Study Reveals Risk of Ovarian Cancer Higher in Hairdressers

Study Reveals Risk of Ovarian Cancer Higher in Hairdressers

Many see beauty salons as safe havens for relaxation, creativity, and transformation. However, recent studies have pulled the curtain back on underlying dangers in the beauty industry, specifically concerning claims of health risks associated with chemical hair relaxers. Individuals have filed chemical hair relaxer lawsuits, alleging these products cause certain cancers like ovarian and uterine cancer. Now, a new study has revealed that it’s not just consumers but also hairdressers themselves who may face an elevated risk of ovarian cancer. These developments continue to raise crucial questions about the safety of these commonly used hair products for both clients and professionals alike. 

Study Finds Hairdressers at Higher Risk of Ovarian Cancer  

The study, published in The BMJ by Canadian researchers, examines the potential links between haircare occupational exposures and ovarian cancer risk. Researchers gathered data from 2011 to 2016 involving 491 individuals diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 897 people in a control group in Montreal, Canada. 

The study’s results uncovered a striking pattern of a heightened risk of ovarian cancer among workers in beauty salons, particularly hairdressers, barbers, and beauticians. These professionals faced a more than three-fold increase in ovarian cancer compared to individuals in other occupations. While the study also observed higher ovarian cancer rates in other professions, such as accountants, salespeople, shop assistants, and product demonstrators, the rates were not nearly as high. The research indicated that exposure to certain chemicals found in beauty products may account for the elevated risk of ovarian cancer. Overall, the study identified 18 different agents that may contribute to the increased risk of ovarian cancer:   

  • Cosmetic talc 
  • Ammonia 
  • Hydrogen peroxide 
  • Hair dust 
  • Synthetic fibers 
  • Polyester fibers 
  • Organic dyes and pigments 
  • Cellulose 
  • Formaldehyde 
  • Propellant gases 
  • Aliphatic alcohols 
  • Ethanol 
  • Isopropanol 
  • Fluorocarbons 
  • Alkanes (C5–C17) 
  • Mononuclear aromatic hydrocarbons 
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from petroleum and bleach

The researchers concluded, “Certain occupations, industries and specific occupational exposures may be associated with ovarian cancer risk. Further research is needed to provide a more solid grounding for any inferences in this regard.” 

Cancer Concerns Spark Hair Relaxer Lawsuits  

 Hair relaxers have become the subject of dozens of lawsuits due to their alleged link to reproductive cancers. Since childhood, many women, specifically Black women, have used chemical hair straighteners to alter their hair. However, these widely used products contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals that interfere with the body’s normal functions. A groundbreaking study by the National Institutes of Health in October 2022 set the ball rolling on chemical hair relaxer lawsuits. The study noted that women who reported using hair relaxers more than four times in the previous year were more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer. 

 The potential link between chemical hair relaxers and cancer has now taken on even greater significance considering the recent hairdresser study. These professionals frequently handle and apply hair relaxers containing various chemicals, including those linked to cancer. Therefore, this research underscores the grave health concerns for consumers and workers.  

Did you or a loved one develop cancer after frequently using chemical hair relaxers? The Lake Law Firm can help you. Contact our firm today at (888) 525-3529 to see if you qualify for a potential claim.