Naturalistas are taking over. We are everywhere. You Tube, Instagram, TV and in Magazine Ads. This week we received another compelling reason to “go natural.”

“National Institutes of Health researchers found an increased chance of breast cancer among women who regularly used permanent hair dye, particularly African Americans. Black women who used dye at least every two months had a 60% higher breast cancer risk, while white women had an 8% higher risk. Straightener use was linked to an 18% increase in risk.” Click  Here for more information.

Permanent hair dyes and hair straighteners obviously contain lots of chemicals which may be carcinogenic. The study did not look at specific ingredients, only if they used the product and whether they developed breast cancer. Another reason to pay more attention to the products that we are using for Self- Care (hair, skin, nails). I can admit that I need to do a better job at looking at the labels on all of my products.

This isn’t the first time that this has been reported. The results from previous studies has been inconsistent. While this study cannot establish a definitive cause of cancer, it can certainly raise awareness to the rise of breast cancer incidence among black women.

So what do we do? I know the study specifically mentioned Permanent Dyes, so what are some other brands that could be used? I remember my stylist using Aveda’s Color Deposit as a safer alternative. You could also use Hair Paint or a Non-Permanent Hair Dye. Or embrace those strands of wisdom!

Let’s talk Chemical Straightening. I know it’s a lot easier than it sounds, but this study is reason enough to give up the “creamy crack.” I get that curly hair may not be for you and that’s ok. You can still get a silk press, roller sets and blow outs. Just give up the relaxer.

I also want to add, that there are other preventable risk factors that are linked to breast cancer such as tobacco-use, obesity and alcohol consumption.

So Bous, are you going to make a change to your haircare routine? It could save your life!

Don’t forget to do those monthly self breast exams and schedule a mammogram if you haven’t already!