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Some hair treatments are associated with an increased risk of cellular degeneration

Some hair treatments are associated with an increased risk of cellular degeneration

Health also passes from the head and, in particular, from what we apply on the head and hair. And from today we know that special attention should be given to chemical straightening hair treatments that, if used in excess, could increase the risk of uterine, ovarian and breast cancer in women. This emerges from a very recent scientific research published in the Journal of The National Cancer Institute by American scientists from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, North Carolina (Chang et al, JNCI, Oct 2022).

Hair products, risks and benefits

Hair products have been under the magnifying glass for some years due to the possible presence of substances designed for the beauty of the hair but which could act causing hormonal alterations and cellular degeneration. More attention is given to hair products than other personal care products as the substances contained in these cosmetics are absorbed by the scalp much faster. This ability to absorb increases if there are also wounds and burns on the skin, which are often associated with hair treatments such as straightening treatments.

Straightening treatments increase the risk of uterine cancer, the study

Researchers, in a previous study, had already observed that the regular use of permanent dyes and chemical straightening treatments are associated with a higher risk of developing, over the years, ovarian and breast cancer in women who use it extensively. In the study we are talking about today, the researchers analyzed data regarding the habits of resorting to permanent dyes, straightening and relaxing treatments for the hair and the health conditions of 33,497 women. The volunteers were all aged between 35 and 74 at the start of the study and were followed for 11 years. What emerged is that those who use hair straightening chemicals the most, i.e. more than 4 times a year, also have a higher risk, estimated to be more than double, of developing uterine cancer than those who use less of these products. The substances found in hair straightening products, such as parabens, bisphenol A, heavy metals and formaldehyde, are believed to contribute to increasing the risk of uterine cancer.

Conclusions

Other studies will follow to understand exactly which chemicals are responsible for the increased risk of cellular degeneration. In the meantime, however, this article makes us understand the importance of paying attention to the quality of the products we use for our hair.
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