A systematic review of association between use of hair products and benign and malignant gynecological conditions

Document Type

Review Article


Medical College Pakistan


Hair products often contain chemicals like para-phenylenediamine (PPD) and endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs); giving rise to concerns about the possible adverse effects such as hormonal disturbances and carcinogenicity. The objective of this systematic review was to evaluate the association between the use of different hair products and benign and malignant gynecological conditions. Studies were identified from three databases including PubMed, Embase, and Scopus, and evaluated in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. The risk of bias was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. A total of 17 English-language studies met the inclusion criteria. Associations of hair relaxer or hair dye use with breast and ovarian cancer were observed in at least one well-designed study, but these findings were not consistent across studies. Further sub-analysis showed 1.08 times (95 % CI: 1.01-1.15) increased risk of breast cancer in females with permanent hair dye use. Chang et al. reported strong association between uterine cancer risk and hair relaxer use (HR 1.8, 95 % CI: 1.12-2.88), with no observed association with hair dye use. Studies conducted by Wise et al. and James-Todd et al. for benign gynecological conditions; including uterine leiomyoma (IRR 1.17, 95 % CI: 1.06-1.30), early onset of menarche (RR 1.4, 95 % CI: 1.1-1.9), and decreased fecundability (FR 0.89, 95 % CI: 0.81-0.98) revealed positive associations with hair relaxer use, but these findings were based on small sample sizes. In summary, the available evidence regarding personal use of hair products and gynecological conditions is insufficient to determine whether a positive association exists.


Issue is not provided by the author/publisher.

Publication (Name of Journal)

European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology