers: endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma, both affecting the female reproductive system.

The study states that hair straightening products may contain chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system and embody carcinogenic (cancer causing) properties. This is similar to other studies linking the use of certain hair products with hormone-sensitive cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer.

Which chemicals did the study specifically link to uterine cancers?

  • Formaldehyde

  • Formaldehyde-releasing chemicals

  • Oxidized para-phenylenediamine

  • 4-aminobiphenyl in hair dyes

How do these chemicals get into your body if you're using them on your hair?

The endocrine system is the system related to our glands. These glands release hormones into the bloodstream and could potentially get into fluid surrounding the cells, which our organs and tissues can be the receptors.

Who's most affected by this news?

Of the 50,000+ women in the study 59.9% reported using hair straightening products using the above-mentioned chemicals. Out of those 59.9%, the most uterine cancer cases went to Black women, who only made up 7.4% of the studied population. All women should be on high alert, but Black women and women more likely to use hair straightening chemicals should really take a deeper look at the chemicals in their hair care products.

The Takeaway

Be mindful of what you feed your body topically as well as orally. Proper nutrition is not just about what you eat, it's about what and how you feed your body. To learn more about the hair and beauty products used in your home, check out EWG's Skin Deep site rating over 87,000 products from over 3,000 personal care brands.

ALTERNATIVE: Keep your personal care and beauty products local. Shop local farmer's markets, vendor markets and/or events. Be on the lookout as we add more nutritious products for your breath, brain and body to the FeelWell Store.


About the Editor

Quadeera Teart is the Publisher and Wellness Curator of Feel Well Magazine.She loves teaching wellness and women-owned companies strategies to increase visibility and credibility through multiple forms of media. She's had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Harriet Cole, former editor-in-chief at Ebony Magazine, TV Personality & Wellness Entrepreneur, Yandy Smith-Harris and led brand initiatives for the celebrity non-profit, Honey Shine, Inc., a non-profit founded by Tracy W. Mourning. You can stay connected to her by subscribing to Feel Well Magazine and by following her personal page on Instagram.

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