BREAST CANCER LINKED TO PERMANENT HAIR DYE AND CHEMICAL HAIR STRAIGHTENERS IN STUDY OF ALMOST 50,000 WOMEN
BY ROSIE MCCALL ON 12/3/19 AT 7:00 PM EST
Traditional salons are slow to change their ways but with more and more scientific data showing how incredibly toxic and harmful traditional beauty products are, and have been for a long time, more and more women are seeking a healthy alternative to what the traditional salon is offering. That’s where organic salons like My Hair Trip Salon Denver comes in, offering non-toxic, non-harmful beauty solutions that are healthy and also work as well or better than any traditional products and lines available today!
“Women who regularly use permanent hair dye could be increasing their risk of breast cancer up to 60 percent, according to scientists writing in the International Journal of Cancer.
A study based on the medical records of more than 45,000 women found a positive correlation between permanent hair dye and breast cancer—particularly among those who are black.
While the paper is based on patterns and trends and, as such, doesn’t confirm a direct cause, it adds to research suggesting there may be carcinogens lurking in commonly-used beauty products.
“The results do not surprise me,” Otis W. Brawley, medical oncologist and epidemiologist at the Hopkins-Kimmel Cancer Center, told Newsweek. “Many of us have worried that the chemicals in especially the permanent hair dyes and hair straighteners have the potential to cause cancer.”
Taken as a group women who regularly dyed their hair appeared to be increasing their risk of developing breast cancer by 9 percent. However, for black women, the risk of developing breast cancer was significantly higher—at 45 percent.
This increased even further, to 60 percent, among black women who heavily used hair dye, defined in this case as once (or more) every five to eight weeks. The associated risk for white women, in contrast, was 7 percent for regular use and 8 percent for heavy use.
There also appeared to be differences depending on the type of hair dye used. Dark hair dye was associated with a 51 percent increase in risk for black women and an 8 percent in risk for white women. When it came to light hair dye, there appeared to be a 46 percent increase in risk for black women and a 12 percent increase risk for white women.
Why there are racial variations is unclear, but the researchers suggest it may be linked to differences in the way it is used or differences in the way products marketed for black and white audiences are made. The study’s authors reference previous research that suggests those made for black women could have higher levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
“Black women are already at an increased risk of breast cancer, and drawing a clear line to hair products is difficult,” Stephanie Bernik, MD, Chief of Breast Surgery at Mount Sinai West in New York told Newsweek.
“Having said that, I do believe the study gives us enough evidence to call for a prospective trial designed to specifically look at this one factor to see if the increased risk of cancer persists. In the meantime, I would caution patients that there is a possible link between hair dyes and cancer, although more research is needed.”
They also found a significant correlation between breast cancer risk and chemical hair straighteners, with the researchers emphasizing this needs to be backed up by other research. (Other studies have confirmed no breast cancer risk associated with hair relaxers)
However, in this case, the risk was consistent, increasing across all races by 30 percent for women who use chemical hair straighteners every five to eight weeks or more. Though, as the study authors point out, this is likely to affect black women more as chemical straighteners are used by black women more than they are by white women.
As far as their advice for women who dye or chemically straighten their hair goes, Dale Sandler, Ph.D., chief of the NIEHS Epidemiology Branch who was involved in the research, points to the numerous other carcinogenic chemicals people are regularly exposed to.
Brawley advises women use hair dye and chemical hair straighteners very carefully but says there are other things that will have more of an impact on whether someone will develop cancer or not.
“I would also point out that the combination of obesity, consuming too many calories and lack of physical activity has a much higher relative risk for breast cancer in both black and white women,” said Brawley, a former Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of the American Cancer Society.
Michael Jones, Senior Staff Scientist in Epidemiology at The Institute of Cancer Research, said: “It is too early to make a firm recommendation on the basis of one study, and further research is needed. The whole literature needs to be evaluated by expert groups, bringing together the evidence to make recommendations” he told Newsweek. He adds there are limitations to the study.
“The Sisters Study is a good prospective cohort study—but women were recruited to the study because they had a sister with breast cancer, so the conclusions wouldn’t necessarily hold true for women in the wider population, hence the need for further confirmation.”
There were no observable differences in cancer risk between women who did not die their hair period and those who used temporary or semi-permanent dye.
The research was based on the medical records of more than 46,000 women aged 35 to 74 from the Sister Study, meaning all women involved had a close relative who had died of breast cancer. The results include information from a follow-up period of roughly 8 years, when 2,794 breast cancers were identified.
The article has been updated to include comments from Stephanie Bernik, Chief of Breast Surgery at Mount Sinai West, and Otis W. Brawley, medical oncologist and epidemiologist at the Hopkins-Kimmel Cancer Center.”
