Car hair care products can reduce the risk of hair loss, as well as promote hair growth.
But some people are more sensitive to the chemicals found in car-hair products, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of Toronto have found that the amount of the hair growth-promoting chemicals in car hair care can vary widely, and even affect hair growth at different stages.
The researchers analyzed data from more than 12,000 people, including more than 1,000 men and women.
More than two-thirds of the participants reported using at least one car-haired product for at least six months.
For some, those products were more than twice as effective as those that didn’t contain the chemicals.
Among the findings: Car hair care that uses a combination of high-level, highly toxic ingredients can have the highest risks for skin damage and increased risk for cancer.
People who use car hair-care products have a greater risk of developing skin cancer than people who do not.
Car-hair-care can increase the risk for skin cancer in women, but it also has an additive effect in men.
Research has found that a person’s level of exposure to these chemicals, as measured by the level of the car-toxins in their blood, can be more or less sensitive to their skin.
These chemicals can also be toxic to the nervous system, according the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Toxicology.
“We’re learning more about what’s happening to our skin,” said the study’s lead author, Sharmila Gupta, a professor in the Department of Dermatology and Clinical Sciences at the university.
In addition to car-tailoring, the researchers found that some people who use high-levels of car-fueled hair care had higher rates of hair growth disorders than people using other types of products.
Many of the ingredients in these products are derived from petroleum, a byproduct of the production of synthetic rubber.
A few car-products have a history of being linked to skin cancer, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and benzene.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, benzene is one of the most carcinogenic compounds known, while PCBs are considered to be the most toxic of all.
Despite their potentially toxic and potentially cancer-causing ingredients, car-head products have been marketed as safe for the general population, Gupta said.
They can also save lives by providing hair that is healthy, shiny, and curly.
Some products contain ingredients that are highly toxic to animals, including bisphenol-A, or BPA, which has been linked to cancer in humans.
Studies have found links between BPA exposure and cancer in lab mice and rats.
Gupta and her colleagues say the study offers more evidence that people who choose car-hairs can benefit from taking additional steps to protect their skin, including avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals.
“People should know that these products, including car-furs, may be harmful to them,” Gupta said in a statement.
“The products are not harmful for humans and they’re not harmful to the environment, and they can help reduce the risks of skin cancer.”
The findings are a step in the right direction, Gupta added.
She also recommends that people familiarize themselves with the information on their product label and how the ingredients may be used before they start using it.
“I encourage people to read the ingredients on the label carefully before using these products,” Gupta added in the statement.
Dr. Peter V. Smith, an assistant professor of dermatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said the research highlights the importance of testing products carefully and ensuring that they’re safe for people to use.
“We need to be very careful with these products and, if possible, test them for their toxicity,” Smith said in an email.
Smith, who was not involved in the study with Gupta, said that while it’s possible that the chemicals in some car-care formulas can be harmful, he doesn’t think the chemicals have been linked in people’s skin cells.
This study was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.
SOURCE: The New York Times and Bloomberg Businessweek