Hair relaxers may be linked to fibroids. If you were considering stopping the use of relaxers to improve the health of your hair, there might be good cause to avoid them for your body’s health too.
Hair relaxers and uterine fibroids
While uterine fibroids are very common among all women, they are particularly common among African-American women. In fact, up to 90 percent of African-American women will develop fibroids by the age of 50. While this condition normally affects women between the ages of 30 and 45, women under 30 are now more frequently receiving fibroid diagnosis.
Unfortunately, the exact cause for this disproportionate number of fibroids diagnoses has not been pinpointed. However, one study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology has found a potential link between fibroids and the hair relaxers.
Studying the hair relaxer-fibroid link
Led by Dr. Lauren Wise of Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center, the study focused on more than 23,000 African-American women. These women had not yet hit menopause, and were tracked between 1997 and 2009.
What the study found was that most of the women who had uterine fibroids also reported using hair relaxers at some point in their lives. Of course, there are other fibroid risk factors that affect African American women, but the study came up with some findings.
The potential health cost of hair relaxers
The study’s findings are not clear cut to make a definitive connection between hair relaxers and fibroids. At the same time, the study made observations regarding the potential link:
- The ingredients of hair relaxers are not regulated the by Food and Drug Administration.
- Chemical hair relaxers contain ingredients that are known to damage skin and hair, as well as having parabens and phthalates. Damage that the relaxers can cause include dermatitis, burns, skin irritation, lesions, and even hair loss. In addition, the parabens and phthalates are capable of influencing hormones within the body.
- The parabens and phthalates have had a negative impact on the cells of experimental animals. It is possible that these substances can be absorbed into the body by way of the damage caused by the relaxers (i.e. lesions and burns).
Many women would agree that the potential cost of hair straightening treatments simply outweighs the beauty benefits.
We care about your health at VIVA EVE
The doctors at VIVA EVE have years of experience in the treatment of both uterine fibroids and adenomyosis through Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) and every other medically sound treatment option, both surgical and nonsurgical.
At VIVA EVE we are committed to providing high-quality, personalized care for each and every patient we see. We will partner with you to determine the best way to treat your problematic fibroids or adenomyosis.