Last month, 46-year-old artist and philanthropist Alexandra Grant went viral when she stepped out on the red carpet with actor Keanu Reeves. The actor's fans promptly took to social media to express their excitement over the "age-appropriate" union, and many Twitter users couldn't help but notice that Grant proudly embraces her gray locks.
Now, Grant is making waves again for an Instagram post in which she explains her decision to stop dying her hair.
The 46-year-old shared her story with followers yesterday after a new study revealed that women who use permanent hair dye or straighteners, or applied straighteners to others, have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than others who don't use those products.
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"I went gray prematurely in my early 20's... and dyed my hair every color along the way until I couldn't tolerate the toxicity of the dyes any more. In my 30's I let my hair turn "blonde"..." Grant wrote in the post.
"I love and support that every womxn can choose how she wants to look at every age. But/and, if womxn are perishing from beauty standards... then let's talk about those beauty standards. Love to all womxn!" she continued.
Grant was referring to a study published in the International Journal of Cancer, which released the findings earlier this week. The group based its research on data from 46,709 women enrolled in the Sister Study, which included women who had a sister diagnosed with breast cancer but who were cancer-free themselves.
Black women who regularly used permanent dye were found to be particularly at risk and were linked to a 45% higher breast cancer risk than white women, who faced a 7% risk.
Many experts advised consumers not to be too alarmed by the findings.
“We know that a lot of different factors influence a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, and these risks we see here, they are meaningful but they are small,” Alexandra White, an investigator at the Epidemiology Branch of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, told TODAY.
Still, many of Grant's followers applauded her for taking her health seriously.
"That’s really scary and something we should all think about before using chemicals. Thank you for sharing it. It’s a person’s inner qualities that are most important and make them beautiful. Your hair is stunningly beautiful and you’re an inspiration for women that it’s ok to be natural and unique. Truly beautiful inside and out," one Instagram user wrote.
Others told the 46-year-old they were proud of her decision to embrace her silver strands.
"Thank you for sharing this insight and something so personal. What You just stated is incredibly powerful and revealing message i just love it. Once again, we must decide our concept of beauty, We must feel good with ourselves for the kind of people we are and how we treat others. And Alexandra you are incredibly beautiful in and out just as you are. Never change." commented another Instagram follower.