Hair Relaxer Lawsuit: A Comprehensive Guide (2024)

Rae Fitzgerald

Contributor

Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.

Editor

Read in 9 mins

Are you a long-time user of hair relaxers? Did you develop uterine or ovarian cancer after starting chemical hair straighteners? You may be eligible to join thousands of women in filing suit in a hair relaxer class action or file your own lawsuit.

Hair relaxers, which are heavily marketed to and commonly used by Black women, rely on powerful chemicals to straighten curly or tightly coiled hair. But new research suggests that the chemicals may also increase a consumer’s risk of developing cancer, a finding that has spurred thousands of hair relaxer lawsuits.

Long-term hair relaxer use is associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer among postmenopausal women, according to a 2023 study involving almost 45,000 Black women. Previous studies have suggested that hair relaxers may also increase a user’s risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers.

If you’re considering a hair relaxer lawsuit, you may be wondering: How do you qualify for a hair relaxer lawsuit? And when will the hair relaxer lawsuit be settled? ConsumerShield can guide you to answers. As compassionate consumer rights experts, our team is here to help you explore the best type of lawsuit for your case: One that ends in a settlement. When big companies hurt you, you deserve a settlement. Contact ConsumerShield to explore your eligibility for a hair relaxer lawsuit today.

Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Updates

  1. Georgia Court Allows Hair Relaxer Suit Against L'Oréal
  2. Duplicative Hair Relaxer Cases

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What Is the Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?

Like many hair products, chemical hair relaxers contain many harmful chemicals, including endocrine disruptors. In recent years, numerous studies have emerged suggesting that using chemical hair relaxers may increase risk for developing certain estrogen-dependent cancers, including breast and ovarian cancer.

A link between hair straighteners and uterine cancer has now been firmly established, thanks to a 2023 study on hair relaxers and uterine cancer.

To conduct the study, researchers used data from the Black Women’s Health Study to look at health outcomes for almost 45,000 self-identified Black women with intact uteruses from the years 1997 to 2019. They found that long-term use of chemical hair relaxers increased risk for uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, giving plaintiffs the scientifically backed data they needed to pursue uterine cancer lawsuits for hair relaxer.

Understanding the Hair Relaxer Lawsuit

In light of recent findings, you may be able to file a hair relaxer cancer lawsuit if you used hair straightening products and subsequently developed uterine, breast or endometrial cancer. In terms of eligibility for a hair relaxer lawsuit, fibroids may also qualify you.

Hair Relaxer MDL

If you are interested in pursuing legal action, you may be wondering: What is the hair relaxer lawsuit? Many hair relaxer lawsuits are being filed into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The hair relaxer MDL is a consolidated lawsuit that includes thousands of victims who developed uterine cancer, breast cancer, fibroids, and other related conditions after using chemical hair relaxers.

Class Action Lawsuits for Hair Relaxer

It’s important to note that an MDL is slightly different from a traditional class action lawsuit. Hair relaxer settlements in MDLs are distributed on a case-by-case basis, according to each individual plaintiff’s claim, and each case in an MDL remains separate. Essentially, plaintiffs in MDLs are able to remain distinct plaintiffs rather than taking on the status of a group.

Is the Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Legit?

With more than 8,000 pending cases, the MDL hair relaxer lawsuit is already on track to represent thousands of individual plaintiffs in their pursuit for justice—and is only expected to get bigger. The initial trial is scheduled for November 3, 2025, and a second one is scheduled for February 2, 2026. They will be decided by a jury verdict, each in favor of the plaintiff or the defendant.

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Filing Your Lawsuit for Hair Relaxer

If you used chemical hair relaxers for a long period of time and then developed cancer, fibroids, or a related health condition, you may be eligible to participate in the MDL class action lawsuit. Hair relaxer companies need to be held accountable for the damage they’ve caused and the lives they’ve shattered. Legal action is the best way to bring them to justice, as well as to secure the compensation you deserve for your suffering.

Unsure how to get started? Don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to do it alone—ConsumerShield can guide you through the complexities of the legal process. Our compassionate consumer advocates will review your situation, explain your options, and connect you with the legal resources you need.

Getting started is easy: Simply contact ConsumerShield online to ask questions, voice concerns, or schedule a conversation with a dedicated legal expert.

Uterine Cancer & Hair Straighteners

Did you use chemical hair relaxers for an extended period of time? If you subsequently developed uterine cancer, hair straighteners may be the reason why. New research suggests that long-time use of chemical hair relaxers may increase the risk of developing uterine cancer, particularly among postmenopausal women.

This finding is a critical contribution to an already significant body of work on the potential dangers of chemical-laden hair straightening products. Uterine cancer lawsuits, which have already been filed by the thousands, will need to demonstrate the connection between uterine cancer and hair straighteners to prevail.

New research is still emerging on the possible effects of chemical hair straighteners. For now, the causal link between hair straighteners and uterine cancer seems to be the strongest, but it’s not the only type of cancer associated with chemical hair relaxers. Studies indicate that using hair straighteners may contribute to the development of the following:

Uterine cancer

A diagnosis of uterine cancer may result in the largest type of hair relaxer lawsuit payout. According to a 2023 study, long-term chemical hair relaxer use increases risk of developing uterine cancer in postmenopausal women.

Endometrial cancer

Endometrial cancer is a subtype of uterine cancer. Researchers in a 2022 study further divide endometrial cancer into type I and type II, according to the symptoms with which they present. The study indicates a stronger link between type I endometrial cancer and hair relaxers than type II.

