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Chemical hair straighteners from brands like L’Oreal, Just For Me, and Soft & Beautiful are frequently kept in the homes of millions of Americans across the country. Despite this, many in this country are unaware of the present health risks and life-long side effects from using them. In fact, the long term use of many chemical hair straighteners and relaxers has been linked to several types of cancer.
If you or a loved one regularly used a chemical hair straightening product and were recently diagnosed with cancer, you may be eligible for file a claim. At Bighorn Law, our attorneys are standing by to help those affected by these products get the compensation they need after a devastating cancer diagnosis. Call today for a free and confidential case evaluation.
Chemical Hair Straighteners: What They Are And How They Work
Permanent chemical hair straighteners are hair products that damage the hair to reset its natural curl pattern. Using a process known as lanthionization, this chemical transformation dissolves the disulfide bonds in a hair strand. These bonds cause hair to be curly or straight, with curly hair having more bonds and straight hair having fewer.
Whether an individual gets a chemical straightening treatment from a hairstylist in a salon or self-applies straightening products at home, chemical hair straightening product is left on the hair shaft and scalp for an extended time until the chemical reaction is complete.
Ingredients In Chemical Hair Straighteners And What They Do To The Human Body
Compared to temporary hair straightening products and solutions such as creams or hot tools, permanent hair straightening provides a consistently straight and sleek appearance after treatment. This is because chemical hair straighteners contain products that damage hair to straighten it – but at what cost?
Since the 2010s, researchers and governmental entities have begun to discover the real effect of chemical hair straightening products on the body. Many of the chemicals in these products contain carcinogens, chemicals known to cause cancer in the human body that also disrupt the endocrine system. Chemicals that are not carcinogens but also harm the human endocrine system are called “endocrine disrupting chemicals,” or EDCs.
The State of California, in a background document prepared for the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, reported that they would be banning certain chemicals from specific cosmetic products (which includes hair straightening products) starting in 2025. This is because of the adverse health effects associated with those ingredients.
The banned ingredients include:
- Diethylhexylphthalate: a hormone-disrupting chemical that harms the reproductive system
- Formaldehyde: a known carcinogen
- Methylene Glycol: a form of formaldehyde and also a carcinogen
- Isobutylparaben and Isopropylparaben: two hormone-disrupting chemicals that harm the reproductive system
The European Union (EU) and other industrialized nations have already banned these ingredients. While some American retailers have started taking these products that contain these substances off their shelves, many chemical hair straightening products sold in the U.S. still contain them.
The Link to Cancer
A recent study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found a link between women who used chemical hair straighteners and the development of reproductive cancers, specifically uterine. Some women have had hysterectomies as young as 28 due to their use of these products since childhood.
According to the study, women who never used a chemical hair straightener had a uterine cancer rate of 1.64%, as opposed to women who used chemical hair straighteners frequently having a uterine cancer rate of 4.05% – nearly double the control group.
The exceptionally tragic part of this is that most of these chemical hair straightening product users are Black and brown women. 60% of affected individuals in the study were of African descent. These women, since birth, have been pressured to adopt Euro-centric, western beauty standards, which include having a straight hair texture.
Long-term usage, which is defined as more than four times in one year, can result in the following conditions and long-term health effects:
- Uterine Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Uterine Fibroids leading to a total/partial hysterectomy or myomectomy/Fibroidectomy
Using chemical hair straighteners, even on a one-off basis, is not without risk. Even from one use, individuals can experience the following:
- Hair Breakage
- Chemical Burns
- Scalp Inflammation
- Hair Loss
- Damage to the Hair Shaft
- Change in Hair Color and CompositionBrands Named in Chemical Hair Straightener Lawsuits
There are many different brands and products that may increase the risk of developing cancer or other associated health problems. These include:
- Dark and Lovely
- Just for Me
- Olive Oil Girls
- Soft & Beautiful
- Strength of Nature Global LLC
- TCB Naturals
If you or a loved one regularly used any of these products and was diagnosed with ovarian or uterine cancer, you may be eligible to file a claim.
What Kinds Of Legal Remedies Can I Take If Chemical Hair Straightener Has Harmed Me?
You may be eligible to take legal action by joining a mass tort regarding injuries stemming from your chemical hair straightener usage. A mass tort differs from a class-action lawsuit in the way damages are distributed.
Mass torts allow the victims of defective products or negligent corporate actions to keep their individual rights of damages instead of splitting it evenly across all those affected in a class-action lawsuit. This allows defendants to receive maximum compensation in their legal action.
Here is a list of some criteria to help you determine your eligibility to join a mass tort regarding your health outcomes post-chemical hair relaxer usage:
- Used relaxers frequently, multiple times a year
- Began using it as a child or adolescent
- Used any of the chemical hair straightening brands named in the lawsuit
- Was diagnosed with a reproductive cancer, like uterine cancer or ovarian cancer
- Do not have a pre-existing genetic predisposition of having uterine or reproductive cancer
As always, contacting a lawyer is likely in your best interest. Even if you do not feel as if you meet the criteria, a chemical hair straightener attorney can accurately determine your eligibility.
Is It In My Best Interest To Hire a Lawyer In My Chemical Hair Straightener Case?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, it is likely a good idea to contact an attorney for your chemical hair straightener legal action. A trusted legal partner, such as Big Horn Law, will be the staunchest ally in your fight for justice.
If you are here due to complex health conditions facing you or a loved one from the use of chemical hair straighteners, the team at Big Horn Law is here to help you get the facts, navigate the complexities of your situation, and understand the legal implications of your future decision-making. We handle all cases on a contingency basis, meaning we never charge a fee unless we recover compensation on our clients’ behalf. Call 866.845.4077 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today for a free consultation.