The 46-year-old recently took to social media to raise the issue, while also explaining why she doesn’t dye her hair anymore.
Grant posted a screenshot on Instagram of a Newsweek article that reports a new study linking breast cancer to hair dye, using the inclusive term “womxn”.
“Wow. Today’s news… the numbers are staggering, especially for womxn of colour,” Grant captioned the post. “I went grey prematurely in my early 20s… and dyed my hair every colour along the way until I couldn’t tolerate the toxicity of the dyes any more.
She continued: “In my 30s I let my hair turn “blonde”... I love and support that every womxn can choose how she wants to look at every age. But/and, if womxn are perishing from beauty standards… then let’s talk about those beauty standards. Love to all womxn!”
A post shared by Alexandra Grant (@grantalexandra) on Dec 4, 2019 at 7:07pm PST
The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, found a weak link between colouring and straightening treatments and breast cancer.
The research showed black women who regularly used permanent dyes to colour their hair were 60 per cent more likely to develop breast cancer, compared to black women who did not; while white women using hair dye did not see a significantly increased risk.
The study also found a 30 per cent rise in the risk of breast cancer among women of all races who reported using regular straightening products, though black women were more likely to use hair straighteners than white women, researchers noted.
Researchers relied on data from 46,709 women in the US aged between 35 and 74 from 2003 to 2009, who were asked about their use of hair treatments enrolled in the the study and then followed over an average of eight years, during which 2,794 breast cancers were diagnosed.
However, the results are far from conclusive, the New York Times reports. Experts have pointed to the study’s limitations: fewer than 10 per cent of study participants were black women, their use of hair products was only assessed once and they were tracked for just eight years on average.
“The take-home message is that these risks are potentially important, but we know that a lot of different factors contribute to a woman’s risk of breast cancer,” said Alexandra White, head of the environment and cancer epidemiology group at the N.I.E.H.S. and an author of the new report.
She added: “We want women to have this information and take it into account in their lifestyle decisions, but to keep in mind that the risks associated with these are small.”
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