Hair Relaxer Lawyer

People are born with various sorts of hair characteristics that give them naturally different styles, such as wavy, curly, or straight hair. Sometimes, people are unhappy with the traits of their hair and use products to achieve a new look. Consumers generally consider hair care treatments to be harmless and even use them often as one would deodorant or toothpaste. However, individuals have filed lawsuits against the personal care company L’Oréal. These lawsuits allege the company’s hair relaxer products cause uterine cancer. Have you or a loved one developed uterine cancer or another serious health condition after using hair relaxer products? Reach out today to learn more about how a hair relaxer lawyer at The Lake Law Firm can help you. 

Our law firm is currently handling lawsuits on behalf of victims of hair relaxer products. In October 2022, a Missouri resident filed the first hair relaxer lawsuit against L’Oreal. Attorneys expect many more hair relaxer lawsuits to follow suit. 

What Are Hair Relaxer Products?

Hair relaxers are a class of cosmetic products used to chemically “relax” or straighten hair. Typically, women with curly hair or afros apply hair smoothening products to flatten their locks. A majority of those who report utilizing hair straightening chemicals are Black women. In a study by The National Institutes of Health that analyzed tens of thousands of women who incorporate hair relaxers into their hair care routine, 60% were Black women. 

Hair smoothening products usually have a thick creamy consistency with a very high pH. For example, hair dye already has a high pH, generally between 9-10, but hair relaxers can have pH levels around 12-14. Users work the hair relaxer cream into the base of the hair and let it sit. The high pH concentration forces the cuticle to swell and open, which allows the cream to penetrate the cuticle and cortex layers. Once the chemical agents have reached the cortex, they break down the disulfide bonds that keep the keratin molecules together (the main proteins that form hair.) Hair relaxers loosen the natural curl pattern by attacking the keratin molecules, giving it a straighter appearance. 

Dangerous Chemicals in Hair Relaxers 

Lawsuits note that hair relaxers contain hazardous chemicals that can impact the body’s normal functions and produce adverse health effects. Hair relaxers are known to have endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). EDCs are chemicals that interfere with the activity of the endocrine system, thus affecting the body’s hormones, nervous system, metabolism, and reproductive system. EDCs alter the body in several ways, including: 

  • Cause the body to over-respond to stimulus
  • Increase or decrease levels of hormones
  • Block hormone stimulus by altering the structure of cell receptors 

Another harmful chemical prevalent in hair relaxers is phthalates, a type of EDC. Manufacturers incorporate phthalates into cosmetics and personal care products to make plastics durable and serve as solvents or stabilizers. In hair relaxers, phthalates help the product to stick to and penetrate the hair and skin and make the hair more flexible. Like other EDCs, phthalates can adversely influence the endocrine system and organ function. Phthalates can negatively impact: 

  • Success of pregnancy 
  • Child growth and development
  • Reproductive system

Hair relaxers have a specific type of phthalate known as Di-2-ethylhexylphthalate (DEHP). DEHP is a highly toxic chemical known to cause health complications such as: 

  • Endometriosis
  • Developmental abnormalities
  • Reproductive dysfunction and infertility
  • Various cancers 

Hair Smoothening Product Injuries 

In October 2022, the National Institutes of Health discovered an association between hair straightening chemicals and a higher risk of uterine cancer. The researchers found that women who reported using hair relaxers more than four times in the previous year were more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer. The endocrine-disrupting chemicals within hair relaxers may cause several injuries, like:

  • Uterine cancer 
  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine fibroids 
  • Preterm delivery 
  • Breast cancer 

New studies and lawsuits are beginning to shed light on the connection between hair relaxers and uterine cancer or other injuries. Sadly, many women have used hair relaxers for years without knowing about the elevated risk of developing certain forms of cancer and other health issues. A hair relaxer lawyer from The Lake Law Firm is on standby to speak with you if you have used hair relaxers and suffered an injury due to hair relaxers. 

