Richmond salon aims to lower breast cancer risk with safer products

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — At Belle & Beau Company, a salon in Richmond, product safety is a staple to the business.

New reports from the National Institutes of Health show there is a higher risk of developing breast cancer in those who use permanent hair dye and chemical straighteners than those who don’t use the products.

Belle & Beau co-creators Tiffany Browning and Teresa Justis are not just taking extra care of the products they use on their clients, but are also studying how the chemicals can affect themselves.

“Mist and vapors are proving to be harmful and stylists are even using chemical face masks while mixing and applying color now,” Browning says. “Extra fumes and chemicals that are being blow-dried out with heat from wet hair are being breathed in by stylists.”

Browning says that low-toxic and non-ammonia based products are what the salon aims to use, and empowers people to become more conscious of what products they purchase.

“We all really care about ourselves and what we put into our bodies,” Justis says. “We want to be aware of what we’re taking in, as well, standing behind the chair for ten hours a day.”

When it comes to semi-permanent or temporary dyes, the study shows that there is little or no increase in breast cancer risk.

Stefanie Rae, the owner of Stefanie Rae Hair, says she is steadily transitioning to using ammonia-free products and is always mindful of the products she uses on clients.

“You have a lot of people, I have a lot of clients you wanna make them all happy,” says Rae, “You wanna give them their great coverage and we’re finding a way to do it in the least toxic way.”

Researchers also say it is too early to suggest whether or not women should avoid dying or chemically straightening their hair, as there is no one single risk of breast cancer. However, taking an advanced warning can help lower the risk.

8News spoke with another hair salon owner who says they aren’t worried about the links to breast cancer, and they will continue using products that align with safety regulations until something is confirmed.

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