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Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuits

The hair relaxer lawsuits claim that exposure to the chemicals in these products caused people to develop uterine or ovarian cancer.

We are representing individuals who developed uterine or ovarian cancer after using chemical hair straighteners and relaxer products.

Since 1955, we have fought for the rights of individuals injured by defective products. We take on large corporations with a strong track record of getting results for our clients. Let us fight to get you compensation for the losses you sustained from using hair straightener products that caused your cancer.

We have been appointed to the Plaintiffs' Executive Committee by the judge overseeing the federal lawsuits involving hair relaxers. This means that we are directly involved in the national investigation and discovery that will hopefully result in a positive outcome for the individuals injured by this product.


What You Should Know About Hair Relaxer and Straightener Cancer Lawsuits

Woman using hair relaxer product

On October 21, 2022, a Missouri woman, Jenny Mitchell sued L’Oreal USA Products Inc., Strength of Nature Global, Soft Sheen/Carson Inc., Soft Sheen Carson Inc., Dabur International Ltd, Dabur USA Inc., and Namaste Laboratories, LLC, alleging that her use of the cosmetic companies’ hair-straightening products caused her to develop uterine cancer. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Chicago.

According to the Complaint, the Defendants’ products contain phthalates and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and Mitchell’s regular and prolonged exposure to these chemicals resulted in her uterine cancer diagnosis.

Mitchell began using these hair-relaxing products in 2000 when she was 10 years old. She was diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2018 when she was 28 years old. She underwent a full hysterectomy that same year. The Complaint states Mitchell can no longer have children and has suffered “extreme pain and suffering and extreme emotional distress.”

Which Hair Straightener and Relaxer Products are Named in the Lawsuit?

Several allegedly defective products are mentioned in the Complaint, including:

  1. Dark & Lovely
  2. Motions
  3. Olive Oil Relaxer
  4. Organic Root Stimulator

Profiting from Marketing and Packaging that Pressures Consumers into Accepting a Manufactured Standard of Beauty

The Complaint devotes several pages to the defendants’ efforts to market their hair straighteners and relaxers. These efforts benefitted from centuries-old messaging that straighter and less kinky hair would afford Black men and women better lives as slaves. Today’s marketing of hair relaxer products reinforces these “Eurocentric standards of beauty,” the complaint states.

The Defendants produce, package, market, and sell a broad range of hair straightener and relaxer products, some of which target young Black girls. The companies allegedly knew their products were harmful since at least 2015 but failed to warn consumers of the health risks.


What Settlements Have Been Reached in Hair Straightener Litigation?

A settlement has not yet been reached in the hair straightener cancer lawsuits. However, the sheer volume of consumers who have likely been affected by defective hair straightening and relaxer products makes it likely that many more cases will come forward.

If you developed uterine or ovarian cancer from regular, prolonged use of hair straighteners and/or relaxers, our lawyers will work to recover your losses, including:

  1. Costs of past and future medical treatment
  2. Past and future lost wages
  3. Past and future pain and suffering
  4. Punitive damages

If your loved one died from uterine cancer or ovarian cancer after regular, prolonged use of these types of products, we will file a wrongful death action on their behalf. Our attorneys will represent you in this effort.


Hair Straighteners and Relaxers are not Approved by the FDA

As cosmetic products, chemical hair relaxants and straighteners do not require approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they go to market. However, the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) present laws that apply to cosmetic products marketed in the U.S.

Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act

Under the FD&C Act, companies cannot market products that are “adulterated” or “misbranded.” Adulterated products include those with substances that cause injury to the user or are contained in a manner that makes the product harmful to health. Misbranded products include those that have been improperly labeled or deceptively packaged.

Cosmetic companies do not have to submit safety data to the FDA, but it is against the law for these companies to put harmful ingredients in their products.

Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1966

This consumer protection legislation directs the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to regulate product manufacturers’ truthful disclosure of information on labels and packages, including the contents, commodity, and name and place of businesses of the product’s manufacturer, packer, or distributor.


How are Hair Relaxers and Straighteners Used?

Studies have shown that up to 90% of Black and Brown women have used hair relaxants or straighteners. Black women tend to begin using the products at younger ages and to use them more frequently than people of other races. They also tend to use multiple products, which further increases their exposure to the cancer-causing chemicals inside them.


Consider a Products Liability Law Firm with $30 Billion in Jury Verdicts and Settlements

America’s civil justice system paves a way for holding accountable any corporation that profits from products they know are defective, harmful, and cause injury. Since 1955, our law firm has taken on these corporations, forcing them to pay for damages their victims have incurred because of these defective products. Examples of some of our current investigations and lawsuits include:

  1. Similac and Enfamil: for causing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature infants who consumed their infant baby formula
  2. Phillips Respironics: for exposing CPAP users to carcinogens
  3. JUUL: for addicting teens and young adults to nicotine
  4. Johnson & Johnson: for causing ovarian cancer after regular, prolonged use of Johnson’s Baby Powder
  5. Paraquat makers: for causing Parkinson’s Disease in those exposed to the herbicide
  6. Meta: for its harmfully addictive social media platforms
  7. Exactech: for defective knee, ankle, and hip replacement devices

We have handled more than 100,000 personal injury claims and achieved over $30 billion in verdicts and settlements, with more than 150 verdicts in the amount of at least $1 million. Thousands of mass tort attorneys attend our semi-annual Mass Torts Made Perfect seminar to learn from us how to handle cases like these.


