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Hair Relaxers linked to increase risk of Uterine cancer, Study Shows

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

NIH study finds Black women may be more affected due to higher use.

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A version of this article was first published on National Institute of Health, News

Researchers found that women who used chemical hair straightening products had a higher risk of uterine cancer than women who did not.

The study included 33,497 U.S. women ages 35-74 participating in the Sister Study. The researchers found that women who used hair straightening products more than four times in the previous year were more than twice as likely to go on to develop uterine cancer compared to those who did not use the products.

Studies show that uterine cancer incidence rates have been rising in the United States, particularly among Black women. Black women use hair straightening or relaxer products more frequently and tend to initiate use at younger ages than other races and ethnicities.

Researchers found that women who used straighteners had an increased risk of hormone-related cancers. They did not collect information on brands or ingredients in the hair products the women used.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) published a study that found a relationship between straightener use and uterine cancer. The study found that permanent hair dye and straighteners may increase breast and ovarian cancer risk.


About the Author:

Carlene Blair is the Founder & CEO of Cancerversity, Carlene was diagnosed with stage 2B Hodgkin's Lymphoma at 22. After being diagnosed with cancer at a pivotal point in her life and having learned of the healthcare disparities for BIPOC through research and her own personal experiences, Carlene created Cancerversity to help young women of color navigate the ups and downs of a cancer diagnosis and to remove the stigmas around discussing cancer in the black community. Carlene is now in remission and hopes to continue providing a platform where thrivers and survivors feel comfortable sharing their stories.

If you want to learn more about Carlene Blair and Cancerversity, you can visit their website or follow them on Instagram @cancerversity.

Carlene Blair

Founder & CEO


Cancerversity opens conversations about cancer survival, statistics, treatments, and screening practices to bridge the gap in health equity for young women of color. The Cancerversity community welcomes young adult cancer patients, survivors, and their caregivers.

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