Could Your Hair Color Give You Liver Disease?

A recent study out of England has linked hair dye with progressive liver disease. Published in the international gastroenterology journal, aptly called Gut, British researchers revealed the findings of over 5,000 people who were surveyed about their risks for primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) -- an early form of liver cirrhosis and long-term progressive autoimmune disease. PBC is thought to be caused, at least in part, by certain environmental factors such as chemicals found in hair dye.

Of those surveyed, women who color their hair were 37% more likely to develop PBC than women who don't.

Respondents were not asked how often they dyed their hair, so it's not clear how much of a role this played in the liver disease, but the report states past research has shown a correlation between PBC and chemicals found in cosmetics, particularly octynoic acid, which is found in hair dye and nail polish.

Other factors, such as genetics, pre-existing autoimmune diseases, smoking and certain skin conditions were also found to increase the risk for PBC.

This is not the first time that our quest for beauty has been linked to possible harmful effects.

Did you know the average woman uses up to 20 different beauty products a day and ingests seven pounds of lipstick over her lifetime? Or how about the fact that a woman who uses makeup every day absorbs five pounds of chemicals into her body each year?

While many of the chemical ingredients in these items have not yet been tested and FDA approved, meaning the risks are still unknown, some have been linked to conditions ranging from minor skin irritations to cancer.


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