Breast cancer risk may depend on how often women dye their hair

The number of times women dye their hair each year could impact their risk of getting breast cancer. Image: Getty

A breast surgeon has claimed that the number of times women dye their hair every year could have an impact on their risk of developing breast cancer. 

Professor Kefah Mokbel, the lead surgeon at the London Breast Institute and Honorary Professor of Breast Cancer Surgery at The Brunel Institute of Cancer Genetics, tweeted his findings that a recent met-analysis showed “a positive association” between the use of hair dyes and breast cancer risk.  

In fact, women who dye their hair often are 14 per cent more likely to suffer breast cancer.

“Women are advised to reduce exposure to synthetic hair dyes to 2-6 times per year and undergo regular breast screening from the age of 40,” Mokbel tweeted. 

“It would be preferable to choose hair dyes that contain the minimum concentration of aromatic amines such as PPD (less than 2%).”

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If you’re a frequent visitor to the salon chair, however, you don’t necessarily have to give up your hair colour and let the greys set in if you’re not ready to. Mokbel advises that it would be reasonable to assume that hair dyes hair that consist of natural, herbal ingredients such as rose hip and rhubarb are safe.

And for those addicted to chemically straightening their hair, the news is good, with Mokbel advising that there is no evidence hair relaxers increased the cancer risk. 

While he said that further research is required to clarify the relationship between hair dyes and breast cancer risk, it is certainly an interesting development. 

How often do you dye your hair, or have you given it up?