This article and more from NEWSWEEKLeave a reply
By Laurel Nelson, contributing writer with Salon Today
Frustrated with lack of flexibility in their schedules and a desire to make more money, many stylists leave traditional salon settings and turn to a career as an independent contractor, both as a solution to their challenges in the salon and as a stepping stone to becoming an owner.
But is the grass always greener? And is the experience in a booth rental or salon suite-setting enough to launch a career as an owner? Bebea Hanna is a stylist who has worked in both the traditional salon environment and as an independent contractor. Here, she shares her experience.
Q: WHAT MADE YOU LEAVE THE TRADITIONAL SALON ENVIRONMENT TO BE INDEPENDENT?
“After having two different salon experiences that weren’t successful for various reasons, I wanted to be in control of my own environment, creativity and inventory. I thought it would be a stepping stone to see if I wanted to own a salon on a larger scale, and to see if I liked a salon dependent on just me owning the business.
In the past, I had experienced problems like bounced checks from owners, so I thought by becoming independent, I would be able to control everything—the hours I worked, the products I carried, etc. It was a trial run of owning a mini-salon.”
Q: WHAT ARE THE PROS TO BEING AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR?
“The freedom and flexibility to have my own schedule, and creatively to go whatever direction I wanted. I also saw it as a financial gain because I wasn’t giving up the huge percentage of money that I was in the salon. But later, I started to understand why I had to give up that part of my income.
Responsibilities like stocking retail, doing laundry, handling my accounting and being my own front desk started preventing me from being creatively free. At one point, I thought about not selling retail to take something off my plate, but retail is the direct link of loyalty between the stylist and client. I realized I was deteriorating in my ability to be a stylist, which is what I do really well.”
Q: WHY DID YOU GO BACK TO A TRADITIONAL SALON?
“I started becoming really unprofessional in ways I wouldn’t have expected of myself. I would move appointments around for my own convenience because I had gaps in my day, without consideration of the client. At first, because the relationship is so personal, the client is understanding. And if I was sick, I’d have to call six different people to reschedule.
I also started being late, and had a horrible schedule. I’d work Sundays to take off Saturdays, but end up working seven days a week.
At that point I had minimum retail because I was tired of dealing with it and sales tax. And I really wanted a structured schedule so I could come to work and focus on my actual job—servicing my clients and educating them on how to take care of their home needs. I was ready to let someone more business-minded deal with scheduling and retail, and I wanted a consistent paycheck.
I was getting surges of money—$10k one month and $3k the next—but with the same monthly expenses. I would turn everything I did into a write-off, but I was really just cheating myself by not paying taxes the way I should.
Slowly, the perks stopped outweighing the advantages. In the beginning, I did everything possible to get clients in my chair. But I was getting burnt out and stopped taking client calls. Then I’d forget to return the call and finally got to the point I didn’t want to do hair at all. I wasn’t getting new clients, either, because I wasn’t pushing for referrals. I was in this frame of mind that I could do less work for more money because I was getting 100 percent of the profit. But if I had run it like a real business, and paid my taxes correctly, I wouldn’t have made any money.
Another big reason for burnout was I stopped going to classes because I was on my own to pay for education. And when I did go, I didn’t know anyone—it would be groups of stylists from salons, and then I’d be on my own. It took a toll on my skills artistically.
I also missed working next to other stylists and seeing their work. And when I did see someone else’s work, I didn’t know how they did it or what product they used. I wanted to be a part of a team where together we’re great. I didn’t want to stay in a room for years and do the same little razor cut.
When I went back to a traditional commission salon, I chose one affiliated with a professional manufacturer so I could get the support of education.”
Q: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER A STYLIST CONSIDERING BECOMING INDEPENDENT?
“Think about why you’re in the industry and what you need. Are you getting what you need out of it artistically? Are you keeping yourself inspired? Is the communication you have with just your clients enough? Are you ok with being isolated in a room by yourself?
The ones making money are free-flowing with it, which is easy to do for a couple years, but not forever. Is it worth the integrity of your work? Are you giving the best you can? When you do an amazing haircut in the salon and people watch it, that feels good. When nobody sees it, what are the odds you are going to just give a simple trim? Your peers know the difference between a good and great haircut, and being in the salon puts you on stage with your co-workers. Most stylists want recognition and to watch other people. It’s not a natural environment to be isolated. It’s hard—while a client’s color is processing, you can’t just get your lunch out and eat, or leave them in a little room by themselves.
I’m now more appreciative of the traditional salon environment and the fact that retail shelves are stocked with products available to support my work. I know why I’m giving the salon commission now—electricity, water, clean towels, maintenance, a fully-stocked color bar.
These tools allow me to do my job freely, and I’m no longer resentful of my phone ringing on a Sunday, so I’m more professional with my clients.
I realized owning a salon was not what I wanted. I wanted to do good hair, be inspired, teach and be taught—I couldn’t do that in a room by myself.”Leave a reply