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Though dying their locks might seem like an absolute necessity for many women as they get older and the gray starts setting in, new research from Finland should give women everywhere pause, as it indicates that this apparently harmless beauty ritual could be linked to an elevated risk of breast cancer.

For her doctoral dissertation, researcher Sanna Heikkinen of the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Cancer Registry, examined self-reported information from 8,000 Finnish women with breast cancer and a further 20,000 controls. Heikkinen observed a 23 percent increase in breast cancer risk for those who dyed their hair on a regular basis.

Earlier research similarly found that women who regularly dye their hair are at increased risk of other cancers, including brain cancer, bladder cancer and leukemia. British scientists have also issued warnings in the past about the dangers of both home hair dye kits and professional dyes applied at hair salons.


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