African American woman receiving hair treatment at a salon
Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit
Home Practice Areas Product Liability Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit

Hair Relaxer & Chemical Straighteners Lawsuit

Richard Schwartz & Associates Will Take Care of You & Your Claim

Don't Wait!

Contact us online now for a free initial case review. We can meet you at our offices in:

Jump to:

Alarming New Study Shows Women Have Increased Risk of Uterine Cancer, Fibroids, and Endometriosis With Even Minimal Use of Chemical Hair Straighteners

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute recently published a study revealing that people who use hair chemicals or straighteners are at a significantly higher risk for developing uterine cancer. According to a study, women who frequently use chemical relaxers on their hair are more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer than those who don’t. The study defined a frequent user as one who uses straighteners or relaxes their hair with chemicals at least four times per year. Many people use these products to style curly or wavy hair by breaking down its structure. The problem is that they often have to use the product multiple times to maintain the effect, which puts them at risk for developing uterine cancer, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, and other health conditions.

Do Relaxers Cause Cancer?

Chemical hair straighteners do not cause cancer, but the risk of developing cancer more than doubles. This is, in part, due to the presence of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). A plethora of chemical hair straightening products used by Black women contain EDCs. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) interfere with the endocrine system, which regulates hormone production in the body. Endocrine system disruption can cause several hormone-controlled diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, and different types of cancer. In addition, many chemical hair relaxer products include endocrine disruptors such as phthalates, parabens, and fragrances.

Antimicrobial preservatives, like Parabens, are found in many cosmetic products. A study from 2010 found that Black women have higher levels of parabens and phthalates in their system. This can be blamed on the fact that Black women use chemical hair relaxers much more commonly. This disparity is why Black women tend to get uterine and endometrial cancer at higher rates and often in more aggressive forms than white women.

What are the Statistics on Using Chemical Straighteners and Uterine Cancer Incidence?

The study found that out of 33,497 participants, 378 were diagnosed with uterine cancer. Only 1.64% of women who reported never using hair straightening products would develop uterine cancer by age 70. Out of the women that frequently use chemical hair straighteners and relaxers, 4.05% developed uterine cancer by age 70.

Frequent Users Could Have Increased Risk of Cancer

Women who reported using chemical hair straighteners frequently in the past year were found to be at a higher risk of developing uterine cancer than those who had never used these kinds of products. Women that reported using chemical hair straighteners four times in the past year were found to be more likely to suffer from uterine cancer. Even though uterine cancer is rare, these statistics show an increased risk for those who use chemical hair straighteners.

Participants in the study who used hair straighteners were more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer compared to those who never used them. Though these percentages may only be in the single digits, they affect thousands of women using these products when applied to a large number of total users.

What Hair Products Increase the Risk of Uterine Cancer?

The study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute did not ask which specific brands of chemical hair straightening or relaxer products the participants used or what chemicals were in the products that they used. What it did determine was that the risks mentioned above for uterine cancer applied to those that used chemical hair straighteners, but the same risks of uterine cancer did not exist with hair dyes, highlights, and perms.

nurse holding older woman's hand

What are the Dangers of Uterine Cancer?

Uterine Cancer is cancer in the uterus, usually beginning in its lining. Gynecological-related cancer is a common type of cancer affecting the female reproductive system. However, in many cases, it can be cured in the early stages through treatments such as a hysterectomy, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy.

Uterine cancer, unfortunately, can be a troublesome and destructive illness. Any cancer can potentially leave patients with devastating medical bills, lost wages, anxiety, and loss of quality of life. Consumers have rights, and when products like chemical hair straighteners and relaxers cause illnesses as serious as uterine cancer, a product liability lawsuit and mass torts case should be considered.

How Do Chemical Hair Straighteners Increase Uterine Cancer Risk?

More research needs to be done to determine why hair straighteners are linked with uterine cancer. Although more research still needs to be conducted, previous studies have found a correlation and made predictions about how they contribute to this risk. However, a large body of scientific evidence has led researchers to assume that the presence of endocrine-disruptors in specific chemicals increases the risk for cancers and health issues such as diabetes and obesity.
Harsher chemicals are often used in hair straightening and relaxing products to break down the user’s natural hair structure.