Ovarian cancer

Research conducted in a 2021 study suggests that frequent use of hair relaxers is associated with a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Breast cancer

In a 2020 study, researchers found that women who used hair straighteners or applied them to others in the 12 months before participating in the study had a much higher risk of breast cancer.

These cancers, while distinct, have something in common: They may each be caused by exposure to certain harmful chemicals, namely endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors, including formaldehyde, phthalates, parabens, and more, can interfere with the body’s hormones and result in cancer.

If you developed uterine cancer after using chemical hair straighteners, you may be eligible for compensation. The legal journey toward justice is long, but you don’t have to do it alone. Contact ConsumerShield to speak with a compassionate consumer advocate about your legal options today.

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Hair Relaxer Chemicals

Hair relaxers are often marketed as the ultimate solution for achieving sleek, straight hair, but the reality is far more complex and concerning. These products contain a cocktail of chemicals, some of which have been linked to serious health issues.

Here are some of the main chemicals you should be aware of:

Phthalates

One of the most harmful chemicals found in hair relaxers is phthalates, specifically Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP). Classified as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), phthalates can interfere with the body's hormonal system and lead to a range of health issues, including reproductive dysfunction, developmental abnormalities, and an increased risk of certain types of cancer.

Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)

Lye, or sodium hydroxide, is a strong alkali used in many hair relaxer products. It works by breaking down the hair's protein structure, allowing it to be reshaped. However, lye is highly corrosive and can cause severe burns and scarring if it comes into contact with the skin or eyes. It can also damage the hair shaft, leading to hair loss and breakage.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a preservative often found in hair relaxer products. It's a known carcinogen that has been linked to respiratory problems, skin irritation, and cancer. Despite its dangers, it continues to be used in many cosmetic products due to its effectiveness as a preservative.

The presence of these harmful chemicals in hair relaxer products, often without clear warnings, is a key issue driving the hair relaxer injury legal cases. It's crucial to be aware of these chemicals and their potential risks to make informed decisions about the products you use.

If you or a loved one has been affected by the use of hair relaxer products, you may be entitled to compensation. ConsumerShield is here to help. Our expert team can guide you through the process of filing a hair relaxer lawsuit, ensuring your case is as strong as possible. Contact ConsumerShield today to take the first step towards justice.

Hair Relaxers Studies Find Health Risks

Beneath the allure of hair relaxers lies a disturbing reality - a potential link between their long-term use and severe health risks.

The most concerning element in hair relaxers is a group of chemicals known as phthalates, often referred to as "plasticizers". These chemicals are noted for their durability and are commonly found in various cosmetic products, including chemical hair relaxers. Phthalates, specifically Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), are classified as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which can interfere with the body's hormonal system and contribute to a range of health problems.

DEHP is a synthetic chemical not naturally found in the environment and is deemed biologically toxic. It is considered a probable human carcinogen known to cause significant adverse health effects, including developmental abnormalities, reproductive dysfunction, and infertility. The alarming presence of such a harmful chemical in hair relaxers, coupled with the lack of consumer awareness, is a key driver behind the ongoing hair relaxer injury legal cases.

The potential health risks associated with hair relaxers were thrust into the spotlight following two groundbreaking studies. The first, published in October 2022, found a strong association between long-term use of hair relaxers and increased rates of uterine cancer.

The study found that women who used hair relaxers were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with uterine cancer compared to non-users. Alarmingly, the incidence rate of uterine cancer increased even further among women who reported using hair relaxers more frequently.

The second study, conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2021, found a 50% increased risk of ovarian cancer among women who regularly used hair relaxers (more than four times per year). Given the relative rarity of ovarian cancer and its low five-year survival rate, this connection is particularly concerning.

These two studies have provided the first substantial epidemiological evidence of a clear connection between hair relaxers and the increased risk of uterine and ovarian cancer, highlighting the urgent need for further research and regulation of these products. The findings have also paved the way for the burgeoning hair relaxer compensation case, as victims seek justice and compensation for the harm they have endured.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Scientific studies have found a strong association between long-term use of hair relaxers and increased rates of uterine and ovarian cancer. The main concern lies with the chemical Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), an endocrine-disrupting chemical found in hair relaxers, which can cause significant adverse health effects, including developmental abnormalities, reproductive dysfunction, and infertility.

  • Continuous research is going to find a potential relationship between respiratory problems or uterine fibroids and hair relaxers. However, no absolute causative link has come to light.Many consumers have reported developing these problems after hair relaxer usage, but several other factors can also contribute to such health effects. Therefore, it is highly recommended to have the expert opinion of medical professionals and legal representatives in this regard if you feel your health problems have a direct link to the use of hair relaxers.

  • Hair relaxers are usually applied on tightly coiled or curly hair textures to give them a straight and sleek look.However, most Afro-Caribbean, African, or similar people have the same type of hair relaxers. Besides hair type, the effect of using hair relaxers may also vary from individual to individual.

  • If you are experiencing adverse side effects after using hair straightening products, ensure that your safety and health are your top priority. However, if you suffer severe chemical reactions like respiratory problems, chemical burns, irritation on scalps, or other symptoms, then immediately seek medical help. Record your experience, which may include photos of visible scars, and collect all information regarding the product. Furthermore, consulting with expert attorneys in self-harm and product liability situations will help you with your potential legal rights and options.

  • In the hair relaxer MDL, discussions in February led to the appointment of retired Judge Paul Grimm as Special Master to assist with resolving technical disputes. While both parties agreed on Grimm, defendants are pushing for a monthly fee cap of $10,000, equating to about 13 hours at $750 per hour, to control costs—a move plaintiffs oppose. Additionally, the MDL grew by 117 cases in February, bringing the total to 8,334 federal lawsuits.

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