Who Has Been Most Affected by Hair Relaxers Causing Cancer?

By Osborne & Francis
July 18, 2024

For decades, women have used various types of chemical hair relaxers to straighten out their naturally curly or wavy hair. New studies conducted by reputable teams, like a group of researchers from the National Health Institute, have found a link between the consistent use of chemical hair straighteners and certain cancers. The women filing product liability claims against makers like L’Oreal argue that they are negligent and therefore liable for damages. If you have developed breast cancer or uterine cancer as a result of using chemical hair straighteners, you may be able to recover compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and other related costs. At Osborne & Francis, our team of personal injury attorneys who specialize in product liability can negotiate on your behalf. We recommend you schedule a free consultation by calling (561) 293-2600 or contacting our Orlando or Boca Raton offices to discuss your individual case in greater detail. 

Black Women are Most Commonly Affected by Hair Relaxers that Cause Cancer

A recent NIH study found that women who use chemical hair relaxers 4 or more times a year are effectively doubling their risk of developing uterine cancer. Additionally, researchers noted that the majority of the women who reported high usage rates of chemical hair relaxers identified as Black. This means that Black women may be at an increased risk of developing uterine cancer as compared to their peers.

These findings are especially concerning in the context of uterine cancer rates for Black women. According to the National Cancer Institute, the instance of uterine cancers, particularly aggressive subtypes, has increased disproportionately for Black women in the U.S. Researchers specifically note, “Black women were twice as likely to die of uterine cancer overall and of non-endometrioid subtypes, compared to other racial and ethnic groups.” 

Why are Black Women Most Commonly Affected?

The simple answer is that Black women tend to use chemical hair straighteners more frequently than other racial groups. The more frequently a woman uses these products, the more she is exposed to the toxic chemicals present in these defective hair relaxers. The issue is that some of the chemicals in hair relaxers are similar enough to estrogen that the human body reads the chemicals as the hormone estrogen

These chemicals then build up in the body and trigger uncontrolled cell growth, leading to breast or uterine cancer. These types of cancer in particular are sensitive to fluctuations in hormone levels, so the influx of estrogen-like chemicals in hair relaxers is enough to disrupt the hormone balance in the body.

What Hair Relaxing Products Have Been Found to Cause Cancer?

The studies that identified the connection between chemical hair straighteners and cancer did not ask participants to specify the brand or products they were using. Based on their discoveries, we anticipate that additional research will be conducted on specific products to determine whether or not they are carcinogenic. 

While we currently do not have a definitive list of specific toxic chemical hair relaxer products, we would advise caution when using both at-home or salon chemical hair straighteners. One of the first product liability lawsuits on this topic names L’Oréal, SoftSheen Carson, Strength of Nature, Dabur, and Namaste Laboratories as defendants, although whether or not they are held liable remains to be seen. Other product liability lawsuits have been filed over:

What Side Effects Do These Hair Relaxers Cause?

While hair relaxers themselves can directly cause burns to the skin, the signs of cancer can be more subtle. In some cases, they are mistaken for other illnesses, like the flu. Keep an eye out for changes in energy level and appetite, as well as an infection. If you notice an unusual lump in your breast or experience unusual bleeding apart from your normal cycle, it is best to play it safe and schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

What Should You Do if Hair Relaxer Causes Issues?

If you begin experiencing issues with your chemical hair straightener or start noticing the symptoms of uterine cancer or breast cancer, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. In a product liability lawsuit, insurance companies will often try to claim that a plaintiff failed to seek the appropriate medical care for their injuries, allowing them to worsen. That way, they can avoid paying the full value of your claim. 

If you suspect that you may have cancer or other injuries related to your reproductive system, do not delay seeking medical care. It is also important to document your experience as best you can. Take pictures of any injuries, monitor your symptoms, and keep copies of your medical records. This can prove beneficial when it comes to demonstrating liability and the value of your damages.

Why Should I Choose Osborne & Francis to Represent Me?

The personal injury attorneys of Osborne & Francis have guided many clients with cancer through product liability lawsuits, and we know that cancer can drain your physical and mental energy, in addition to your bank account. Insurance companies are not on your side when it comes to being reimbursed for injuries. In fact, it is their objective to only pay out what they absolutely have to, so you will have to fight for the compensation you deserve.

You need a skilled advocate who will champion your claim for damages to maximize your compensation. The product liability lawyers of Osborne & Francis have an established history of doing just that.

We will provide your case with the individualized attention it deserves and support you throughout the process.

Our team has earned a reputation as tough litigators who refuse to give in to insurance company demands when we believe that our client’s claim is worth more than they are offering. You deserve an experienced, responsive, and detail-oriented representative. The hair relaxer cancer lawyers of Osborne & Francis are up to the task.

Contact Osborne & Francis to Speak with an Experienced Defective Product Attorney

As a consumer, you have the right to be warned of the risks associated with a given product. You should also be able to use products without the fear of them containing carcinogens. Unfortunately, it seems that certain chemical hair relaxer makers have been negligent in their duty to design safe products and provide warning labels to consumers.

The product liability attorneys of Osborne & Francis are prepared to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life, among other damages. We will not shy away from going to trial to get you the compensation you deserve.

The hair relaxer cancer attorneys of Osborne & Francis are available for free case evaluations to give you the opportunity to obtain free legal insight and better understand the services we offer. We encourage you to call us at (561) 293-2600 or contact our Orlando or Boca Raton offices to take advantage of a free consultation with our team.

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