WOMEN who regularly dye their hair may be at greater risk of developing breast cancer, new research has found.
Professor Kefah Mokbel, a breast cancer surgeon at London’s Princess Grace Hospital, reviewed studies on hair dye and breast cancer and found a 14 per cent rise in the disease in women who regularly coloured their hair.
He suggests women should dye their hair only two to six times per year and opt for more natural ingredients like beetroot, henna and rose hip to reduce their risk of developing the disease, reports the Sunday Times.
He said: “Although further work is required to confirm our results, our findings suggest that exposure to hair dyes may contribute to breast cancer risk.
“What I find concerning is the fact that the industry recommends women should dye their hair every four to six weeks.”
Professor Kefah urged women to have regular breast screenings from the age of 40.
He wrote on Twitter: “Further research is required to clarify the relationship between hair dies and breast cancer risk in order to better inform women.
“It is reasonable to assume that hair dyes that consist of natural herbal ingredients such as rose hip, rhubarb etc are safe.
“There is no evidence that hair relaxers increase breast cancer risk.”
It is not the first study to link hair dye and breast cancer.
In March a study from Finland found hair dye can increase the risk of developing the breast cancer by 23 per cent.
Researcher Sanna Heikkinen, of the University of Helsinki and Finnish Cancer Registry, said: “There was a 23% observed increase in the risk of breast cancer among women who dyed their hair compared to those who didn’t.”
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But she noted more research was needed to establish a strong link between the two, adding it was “not possible to confirm a true casual connection”.
Dr Keikkinen added biggest risks factors for breast cancer are age, giving birth in later in life, having fewer children, high alcohol consumption and a sedentary lifestyle.
The Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association said hair dyes were covered by robust safety requirements.
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