Conducted by Professor Kefah Mokbel, a breast cancer surgeon at the Princess Grace Hospital in London, the study determined that “although further work is required to confirm our results, our findings suggest that exposure to hair dyes may contribute to breast cancer risk,” reports The Times.
But don’t panic just yet: Dr Mokbel doesn’t demand all women stop colouring their hair, stat – but what he would like to see is people booking appointments far less regularly. “What I find concerning is the fact that the industry recommends women should dye their hair every four to six weeks,” Dr Mokbel told The Times. He suggests a safer frequency would be as little as two to five times a year.
Based on his findings, Dr Mokbel also recommends women (and men) seek out hair dyes with natural ingredients, such as beetroot, rosehip and henna.
The new research follows in the wake of a recent study conducted by epidemiologists at the Rutgers School of Public Health, New Jersey, which found that women who dyed their hair darker or used chemical straighteners had a higher risk of breast cancer.
This article originally appeared on marie claire