Study finds connection between breast cancer and hair products

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (WPIX) — Researchers from Rutgers School of Public Health, Rutgers New Jersey Cancer Institute and Roswell Park Cancer Institute went into 4,285 women's homes in New York and New Jersey to conduct interviews, take blood samples and measurements.

They found that women using certain hair products, specifically hair dyes and hair relaxers, were at a higher risk for breast cancer.

"And we found that the associations differed by race," stated Dr. Adana Llanos, the study's lead author.

One major finding was that among African-American women, darker hair dye such as brown or black, was associated with a 51 percent increased risk of breast cancer. Researchers also found that African-American women who use dark hair dyes faced a 72 percent increased risk for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, a specific type of breast cancer.

SEE MORE: Foods that may help prevent breast cancer:

5 PHOTOS
Fruit to reduce breast cancer risk
See Gallery
Fruit to reduce breast cancer risk
Eating bananas, grapes and apples as an adolescent helped lower one's risk of breast cancer, while the same occurred when eating oranges in early adulthood.
​Eating bananas, grapes and apples as an adolescent helped lower one's risk of breast cancer, while the same occurred when eating oranges in early adulthood.
​Eating bananas, grapes and apples as an adolescent helped lower one's risk of breast cancer, while the same occurred when eating oranges in early adulthood.
​Eating bananas, grapes and apples as an adolescent helped lower one's risk of breast cancer, while the same occurred when eating oranges in early adulthood.
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

While caucasian women who use chemical relaxers or straighteners were found to have a 74 percent increased risk for breast cancer.

However, Dr. Llanos cautioned that the study does not directly prove that these hair products cause cancer.

"I probably wouldn't go as far to say you should never dye your hair again," she said. "But I would just say be mindful and look at the ingredients maybe do a little more research."

Rutgers researchers are going to next work to determine which specific chemicals or brand name products may predispose women to a higher risk of breast cancer.

Related: Well-known figures who have battled cancer:

16 PHOTOS
Well-known figures who have battled cancer
See Gallery
Well-known figures who have battled cancer

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter

(REUTERS/Neil Hall)

Television personality Robin Roberts

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Another basal cell carcinoma. Thanks to frequent checks & amazing doctors, all's well. Looks worse w the dressing o… https://t.co/cFIi0Zhmtr

Actress Shannen Doherty

(REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

Chef Sandra Lee

(Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)

Cyclist Lance Armstrong

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Actress Rita Wilson attends

(Photo by Tara Ziemba/Getty Images)

Former GMA anchor Joan Lunden

(Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)

TV host Sharon Osbourne

(REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian)

Journalist Tom Brokaw

(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Actress Christina Applegate

(Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)

Comedian Wanda Sykes

(Photo by Tara Ziemba/Getty Images)

TV personality Giuliana Rancic

(Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Michigan Avenue)

Musician Sheryl Crow

(Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

Musician Rod Stewart

(REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story

Sign up for the Best Bites by AOL newsletter to get the most delicious recipes and hottest food trends delivered straight to your inbox every day.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.