A woman has her hair dyed and looks nervous

Gray Blues and Lung Cancer

Editor's Note: Research on the connection between hair dye use and cancer is unclear.3,4,5 This article reflects the author's individual experience and reflections on the matter.

When my mother started her treatment for lung cancer I recall something she stated that stuck with me to this day. "Baby, watch out with using all these chemicals in your hair. I regret it and think it’s why I have lung cancer."

This conversation took place as we debated or had issues getting a hair appointment on this particular day. It was a stifling revelation but well understood. I recall being a young child and always admiring my mother with her beautiful hair, even with the long length she always went with medium to short hairstyles.

As she got older like so many women who wish to cover the gray, she was diligent with her monthly hair appointments that usually included some form of chemicals to straighten or color.

What do we know?

The saying “too much of a good thing” is fitting because we know the ramifications of doing things that may not be the best thing for us, but for whatever reason, we do what we have to do, and bear with it. Hair dyes have been rumored to have a play when we speak about certain types of cancer. I get it, as the toxicity of some of these permanents and hair dyes are severe when they enter the bloodstream. Though the true concern depends on the level of contact that takes place.

Temporary dyes don’t penetrate into the hair shaft; whereas semi-permanent and permanent have more long-term effects based on usage. Another deterrent of the harms of hair dyes is that in some cases it has been suggested among salon workers to cause respiratory issues. There are many studies that imply problems with hair dyes after long term usage. Most men and women tend to experiment with these forms of beauty aid throughout their lifetime.1,2

Mom may have a had something there...

Though I don’t believe my mother having hair rinses led to her lung cancer diagnoses, but I’m quite sure it may not have helped having used this means for so many years. My mother making that observation at that particular time was so profound as she knew that was a ritual in covering those grays but like so many of us in the back of our minds acknowledging that it may not be the best thing to do, or too often.

I myself have had some gray hair popped up on my own crown; I too have dabbled with the hair color and rinses knowing very well the words of my mother and science hold truths. However being informed in the product usage and how often plays a role in how much I rely on this method, and or using less invasive coverage methods.

Educate yourself about your products

So will people stop using permanents and hair dyes? The answer to that is most likely no, as the cards to looking decent or young mean a lot for different reasons.

However, being educated on the sources we use to beautify is important and necessary because making matters worse does not help in underlying health conditions.

The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile...when you feel like it.

Read more about the possible connection between hair dyes and cancer.

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