A new study looks at the link between hair relaxers and cancer

Hair relaxers may raise the risk of uterine cancer, says a new study.

Researchers tracked 33,947 women aged 35 to 74. (Only 7 percent were Black, but 74 percent of the Black women and 3 percent of the white women in the study reported using relaxers.)

After 11 years, those who reported using hair relaxers (or other chemical straighteners) within the previous year had an 80 percent higher risk of uterine cancer than those who said they had not used relaxers. And women who reported using relaxers more than 4 times per year were 2½ times as likely to be diagnosed with uterine cancer.

Hair dyes, perms, body waves, bleach, and highlights were not linked to uterine cancer.

What to do

Though this study can’t prove that hair relaxers cause cancer, think twice about using them. In earlier studies, relaxers were linked to a higher risk of ovarian and breast cancer.

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