Does Dying My Hair Increase My Chances Of Developing Breast Cancer?


Megan Flemmit |

By Megan Flemmit, photography by

This study seems to think so

Many women who want to make a change in their lives, decide to dye their hair. However choosing a new hair colour could be the least of your worries.  A new study done by Finnish researchers suggest that women who dye their hair are at greater risk for developing breast cancer compared to those who don’t.

The Study

A survey was given to a group of 6 800 women who either have or had breast cancer. It was also given to a control group of 21 600 women. The questions asked were used to determine whether there was a relationship between personal hair dye use and the risk of breast cancer.

Watch: This Simple Image Could Actually Help You Detect Breast Cancer

The results indicated that women who dyed their hair were found to have a 23% higher risk of developing the cancer than those who didn’t. Women born in the 1950’s, who dyed their hair, had the highest risk, which researchers suggested was due to age. Researchers also found that 19% of new breast cancer cases could be associated with the use of hair dye.

They also found that the estimated risk did not change significantly based on the types of dye used. However, temporary and semi-permanent hair dyes were said to have the greatest impact in the odds of breast cancer development.

Other Risk Factors

The same study also suggested that women who use hormonal contraceptives are also at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Post-menopausal women who used the hormonal intrauterine device had a 52% increased risk, compared to those who used the copper IUD. Women, under 50, who used other hormonal contraceptives had a 32% higher risk of developing the cancer than those who didn’t use hormonal contraceptives.

Watch: 4 Breast Cancer Risks You Might Not Know

Author of the study, Sanna Heikkinen, stressed however, that more researched need to be done on both hair dye and IUD’s to determine the exact role they play in the risk of developing the cancer.

Heikkinen explained that “the biggest risk factor in breast cancer is high age, and known lifestyle-related risk factors include late age at first birth, small number of children, high alcohol consumption, and sedentary lifestyle.”

Looking for more info? Here’s 7 ways to keep your breasts happy, these mushrooms are said to help fight breast cancer.

Watch ON: Breast Cancer Cancer Health Health Advice