The Connection Between Cancer and Hair Dyes

People who used dark hair dye for two decades or more had a four times greater risk of dying from two cancers of the immune system, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

cancer-and-hair-dyeDoes hair dye cause cancer in people who use it? The overall epidemiological studies are mostly reassuring. A large survey by the American Cancer Society found that dye users had a slightly lower rate of fatal cancers than people who didn’t color their hair, with one noticeable exception.

People who used dark hair dye for two decades or more had a four times greater risk of dying from two cancers of the immune system, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Is there a conclusive link between cancer and hair dyes? The experts seem to disagree and detailed studies are continuing. For the most part the findings are still inconclusive.

The most common belief is that hair color professionals and people who use dark colored permanent dyes may be at the highest risk of developing cancer after periods of extended involvement with hair dyes. Chemist John Bailey, Ph.D., Director of FDA’s colors and cosmetics program, notes “studies raise some questions about the safety of hair dyes,” he says, “but at this point there’s no basis for us to say that hair dyes pose a definitive risk of cancer. In the final analysis, consumers will need to consider the lack of demonstrated safety when they choose to use hair dyes.”

Although the studies seem to only warn against dark colored permanent dye and occupational hazards, Dr. Andrew Weil, the natural health care guru, advises against any use of hair colors or dyes whatsoever. Dr. Weil believes that the color additives in hair dyes “are energetic molecules that can interact with DNA, potentially causing mutations that lead to cancer”.

Many natural health care experts agree with Dr. Weil and recommend if you must color your hair you do it as naturally and as infrequently as possible. The bottom line is to weigh your various options. If you are a hair color professional consider wearing heavy plastic gloves and a mask to protect against fumes. Try to schedule your color work so that you have a break in between applications.

Consumers, when possible, should look at less toxic options such as all natural coloring agents available at the health food stores or vegetable based colors like Clairol’s Castings line. Remember, before you make any final decisions about what is best for you, your hair and your body, it is important to research your options.

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3 Comments

  1. carlgriffin

    Hair dye carcinogens are found
    in fat, urine and organs. Its dangerous.

  2. tommylee

    Hemp based coloring is as effective as any chemical based dye but completely natural. Ask the Native Indians and the Amazonas Indians.

  3. Smertebehandling

    thanks for sharing about it.

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