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mid adult african-american woman runs fingers through wet natural hair

Source: Catherine McQueen / Getty

Ladies, it’s time to throw out the hair relaxers.

A new study from the National Institutes of Health found that women who used chemical hair straightening products had a greater chance of developing uterine cancer than women who did not. Additional hair products, such as hair colors, bleach, highlights, and perms were not linked to uterine cancer, according to the study.

33,497 American women between the ages of 35 and 74 took part in the Sister Study conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The goal is to pinpoint the risk factors for breast cancer and other illnesses. Women were followed for about 11 years, and 378 were diagnosed with uterine cancer.

“We estimated that 1.64% of women who never used hair straighteners would go on to develop uterine cancer by the age of 70,” said Alexandra White, Ph.D., head of the NIEHS Environment and Cancer Epidemiology group.

The researchers did not collect information on brands or ingredients in the hair products the women used.

Read the full report here.