Hair Straighteners’ Risk Too Small to Stop, Docs and Women Say

Oct. 20, 2022 – Clarissa Ghazi gets lye relaxers, which contain the chemical sodium hydroxide, applied to her hair two to three times a year.

A recent study that made headlines over a potential link between hair straighteners and uterine cancer is not going to make her stop. 

“This study is not enough to cause me to say I’ll stay away from this because [the researchers] don’t prove that using relaxers causes cancer,” Ghazi says.

Indeed, primary care doctors are unlikely to address the increased risk of uterine cancer in women who frequently use hair straighteners that the study reported. 

Among frequent users of hair straighteners — meaning those who used them more than four times a year — the researchers found that women were 2.55 times more likely to be diagnosed with uterine cancer than those who never used these products.

In the recently published paper on this research, the authors say that they found an 80% higher adjusted risk of uterine cancer among women who had ever “straightened,” “relaxed,” or used “hair pressing products” in the 12 months before enrolling in their study.

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