A new study has found that hair and beauty items used primarily for Black women have types of chemicals that are connected to a higher breast cancer risk. The chemicals also spark the spread of cancer cells in Black women in comparison to white women.
The study looked at the impact that parabens have on breast cancer cells in Black and white women. It concluded that parabens made cancer cells multiple in Black women but didn’t impact breast cancer cells in white women in the same way.
Parabens are a cluster of chemicals that prevent mold and bacteria from accumulating on beauty items. This makes the products last longer. On the other hand, in humans, parabens can do what the estrogen hormone can do, which can make cells grow dangerously.
“Black women are more likely to buy and use hair products with these types of chemicals, but we do not have a lot of data about how parabens may increase breast cancer risk in Black women,” stated a researcher.
Studies show that Black women are more impacted by breast cancer. Also, they are 41% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women.
A report out of Boston University found that there wasn’t a connection between modern usage of hair relaxers and an increased risk of breast cancer. However, “heavy use of lye-containing hair relaxers” might be connected to a more progressive type of breast cancer.
Data from Afro Lovely found that the Black hair care industry was valued to be $2.5 billion in 2020. In 2018, Black buyers had spent $54.4 million on ethnic hair and beauty items.