Chemical hair relaxers, also known as “relaxers,” are a popular treatment for straightening curly or kinky hair. They are often used by women of color to remove unwanted curl, but new evidence established that chemicals in these products could have serious health consequences. Women across the country are filing lawsuits against top hair product manufacturers after a recent study revealed that chemical hair relaxers and straighteners present an increased risk of developing certain cancers, including uterine and breast cancer.
On October 17th, 2022, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a study uncovering a strong causal link between chemical hair relaxer use and uterine cancer. The study, funded by the US government, was done by researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It found that women who frequently used chemical straighteners and relaxers for at least five years were twice as likely to develop uterine cancer.
If you or a loved one developed uterine cancer, endometrial cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or ovarian cancer after regularly using chemical hair relaxers, you may be entitled to pursue significant compensation for your injuries and losses. Call Olsman MacKenzie Peacock and Wallace to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Michigan products liability attorney specializing in hair relaxer lawsuits.
Free Consultation – No Fee Unless Compensation is Recovered
Black Women Are Disproportionately Affected By Cancers Caused By Chemical Hair Straighteners.
Black women are at an increased risk of developing uterine and other cancers after using chemical hair straighteners. Che-Jung Chang, PhD, one of the authors of the NIH study, explained that “because Black women use hair straightening or relaxer products more frequently and tend to initiate use at earlier ages than other races and ethnicities;” women of color are at a significantly increased risk of developing life-threatening cancer.
According to the recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, black women who have used chemical hair straighteners for four or more years before age 30 have an 80% higher chance of developing uterine cancer than those who have never used them.
The study also found that black women who regularly use chemical hair straighteners have a 60% higher risk of developing ovarian cancer than those who do not use them regularly.
This is not the first study that has linked chemical hair straighteners to an increased risk of cancer. In 2019 the National Cancer Institute published a study with similar findings, stating that women who used hair straighteners and permanent hair dyes were 9% more likely to develop breast cancer in their lifetimes.
How Do Hair Straighteners and Relaxers Cause An Increased Risk of Cancer?
While additional research is still needed to fully establish the exact link between hair relaxers and cancer, researchers noted that chemical hair straighteners contain chemicals (e.g., diethyhexylphthalate (DEHP)) known as endocrine disruptors, which can cause hormonal imbalances in the body. Consequently, exposure to excess estrogen and imbalances in estrogen and progesterone place women at an increased risk for uterine cancer.
A link to uterine cancer has also been attributed to other potentially carcinogenic toxins, such as:
- Bisphenol A
The discovery of toxic chemicals in hair straightening products has been a shock to many women across the country. However, this is not the first time that manufacturers have been accused of putting customers at risk by including harmful ingredients in their products. In fact, there are many cases where companies have been sued for failing to warn consumers about the dangers of their products or for including harmful substances in them without disclosing those risks. Due to their negligence and lack of concern for consumer safety, many of these companies have been held responsible through litigation for the injuries they caused or put people at risk for.
Michigan Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuits
It is important that manufacturers take steps to ensure that their products are safe before they hit store shelves. They should also be proactive about informing consumers about any potential risks associated with using their products so that women can make informed decisions when it comes time to purchase something new. When companies fail to uphold these duties and women are exposed to increased risks of cancer, these companies should be held fully liable.
Shortly after the publication of the NIH study linking chemical hair relaxers to uterine cancer, a product liability lawsuit was filed in Chicago against several cosmetic companies alleging that their hair relaxers caused uterine cancer. The plaintiff, Jenny Mitchell, is a Missouri resident who used chemical hair relaxers beginning at the age of 10 and contracted uterine cancer at the age of 28 years old.
The hair relaxer lawsuit filed by Jenny Mitchell is the first of what could potentially lead to countless new product liability lawsuits filed against cosmetic companies that manufacture chemical hair relaxers, including (but not limited to):
- Advantage Products
- Soft Sheen Carson
- Dark & Lovely
- Envy Professional
- Goleshlee Professional Keratin Hair Therapy
- Ultra Precise
- ORS Olive Oil
- Curls Unleashed
- Strength of Nature
- TCB Naturals
- Just for Me
- Soft & Beautiful
- African Pride
- Smooth Touch
- Short Looks
- Schwarzkopf Glatt
- Revlon Africa’s Best
- Cantu Shea Butter
- Van Tibolli
How Long Do I Have to File A Hair Relaxer Lawsuit In Michigan?
Women who contract cancer as a result of toxic hair straightening products may be eligible for substantial compensation, including for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. However, Michigan has a strict statute of limitations that can impact these claims. If an individual fails to file by the prescribed deadline, he or she could lose the chance to recover damages, regardless of how strong the case.
Under Michigan law, the statute of limitations for filing a products liability claim is three years from the date of injury (or, in some cases, from the date in which a person should have known about an injury). As such, it is critical to reach out to an experienced hair straightener attorney as soon as possible so they can monitor critical deadlines and tenaciously pursue accountability and maximum compensation.
Michigan Hair Straightener Lawsuit Lawyers Dedicated to Seeking Justice.
If you were diagnosed with cancer after using chemical hair straightening products for a period of at least five years, we invite you to call our office to schedule a free consultation with an experienced hair relaxer lawsuit lawyer. We can listen to the facts of your case, explain your legal options, and tenaciously fight for the justice and compensation to which you are rightfully entitled. We represent injury victims on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that we are only entitled to a fee if compensation is recovered. We also advance all litigation expenses while a case is ongoing.
Schedule A Free Consultation with An Experienced Michigan Hair Relaxer Attorney Today – No Fee Unless You Recover
 Study Finds Possible Link Between Hair Straightening Chemicals and Uterine Cancer, American Cancer Society, https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/study-finds-possible-link-between-hair-straightening-chemicals-and-uterine-cancer.html.
 Permanent hair dye and straighteners may increase breast cancer risk, National Institutes of Health, https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/permanent-hair-dye-straighteners-may-increase-breast-cancer-risk.
 Mitchell v. L’Oreal, et al. – 1:22-cv-5815.