Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

WebMD Health News

Coloring Your Hair Could Affect Your Bladder

April 4, 2000 (San Francisco) -- In Los Angeles County -- a place where "the natural look" often means a good dye job from a Beverly Hills salon -- as many as 19% of the cases of bladder cancer in women could be linked to the use of permanent hair dyes, cancer researchers say.

Researcher Manuela Gago-Dominguez, MD, PhD, tells WebMD that the risk is greatest among women who "use the dye 12 or more times a year for 15 years or longer." She says that women who dye their hair at that rate are almost three times more likely to get bladder cancer than those who don't dye their hair or dye it less frequently.

But this increased risk is not as great as that associated with smoking. A 40-year-old woman who smokes is five times more likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer than a non-smoking woman of the same age, says Gago-Dominguez, who is with the Norris Cancer Center at the University of Southern California.

Hairdressers and barbers have an even greater risk, Gago-Dominguez says, and "the occupational risk is the same for men and women. Persons who worked 10 or more years as hairdressers or barbers were five times more likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer." That occupational risk has been reported in previous studies, but Gago-Dominguez says her study is the first to link "the personal use of hair dye by women to bladdercancer risk."

Gago-Dominguez and other researchers compared use of hair dye among 203 bladder cancer patients and 203 healthy women of the same age. A total of 124 of the women with bladder cancer said they used hair dye, and 92 of them used permanent dye. That compares with 111 healthy women who used dye, with 66 using permanent dyes.

Earlier studies, she says, found no increased risk associated with personal use of hair dye. "But those studies failed to discriminate among the different types of dye," she says. "The risk is only seen in persons who use permanent dyes." Permanent dyes have many chemicals that are considered cancer-causing, she says, and some of these dyes have been shown to cause genetic changes in lab experiments.

Brush Up on Beauty

URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices