From hair damage to increasing cancer risk: Side effects of hair straighteners to know

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Published on: 26 October 2022, 18:00 pm IST

Trends come and go, but nothing beats the classic pin-straight sleek hairdo. Whether it’s a sleek, straight ponytail or open hair, this hairstyle is perfect for every occasion, from a casual date to the red carpet. The crisp straight hair look is the go-to hairstyle you retire to when you have no time on your hands. While we all love it, hair straightening is not so great for your hair. The side effects of hair straightening can even lead to permanent damage.

Exposing your hair to the hot iron every day can make your hair susceptible to dryness and whatnot. Scroll down to know all the reasons why you should avoid using a hot iron to straighten your hair regularly.

Side effects of hair straightening

Here are all the side effects of hair straightening you should beware of:

1. Hair becomes dry

Straightening your hair regularly can make your hair lose moisture which can permanently damage your hair. The aim of a hair straightener is to get rid of all the water in your locks. This is the reason why your hair goes back to normal after a wash. When you use a lot of heat products on your hair, it deprives your hair of its natural oils, making it more prone to permanent damage.

Side effects of hair straightener, Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Split ends

As the name suggests, split ends are when the ends of your hair split into two or more. While many environmental factors can lead to it, heating tools like a hair straightener can also increase split ends. The heat produced from hair straighteners can dry your hair and lead to split ends.

3. Hair fall

As per a study published in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal, excessive use of hair straighteners and other hot irons can lead to hair loss. What makes it worse is permanent hair straightening, finds the study. Hair straightening treatments can damage the roots, and make you vulnerable to hair loss. Over the years, it can also lead to permanent hair loss.

4. Makes your hair frizzy

The irony is that you use a hair straightener to get rid of the frizz. As per the International Journal of Trichology, frequently using hair straightening tools can lead to more frizz in your hair and make your hair look dull. It was reported that chemical hair straightening can be worse.

5. Itchy scalp

Regular use of hair straighteners can strip your scalp of its natural oils, thus leading to the death of hair follicles. This can make your hair dry and you may develop an itchy scalp.

Side effects of hair straightener, Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

But the side effects are not limited to your scalp. A new revelation sounds more concerning. A new study has found that it increases the risk of uterine cancer.

Health risks of using hair straighteners regularly

Here are some health risks of using hair straighteners you should be aware of:

Breast cancer

A study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that regular use of hair straighteners is 30 per cent more likely to develop breast cancer. Although the relationship between using a straightener and developing breast cancer was similar among African American and white women, the study found that African American women were far more likely to use a straightener. Researchers opined that while there is a risk, it is not the only factor that leads to an increased risk.

Side effects of hair straighteners. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Uterine cancer

As per a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, women who use hair straighteners have a higher risk of uterine cancer than women who never use these heat products. The study followed 34,000 US women. The researchers found that women who had never used hair straighteners were at a 1.64 per cent risk of developing uterine cancer, while women who did were at double the risk. Moreover, black women were at 60 per cent higher risk of developing uterine cancer. Researchers found chemical exposure as the key factor leading to the onset of cancer of the uterus. Substances including parabens, bisphenol A, metals, and formaldehyde, in hair straighteners may contribute to the elevated risk of uterine cancer.

However, the jury is still out on whether there is an actual link between using hair straighteners and different types of cancer. Until then, try to avoid it as much as you can and ask your doctor about the risks of using hair straighteners regularly.

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