Has someone you know ever taken a shower while massaging their hair with their favorite shampoo brand only to come out looking more fabulous and more mature than before they bathed? Well, one thing is for certain, it’s not the singing that caused that; it might have been the shampoo as those can cause girls to hit puberty faster, according to one study.
A recently published study in the journal Human Reproduction has concluded that certain chemicals used in cosmetics, particularly shampoo and perfume, can indeed cause girls to hit puberty faster. Chemicals like phthalates are the main culprits. They are present in lots of scented products such as perfumes, deodorants, soaps, shampoo, nail polish, and cosmetics.
The study went back as early as the year 1999 by a team of researchers led by Dr. Kim Harley of the University of California. There, they tested 179 girls and 159 boys in California born to mothers pregnant between 1999 and 2000. Their results were quite alarming.
“Mothers who had higher levels of two chemicals in their bodies during pregnancy – diethyl phthalate, which is used in fragrance, and triclosan, which is an antibacterial agent in certain soaps and toothpaste – had daughters who entered puberty earlier. We also found that girls with higher levels of parabens in their bodies at the age of nine entered puberty earlier,” claimed Harley.
Meanwhile, there was no evidence that the said chemicals affected boys’ puberty. Nevertheless, Harley stated that the said test results could explain why girls are starting puberty at earlier ages in the past decade. An earlier puberty has a harmful effect on females since it increases the risk of mental health problems and breast and ovarian cancers, according to Harley.