Who Manufactures Hair Relaxers?

Lawsuits have named several manufacturers as defendants in hair relaxer lawsuits. Companies involved in claims that hair relaxers cause cancer and other illnesses include:

  • L’Oréal
  • Dabur USA Inc.
  • Carson, Inc.
  • Strength of Nature Global, LLC
  • Namaste Laboratories, LLC

What Do We Know About Hair Relaxer Lawsuits?

On October 21, 2022, Jenny Mitchell filed the first hair relaxer lawsuit claiming her prolonged chronic exposure to phthalates and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals in hair relaxers caused her uterine cancer.  Mitchell alleges she began using hair relaxers at the age of 10, around 2000. The lawsuit states Mitchell had the hair relaxers applied professionally at a salon or by herself, always following the instructions. In September 2018, Mitchell underwent a full hysterectomy after doctors diagnosed her with uterine cancer. 

Mitchell’s lawsuit specifies that none of the hair relaxers advertised any warning concerning the risk of uterine cancer. Had Mitchell known about the connection between hair relaxers and uterine cancer, she claims she would have never used them. Also, the lawsuit accuses the defendants of knowing that the DEHP in their products could increase consumers’ risk of cancer since 2015. However, the defendants failed to warn the public about the cancer hazard of hair relaxers. According to the lawsuit, the defendants allegedly sold defective and unreasonably dangerous products, hair relaxers, while concealing the risk of cancer from the public. 

In November 2022, four women filed a class action lawsuit over Dark & Lovely hair relaxers, stating manufacturers failed to inform them about the toxic effects. The women claim they would have never purchased the product if they knew about the presence of endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Plaintiffs are seeking class-action status to include any consumers who purchased Dark & Lovely hair straighteners from 2017 to the present. In the complaint, plaintiffs demand the company pay for medical monitoring, issue full refunds, and stop selling their products.

Is There a Hair Relaxer Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)?

On November 15, 2022, plaintiffs filed a motion to consolidate hair relaxer cancer lawsuits. The lawsuits arise out of injuries allegedly caused by prolonged exposure to phthalates and other EDCs in hair relaxers. Also, the motion noted there are currently nine cases filed on behalf of thirteen plaintiffs in four different districts. The panel will decide whether to centralize the claims in January 2022. 

Can a Hair Relaxer Lawyer Recover Compensation for my Injuries in a Lawsuit?

If hair relaxers harmed you or a loved one, you may be able to recover compensation for any or all of the following: 

  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Past and future pain and suffering;
  • Loss of wages; and
  • Other economic losses related to your injury.

Lawsuits argue that hair relaxer manufacturers knew or should have known about the dangerous chemicals within their products. While the law or the FDA do not require specific testing for cosmetic companies, the agency has advised manufacturers to use whatever testing necessary to ensure the safety of their ingredients. 

Despite decades of research that has described the dangers of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, hair relaxer manufacturers did not include warnings on their labels. Consumers may have sought alternative hair care treatments had companies been forthright with the information regarding the risk of uterine cancer and other health complications.

We understand that no amount of compensation can undo the long-term health effects caused by the chemicals in hair relaxers. The Lake Law Firm believes consumers harmed by defective products have the right to seek justice against negligent manufacturers. Contact us today to speak with a hair relaxer lawyer about whether you qualify for a hair relaxer lawsuit. 

How Our Law Firm Can Help You

The Lake Law Firm was founded by Edward J. Lake, Esq., a personal injury lawyer for over 25 years. Our dedicated team of attorneys is committed to seeking justice on behalf of those who have suffered injury or death due to the negligence of others. Our experienced attorneys handle many different types of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and other defective products. The lawyers in our firm have helped collect millions of dollars for their clients. The Lake Law Firm will advocate for you and your rights. Please contact us for a free confidential case evaluation at (888) 274-0139 or submit an inquiry on this page.