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Frizz-Free, But At What Cost? The Harmful Effects of Chemical Hair Straightening

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We all love our hair. And we love to make many styles out of it. And when it’s a matter of style, hair straightener and straightening products are essential. This statistic shows it all.

The hair straightener market was valued at $556.16 million in 2021 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.40% to reach $728.85 million by 2027, according to IMARC Group.

But what if I tell you that these products can come up with a host of adverse effects? Scary right? Unfortunately, it’s a fact.

Chemical hair straightening products, also known as relaxers or straighteners, have been used for decades to achieve sleek, straight hair. However, these products come with a host of potential adverse effects that can cause damage to both the hair and scalp.

In this article, we will explore some of the most common adverse effects of chemical hair straightening products.

Certain Types Of Cancer

Chemical hair straightening products, such as relaxers or straighteners, contain various chemicals that can harm the body. Some studies have suggested that certain chemicals in these products may be linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, such as uterine, endometrial, and breast cancer.

According to Alexandra White, head of the Environment and Cancer Epidemiology group, the risk of developing uterine cancer by the age of 70 for women who never used hair straighteners is 1.64%. However, for women who frequently use hair straighteners, the risk increases to 4.05%.

One chemical that has been linked to an increased risk of these cancers is formaldehyde. According to the FDA, Formaldehyde is a common ingredient in many hair straightening products and is used as a preservative and a straightening agent. It has been classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The chemical can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, and even cancer.

Another ingredient found in hair straightening products that have been associated with a heightened risk of cancer is sodium hydroxide. Sodium hydroxide is a strong alkali that is used in relaxers to break down the hair’s natural curls. It can cause burns, scalp irritation, and other damage to the skin and hair. Long-term exposure to sodium hydroxide may also increase the risk of certain types of cancer.

People who developed these problems after using hair straightening products have been filing lawsuits to take action against the manufacturers. You can also file a hair straightener lawsuit if you believe that exposure to these products has done harm to your overall health.

Damages The Hair

One of the most significant adverse effects of chemical hair straightening is damage to the hair. The use of these products can result in the hair shaft weakening, making the hair more vulnerable to breaking and dryness. This can lead to issues such as split ends, frizziness, and dullness.

Allergic Reactions

Hair straightening products can cause allergic reactions in the scalp due to the presence of certain chemicals such as formaldehyde, thioglycolic acid, and sodium hydroxide. These chemicals can irritate the skin and cause itching, redness, and rash.

In some cases, an allergic reaction may also cause swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat and difficulty breathing.  It is important to stop using the product immediately and seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms after using a hair straightening product.

Affects Your Hair Health

Chemical hair straightening can also make it challenging to change hairstyles, as the chemicals can make the hair more difficult to curl or style. This can limit the options for people who frequently change their hairstyles.

Long-term use of chemical hair straightening products may cause long-term damage to the hair, making it difficult to grow or maintain healthy hair. It may also lead to hair loss, changes in hair texture, or other serious issues.

In conclusion, chemical hair straightening products can have a wide range of adverse effects. It is important to be aware of these potential problems and to take steps to minimize them. It is always a good idea to be aware of the ingredients of the product you are using, and if you have any concerns or health issues, it is always better to consult with a hair stylist, a hair care professional, or a doctor.

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