Scientists have found a possible link between hair straighteners and increased cancer risk. The cancers connected to these hair products tend to be those caused by hormonal disruptions, leading scientists to believe that this may be how hair straighteners influence cancer risk.

There is an Increased Risk of Uterine Cancer Among Black Women

Even though uterine cancer is not a common diagnosis, Black women are still diagnosed more frequently than any other race. Researchers have been trying to understand the higher rates of uterine cancer among Black women for some time. One possible explanation is that Black women use hair straightening chemicals far more frequently than white women.

Black women are the primary target market for chemical hair straighteners and relaxers. This demographic not only consumes these products more than women of other races, but they begin using them at much earlier ages. Additionally, it is believed that Black women are more likely to use multiple products simultaneously, which can contribute to the risk of cancer.

Studies Show a More Significant Impact on Black Women’s Health

On October 17, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a study investigating if there is a correlation between hair straightening/relaxing products and cancer. There have been many debates in the past about chemicals in these types of products and how they can be harmful. The subjects filled out questionnaires about their use of hair products such as straighteners, dyes, permanents, relaxers, and pressing products.

Although Black women only make up 7.4% of the National Institutes of Health study’s participants, 59.9% of those reported using chemical hair straighteners. The researchers found no associations for uterine cancer among other hair products the women reported using, including bleach, highlights, perms, and permanent hair dye. The only commonality between these women was that they all used straightening products on their natural hair.

The study linked hair relaxer use to incident uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer. This is the first epidemiological evidence of its kind. The rate of uterine cancer in this study is very high for a comparatively rare type of cancer.

African American woman pulling her hair in front of her face

What is the Future of Hair Relaxer Lawsuits?

Recently, multiple lawyers submitted a motion to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) requesting that all lawsuits filed in different federal courts be consolidated and placed before one Federal Judge. As of now, there are ten lawsuits in four different federal courts. We’re expecting the JPML to discuss the possibility of hair relaxer multidistrict litigation (MDL) at their next hearing on January 26, 2023, in Miami. In the coming weeks, we expect hundreds of hair straightener lawsuits to be filed in Federal Courts. This only motivates us to believe that a hair relaxer lawsuit against MDL will soon be established.

How Can Richard Schwartz & Associates Help?

Richard Schwartz & Associates is an award-winning personal injury law firm specializing in helping clients harmed by defective products. With more than a century of experience between them, our attorneys know how to put together a winning case for people suffering from debilitating injuries.

By failing to include a warning of the cancer-related risks associated with their product, manufacturers of chemical hair straighteners have potentially subjected themselves to liability for any damages consumers may suffer.

If you’re unsure whether you can take legal action, talking to one of our product liability lawyers may help. They can also tell you who might be held responsible and what kind of damages you could get if your case is successful. We’ve helped many clients in similar situations get the money they need to move on with their lives.

Contact Richard Schwartz & Associates Now for Help With Your Hair Straightener Cancer Lawsuit

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with uterine cancer, endometrial cancer, or ovarian cancer after using chemical hair relaxers or straighteners, contact Richard Schwartz & Associates today to discuss your potential legal options. Richard Schwartz & Associates serves clients from seven locations across Mississippi.

If you’re unsure what your legal options are, we offer risk-free consultations to help get you started.

Free consultation

Fill out the form below to schedule a free consultation or give us a call at 601-988-8888!

*By submitting your request via our online forms or chat, you grant permission to our law firm to contact you by phone, text messaging, automatic telephone dialing system and/or a telephone dialing system using artificial or prerecorded voice message, and/or email using the phone number or email address that your provided so we may assist you with your request for a free case evaluation and you consent to our use of an automatic telephone dialing system, even if the number you provided us is a wireless line. Being contacted is not a guarantee of acceptance of our services.
Richard Schwartz & Associates Logo
Call Richard Schwartz & Associates Injury Lawyers, P.A. at 601-988-8888 or contact us online today.
Follow Us

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

© 2023 All Rights Reserved.