What Kind of Cancer Can Chemical Hair Relaxers Cause?

By Osborne & Francis
October 25, 2023
Women who use chemical hair relaxers are increasing their risk of certain types of cancer, according to multiple studies published by National Health Institute researchers.

Many have filed product liability claims against the makers of chemical hair relaxers, such as L’Oreal. Plaintiffs accuse these beauty companies of acting negligently by failing to place warning labels on their carcinogenic hair care products.

Treating cancer often involves significant financial, physical, and emotional sacrifices. The product liability lawyers of Osborne & Francis can provide you with the legal insight you need to successfully recover compensation for your damages. You can reach us at (561) 678-0156 or contact our offices in Boca Raton or Orlando

How Does Chemical Hair Relaxer Cause Cancer?

The endocrine system is responsible for maintaining a healthy hormone balance. The toxins in chemical hair relaxers interfere with the body’s regulation of hormones. These types of toxins are referred to as endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The endocrine-disrupting chemicals in chemical hair straighteners are similar enough to estrogen to trick the body into believing that estrogen levels are high. 

When estrogen levels are inflated, that can cause uncontrollable cell growth in tissues that are affected by estrogen levels. This often includes tissues connected to the female reproductive system, such as breast tissue or tissue in the uterus. The mutated cells eventually overtake the healthy cells, compromising function and leading to a myriad of other symptoms.

What Types of Hair Relaxer Products are Linked to Cancer?

Thus far, a number of brands and products have been named in product liability lawsuits brought by women diagnosed with cancer they believe to be related to their use of chemical hair relaxers. The products include both at-home and salon products used to straighten curly hair. Those brands include:

  • Strength of Nature Global LLC
  • Soft & Beautiful
  • Motions
  • TCB Naturals
  • Just for Me
  • Namaste
  • Olive Oil Girls
  • L’Oreal
  • Dark and Lovely
  • Optimum

Who’s Most at Risk for Developing Cancer from Hair Relaxers?

Black women are most at risk for developing cancer from chemical hair relaxers. Women with curly hair, many of whom identify as Black, are the most likely people to use chemical hair relaxers to achieve a straightened style, putting them at a higher risk for cancer.

This is supported by the findings of the NIH study that linked chemical hair relaxers to uterine cancer. 60% of the women who reported using self-identified as Black. The study that uncovered the link between breast cancer and high rates of chemical hair relaxer usage tells a similar story, which is that Black women are more likely to develop breast cancer than women of other racial groups, likely due to higher usage. 

Types of Cancer Linked to Chemical Hair Relaxer Use

Study Finds Hair Relaxer Use is Tied to Uterine Cancer

NIH researchers published a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute alerting women to the link between heavy usage of chemical hair relaxers and uterine cancer. Their findings indicate that women who use chemical hair straighteners 4 or more times a year are at twice the risk of developing uterine cancer. 

Uterine cancer is a rare form of cancer that may require radical treatment in the form of a hysterectomy. Both uterine sarcoma and endometrial cancer have been linked to the frequent use of chemical hair relaxers. Women who have a family history of uterine cancer or have other risk factors should be aware of the signs of uterine cancer and promptly seek medical help if they notice these symptoms.

Breast Cancer Linked to Heavy Use of Chemical Hair Straighteners

While the connection between uterine cancer and hair straighteners was only reported in October of 2022, researchers have had evidence that chemical hair relaxers contain carcinogens since 2019. Using a similar method to the study that discovered the connection to uterine cancer, researchers reviewed data collected by the Sister Study

The Sister Study originally collected information from nearly 50,000 women in the U.S. who had a sister with breast cancer, but had not developed breast cancer themselves at the initiation of the study. NIH researchers were able to determine that women who used chemical hair straighteners were increasing their risk of breast cancer by as much as 30%. 

Other Negative Side Effects of Chemical Hair Relaxer Usage

In addition to an increased risk of certain cancers, women who repeatedly treat their hair with chemical relaxers are at an elevated risk for other damaging side effects. This includes:

Can I File a Product Liability Lawsuit if I Developed Cancer from a Chemical Hair Relaxer?

There are a number of potential benefits to filing a hair relaxer cancer lawsuit. Women who have repeatedly used chemical hair relaxers may be able to recover significant damages in a product liability lawsuit, provided that they can meet the evidentiary standard for civil claims. 

Plaintiffs in the hair relaxer cancer lawsuits claim that the makers of chemical hair straighteners failed in their duty of care to consumers. They argue that beauty companies had an obligation to inform them of the carcinogens in their products via a warning label, as well as an obligation to conduct rigorous testing to ensure that their products did not cause cancer. In order to recover compensation, plaintiffs must be able to prove that it is more likely than not that the negligence exhibited by the defendant led to their injuries. 

Further, they must be able to connect the damages they are seeking reimbursement for to the injuries they sustained. These damages may range from medical expenses and lost wages to compensation for loss of quality of life and loss of consortium. We cannot say definitively if your claim is eligible for compensation without a thorough evaluation of your specific circumstances, which we can accomplish in a free consultation.

Why Should I Choose Osborne & Francis to Represent Me?

At Osborne & Francis, our team doesn’t back down from a fight. We have deftly handled complex mass tort claims against powerful entities and emerged with maximum compensation for our injured clients. Our record of success in negotiating complicated claims has made us a premier personal injury law firm in the state of Florida.

It can be intimidating to face off against established companies like L’Oreal, which is why you need personal injury lawyers who are committed to diligently pursuing maximum compensation by your side.

Our clients trust us to put their interests first. If you are looking for a skilled, results-driven product liability attorney to handle your hair relaxer cancer claim, you can count on Osborne & Francis to get the job done. 

Contact Osborne and Francis Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation 

When you are in the fight of your life battling cancer, the last thing you need is the additional stress of managing a product liability lawsuit.

The personal injury lawyers of Osborne & Francis are qualified, capable advocates who understand the value of your economic, physical, and emotional losses.

As your personal injury lawyers, we will ensure that you understand your rights, keep you updated with the progress of your case, and relentlessly pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. If that means we have to go to trial, we will not be deterred. Our experience in the courtroom often proves valuable in negotiating a fair settlement for our injured clients.

We encourage you to take advantage of a free consultation with one of our hair relaxer cancer attorneys to learn more about the benefits of our services and get a better idea of what your hair relaxer cancer claim may be worth. You can reach us at (561) 678-0156 or contact our offices in Boca Raton or Orlando

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