Did You Develop Cancer After Using Chemical Hair Straighteners?
Women exposed to harmful chemicals in popular hair straighteners and relaxers may be at risk for adverse health conditions, such as uterine cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometriosis. Hair straightener lawsuits exist to hold the manufacturers accountable.
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Women exposed to harmful chemicals in popular hair straighteners and relaxers may be at risk for adverse health conditions, such as uterine cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometriosis. Learn about filing a hair straightener lawsuit here.
Research has shown that women who frequently use chemical hair-straightening products like Dark & Lovely, Ultra Precise, and Just for Me may have more than double the risk of developing uterine cancer, due to the presence of toxic chemicals like bisphenol A, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, and metals commonly found in these products. They may also be at risk for other serious medical conditions such as ovarian cancer, breast cancer, endometriosis, and infertility. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer or another major medical condition you believe to be related to the use of chemical hair straighteners or relaxers, contact Leading Justice as soon as possible. Hair straightener and relaxer lawsuits have already been filed against L’Oreal and other major beauty brands, but it’s not too late to pursue the compensation you and your loved ones deserve. Call now to find out whether you qualify for legal action.
Alternatives to Chemical Hair Straighteners
Due to growing concerns about the potential health risks associated with chemical hair straightening, many women are searching for products that allow them to safely straighten their hair without being exposed to harmful chemicals. The most reliable alternative to chemical hair straighteners and relaxers is heat straightening, which involves straightening hair with a flat iron or another heated styling tool. This method comes with its own risk of side effects – for instance, heat straightening can also damage hair – but it doesn’t carry any known risk of cancer or other reproductive complications. To avoid damaging their hair with heat straightening, some women opt for natural straighteners made from coconut milk, fruits, or oil. And while these may not be as effective as other hair straightening methods, they are likely the least dangerous.
What are Chemical Hair Straighteners?
Hair products commonly used to chemically straighten curly, kinky, or textured hair that have recently been linked to uterine cancer and other potentially life-threatening injuries.
Chemical hair straighteners are lotions or creams that can be applied to the scalp either personally at home or by a professional stylist at a salon. The products work by breaking down the protein structure of curly hair and permanently straightening it. A chemical hair relaxer treatment typically lasts until the hair grows out, which makes these products a more permanent alternative to temporary measures like heat straightening or serum straightening. However, because chemically straightened hair requires ongoing maintenance to remain straight, many women who rely on hair relaxers to straighten their hair end up using them fairly frequently.
Chemical Hair Straightener Side Effects
Many well-known beauty companies, like L’Oreal, SoftSheen, and Strength of Nature, have chemical hair-straightening products on the market. Some of the most popular brands named in recent lawsuits include Dark & Lovely, ORS Olive Oil, Optimum, Motions, and Just for Me. According to allegations raised in recent chemical hair straightener and relaxer lawsuits, these products have been marketed as safe for regular use, despite the fact that many have been found to contain hazardous chemicals with endocrine-disrupting and carcinogenic properties. In addition to a risk of superficial injuries like skin irritation, scalp burns, and hair loss, research has linked chemical hair straighteners and relaxers to an increased risk of:
- Uterine cancer
- Breast cancer
- Uterine fibroids
- Ovarian cancer
Studies Linking Hair Relaxers to Cancer
While the link between chemical hair straightening and cancer isn’t fully understood, it is widely believed that scalp burns and lesions occurring during the chemical hair straightening process may allow harmful chemicals like bisphenol A, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, and metals to be more readily absorbed into the body, which can wreak havoc on the affected person’s health. Consumers across the country have reconsidered using chemical hair straighteners in light of research showing that these products may increase the risk of hormone-related cancers in women.
In a 2022 study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, researchers discovered that women who used chemical hair-straightening products were more likely to develop uterine cancer than women who did not use these products. What’s more, the researchers reported that frequent use (more than four times in the previous year) of chemical hair straighteners more than doubled a woman’s risk of developing uterine cancer, a finding that researchers say may be of particular concern to Black women. “Because Black women use hair straightening or relaxer products more frequently and tend to initiate use at earlier ages than other races and ethnicities, these findings may be even more relevant for them,” stated Che-Jung Chang, Ph.D., one of the study authors.
Uterine cancer isn’t the only potential side effect tied to chemical hair straightener use. In 2019, the same team of NIH researchers found that using chemical hair straighteners may also increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. According to the study findings, “Women who used hair straighteners at least every five to eight weeks were about 30% more likely to develop breast cancer.” When asked if women should stop chemically straightening their hair in light of the study findings, co-author Dale Sandler, Ph.D. remarked that “We are exposed to many things that could potentially contribute to breast cancer, and it is unlikely that any single factor explains a woman’s risk.” However, he noted that “avoiding these chemicals might be one more thing women can do to reduce their risk of breast cancer.”
Hair Straightener Lawsuits for Cancer, Other Injuries
October 2022 – After being diagnosed with uterine cancer, 32-year-old Jenny Mitchell becomes one of the first women to file a chemical hair straightener lawsuit against L’Oreal, Strength of Nature, SoftSheen, and other manufacturers. According to her lawsuit, her uterine cancer “was directly and proximately caused by her regular and prolonged exposure to phthalates and other endocrine disrupting chemicals found in Defendants’ hair care products.”
November 2022 – Manufacturers Dabur International and Namaste Laboratories face a class action lawsuit seeking compensation for the cost of purchasing dangerous chemical hair straightening products.
January 2023 – Plaintiff Tamara Sigars files a chemical hair straightener lawsuit against L’Oreal and other companies after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
February 2023 – The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidates all chemical hair straightener lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system in the Northern District of Illinois as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL).
May 2023 – As of May 15, 2023, there are already 124 cases pending in the federal hair relaxer MDL.
Hair Straightener Lawsuit Side Effect Studies
Why We Think Hair Straightener Manufacturers Should be Held Liable For Side Effects through Settlement or Lawsuit
When a new product enters the market, consumers should be able to count on the fact that the product is safe and won’t cause them harm. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. For years, L’Oreal and other major beauty brands have aggressively marketed their chemical hair-straightening products as safe and effective when used as directed. Yet recent research has shown that these products may more than double a woman’s risk of developing uterine cancer, in addition to other adverse health conditions. Chemical hair straightener lawsuits allege that L’Oreal and other beauty companies:
- Manufactured and sold dangerous hair products containing toxic, endocrine-disrupting chemicals;
- Knew or should have known that these products could harm consumers’ health;
- Aggressively marketed the products as safe and effective;
- Specifically targeted Black women with naturally curly, textured hair; and
- Failed to provide adequate warnings about the potential for chemical hair straighteners to cause cancer and other serious health conditions.
What should you do? If you have been diagnosed with cancer or another serious medical problem allegedly caused by toxic chemicals in hair-straightening products, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss filing a hair straightener lawsuit.
Start Your Claim Now!
Here at Leading Justice, we know how difficult and intimidating it can be to even consider pursuing a legal claim against a major cosmetic company like L’Oreal, especially while dealing with cancer or another serious health problem. That is why we work so hard to put injured consumers in touch with experienced attorneys who can help them pursue the compensation they deserve for the harm they have suffered. By filing a chemical hair straightener lawsuit, you can join dozens of other consumers in holding manufacturers accountable for their potentially harmful products and seek critical financial compensation that can help cover your cancer treatments and other medical expenses. Fill out the form or call us today. We can help connect you with an experienced product liability lawyer to see if you qualify to file a chemical hair straightener lawsuit.