Hair Straightening Chemicals May Increase Uterine Cancer Risk


To some, having straight hair could be a mode. However, for Black girls, specifically, having relaxed, bone-straight hair is usually the distinction between touchdown and shedding a possibility.

But, in keeping with researchers on the National Institutes of Health, a current research reveals a hyperlink between straightening chemical compounds or relaxers and uterine most cancers. This kind of most cancers usually begins within the lining of the uterus.

Previous analysis has proven an elevated danger of hormone-related cancers like breast and ovarian influenced by hair straightening merchandise, per CNN. And Black girls are at an elevated danger on account of frequent use.

“We estimated that 1.64% of women who never used hair straighteners would go on to develop uterine cancer by the age of 70; but for frequent users, that risk goes up to 4.05%,” stated Alexandra White, lead writer on the research.

This new analysis is the “first epidemiologic evidence of an association between use of straightening products and uterine cancer,” per the research’s conclusion. Researchers revealed their findings on October 17, and per White, “the association was notably higher among Black women.” Still, the research’s findings additionally talk that “uterine cancer is indeed rare.” 

Black Women Lead Hair Straightening Product Use In Study

The current research collected information from about 34,000 girls between the ages of 35 and 74. Each particular person accomplished a questionnaire about utilizing hair merchandise like perms, dyes, relaxers, and straighteners. Researchers concerned additionally tracked most cancers diagnoses among the many group.

The affiliation between hair straightening merchandise and uterine most cancers was most prevalent amongst Black girls. Despite solely making up 7.4 % of the research group, they landed at 59.9 % for individuals who have used straighteners.

“Based off of the body of the literature in this area, we know that hair products marketed directly to Black children and women have shown to contain multiple chemicals associated with disrupting hormones, and these products marketed to Black women have also been shown to have harsher chemical formations,” research writer Chandra Jackson stated. “On top of that, we know that Black women tend to use multiple products simultaneously, which could contribute to Black women on average having higher concentrations of these hormone-disrupting chemicals in their systems.”

Nonetheless, the research didn’t accumulate data on specific manufacturers or elements within the hair merchandise used.

In an e mail to CNN, Dr. Otis Brawley, former chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, counseled the research however stated it’s “unable to show cause; it could be pure association.” 

Government Stepping In To Ban Hair Discrimination

Meanwhile, authorities officers are stepping in an try and put an finish to hair-based discrimination. In March, the House handed the Crown Act to fight this subject by prohibiting discrimination primarily based on hair texture or type. Under this act, discriminating towards an individual carrying their pure and protecting kinds, comparable to tight coils and curls, locs, twists, cornrows, Bantu knots, Afros, and many others., will probably be unlawful beneath federal legislation.

Democratic New Jersey consultant Bonnie Watson Coleman spoke the day the ‘Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair’ Act handed within the House.

“Here we are today, standing on behalf of those individuals–whether my colleagues on the other side recognize it or not–who are discriminated against as children in school, as adults who are trying to get jobs, individuals who are trying to get housing, individuals who simply want access to public accommodations and to be beneficiaries of federally funded programs,” Rep. Watson Coleman stated.

The act is now within the fingers of the Senate. In addition, a number of states have adopted the Crown Act into state legislation, together with Massachusetts, California, Colorado, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon.


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