We Charge Legal Fees Only if We Recover Damages on Your Behalf

Because we work on a contingency basis, our law firm will charge you legal fees and costs only if we recover damages for you by a settlement or verdict. We offer a free, confidential, and no-obligation case review.

You can request an evaluation by completing our Free & Confidential Hair Straightener and Relaxer Cancer Evaluation Form. Our attorneys will review your submission immediately.

Alternatively, you can call us today at (800) 277-1193 for your case review.


Scientific Studies Link Hair Straighteners and Relaxers to Cancer

Numerous studies bring important evidence to support claims that chemical hair straighteners cause uterine and ovarian cancer.

Hair straightening chemicals associated with higher uterine cancer risk

On October 17, 2022, this National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) study revealed that women who used chemical hair straighteners suffered a higher rate of uterine cancer compared to individuals who did not use these products. The study involved 33,497 U.S. women ages 35-74. The women were followed on average for nearly 11 years. During this period, 378 uterine cancer cases were diagnosed. Women who used hair straightening products more than four times in the year prior to enrollment were twice as likely to develop uterine cancer compared with the women who did not use the products. National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Use of hair products in relation to ovarian cancer risk

On October 5, 2021, the journal Carcinogenesis published results from a study of 40,559 women. Participants completed questionnaires on hair product use, including straighteners/relaxers. “Over a mean follow-up of 10 years, 241 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Frequent use (>4 times/year) of straighteners/relaxers or pressing products in the year prior to enrollment was associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer (HR = 2.19, 95% CI: 1.12-4.27),” the authors reported. Carcinogenesis


What Are Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and How are they Harmful?

The Endocrine Society defines endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) as substances that interfere with the normal function of the human endocrine systems. A normally functioning endocrine system helps regulate the body’s healthy development and function. By disrupting a variety of hormones, EDCs throw off the body’s natural hormonal production and degradation. This can cause a wide variety of health problems, including:

  1. Altered immune function
  2. Altered nervous system
  3. Cancers
  4. Cardiovascular problems
  5. Diabetes
  6. Endometriosis
  7. Growth, neurological, and learning disabilities
  8. Impaired quality of sperm
  9. Metabolic problems
  10. Obesity
  11. Reproductive organ abnormalities
  12. Respiratory problems

Phthalates are one type of EDC used in several haircare manufacturers’ hair straightening and relaxing products. Uterine cancer and other medical conditions have been linked to these chemicals.


What is Uterine Cancer?

Uterine cancer originates as healthy cells in the uterus (cervix, isthmus, fundus) change, grow uncontrollably, and form a tumor, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Types of Uterine Cancer

There are two types of uterine cancer:

  1. Adenocarcinoma (endometrial cancer): Develops from cells in the endometrium
  2. Sarcoma: Develops in the supporting tissues of the uterine glands

Signs and Symptoms of Uterine Cancer

Uterine cancer can manifest with several changes you can either feel or have measured:

  1. Abnormal Pap test results
  2. Pain in the pelvic region
  3. Unusual vaginal bleeding, spotting, or discharge

If you experience the above symptoms or signs, talk to your medical provider immediately to determine if you have uterine cancer.

Treatment for Uterine Cancer

Therapies and treatments for uterine cancer can include:

  1. Chemotherapy
  2. Hormone therapy
  3. Immunotherapy
  4. Radiation therapy
  5. Surgery
  6. Targeted therapy

What is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer is cancer that originates in the cells of the ovary, fallopian tube, or peritoneum, according to American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Types of Ovarian Cancer

There are several types of ovarian cancer:

  1. Epithelial carcinoma
  2. Fallopian tube cancer
  3. Germ cell malignancies
  4. Sex cord stromal tumors

Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

The following changes could signal a person has developed ovarian cancer:

  1. Abdominal bloating
  2. Abdominal or pelvic pain
  3. Back pain
  4. Constipation
  5. Fatigue
  6. Indigestion
  7. Irregular menstruation
  8. Painful sexual intercourse
  9. Pelvic or abdominal swelling
  10. Trouble eating or quickly feeling full
  11. Upset stomach
  12. Urinary changes (frequency or urgency)
  13. Vaginal discharge (white, clear, or blood-tinged)

If you experience the above symptoms or signs, talk to your medical provider immediately about an ovarian cancer screening.

Treatment for Ovarian Cancer

Therapies and treatments for ovarian cancer can include:

  1. Chemotherapy
  2. Hormone therapy
  3. Immunotherapy
  4. Radiation therapy
  5. Surgery
  6. Targeted therapy

Let our Chemical Hair Straightener Cancer Lawsuit Attorneys Fight to Recover Your Damages

When corporations put profit before safety, Levin Papantonio Rafferty is here to protect the innocent people injured by this negligence.

If your regular, prolonged use of hair straightening products resulted in your diagnosis of uterine or ovarian cancer, we will fight for your right to recover damages.

Our lawyers will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (800) 277-1193 for a free consultation or simply complete our Free & Confidential Hair Straightener and Relaxer Cancer Evaluation Form.