Are Hair-care Products Problematic In Pregnancy?
Dye, mousse, and other hair products might make you feel stylish, but they can also influence and disrupt hormone levels, particularly in pregnant women. That’s the conclusion of a recent study by researchers at the Rutgers School of Public Health in New Jersey. They analyzed data from more than 1,000 pregnant women between ages 18 and 40 who were part of the Puerto Rico PROTECT Cohort, which examines environmental exposures in pregnant women and their children in northern Puerto Rico.
The investigators collected multiple blood samples from the participants, who also underwent physical exams and answered questions about their use of personal- and hair-care products. These included cosmetics, nail polish, fragrances, shampoo, and other hair products, such as bleach, dye, and mousse. All tend to contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as phthalates and parabens.
After analyzing the blood samples for nine sex steroid and thyroid hormones, they found that women who use hair dyes, bleach, relaxers, and mousse were more likely to have lower blood levels of sex hormones than pregnant women in the study who refrained from using these products. This is troubling, since disruptions of such hormones may play a role in preterm birth, low birth weight, and other poor pregnancy-related outcomes.
“Alterations in hormone levels, especially during pregnancy, can have vast consequences beyond health at birth including changes in infant and child growth, pubertal trajectories and may influence development of hormone-sensitive cancers such as breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer,” says the study’s lead author. The findings were published online on November 17, 2021 in Environmental Research.
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