Cousins! A new study has indicated that there may be a possible link between hair straightening products and uterine cancer.
According to the National Institution of National Health, Black women have been ranked as high risk. This has been implied because of the high use of specific products in the Black community.
Researchers are currently warning the public that consistent use of products and brands that contain chemicals with “endocrine-disrupting and carcinogenic properties,” can be hazardous.
“Frequent and especially long-term use of some hair straightening products can affect long-term health. This is particularly important for Black women to know as the natural-to-relaxer movement gains momentum,” says family physician Dr. LaTasha Perkins.
The Sister Study, consisted of over 30,000 participants ranging from the ages of 35 and 74 who had never been diagnosed with breast cancer but had at least one sister who has suffered from the disease. According to Yahoo news, 378 uterine cancer cases were identified in the study nearly 11 years later. It is said that the endocrine blocking chemicals could be found in the hair products that possibility contribute to uterine cancer. “..because of their ability to alter hormonal actions.”
“The risk of developing uterine cancer for frequent users of relaxers is 4.05% compared to 1.64% for women who’ve never used hair straightening products—a number worth paying attention to,” says Perkins. “Mind you, uterine cancer is generally rare, but is the most common cancer of the female reproductive system according to the study.”
“Generally speaking, cancer is the abnormal replication of cells that spread to other parts of the body. Hormone-disrupting chemicals like parabens, formaldehyde, and metals, which are commonly found in hair straightening products, have been connected to all sorts of cancer,” says Perkins.
“When we put chemicals like this on our scalps, a highly porous part of our body, those chemicals are absorbed and enter our bloodstream. This can prompt the growth of abnormal cells, and eventually result in a case of uterine cancer, for example. Hormone-disrupting chemicals disrupt the natural course of cell development.”
In the last decade or so women have began to rock their natural hair completely leaving what is known as the ‘creamy crack! back in the early 2000s era. However recent reports show that women are beginning to revert back to straight hair.
“Before you make the decision to return to a relaxer, please educate yourself on what you’re putting on and in your body. Take the time to understand the composition of your preferred relaxer and consider formaldehyde-free or lye-free options, for example,” says Perkins. “Your scalp is a reservoir for absorption, so be mindful of how certain chemicals could affect your health in the long run. And remember, there are ways to get the same look through alternative hair styling methods.”
Cousins, what are your thoughts on this?