Picture: File HAIR dye has been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer
Hair dye has been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer and women should only use it six times a year, at most, an expert warns.

Professor Kefah Mokbel, who carried out research, said his study suggests dyeing hair increases the risk of developing the disease by 14%.

The breast cancer surgeon said: “What I find concerning is the fact the industry recommends women dye their hair every four to six weeks”.

His study concluded: “Our findings suggest that exposure to hair dyes may contribute to breast cancer risk”. The professor advised women to reduce exposure to synthetic hair dyes to two to six times per year and undergo regular breast screening from the age of 40.

He also advised women to switch to products with natural ingredients, such as henna, rose hip and beetroot. He added: “It would be preferable to choose hair dyes that contain the minimum concentration of aromatic amines such as PPD (less than 2%).”

PPD stands for paraphenylenediamine, a chemical often used in hair dyes. Professor Mokbel’s warnings come as Finnish research also suggests that women who use hair dye are more likely to develop breast cancer.

Sanna Heikkinen, from the Finnish Cancer Registry, said: “We did observe a statistical association between hair dye use and risk of breast cancer in our study."