Women who dye their hair ‘are at greater risk of breast cancer’

Women who dye their hair 'are at greater risk of breast cancer'
A surgeon has warned that women should stick to natural dyes (Picture: Getty Images)

People shouldn’t dye their hair more than six times a year if they want to avoid cancer, a surgeon has claimed.

Professor Kefah Mokbel, a breast surgeon from Princess Grace Hospital in central London, claims that women who colour their hair are 14% more likely to develop breast cancer.

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He advised that women dying their hair should avoid synthetic dyes, instead going for natural ingredients like henna, rose hip and beetroot.

Prof Mokbel’s study concluded: ‘Although further work is required to confirm our results, our findings suggest that exposure to hair dyes may contribute to breast cancer risk.’

He then wrote on Twitter: ‘Women are advised to reduce exposure to synthetic hair dyes to two to six times per year, and undergo regular breast screening from the age of 40.

Women who dye their hair 'are at greater risk of breast cancer'
There is apparently no evidence that hair relaxers increase the risk of cancer, however (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

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

‘Further research is required to clarify the relationship between hair dyes and breast cancer risk in order to better inform women.

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‘It is reasonable to assume that hair dyes that consist of natural herbal ingredients such as rose hip, rhubarb etc are safe.

‘There is no evidence that hair relaxers increase breast cancer risk.’

But Sanna Heikkinen, from the Finnish Cancer Registry, added: ‘We did observe a statistical association between hair dye use and risk of breast cancer in our study.

‘However, it is not possible to confirm a true causal connection. It might be, for example, that women who use hair dyes also use other cosmetics more than women who reported never using hair dyes.’

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