Studies Reveal Alarming Occurrence of Uterine Cancer in Hair Straightener or Relaxer Consumers
A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reveals that people who use chemicals to straighten or relax their hair have a higher risk of developing uterine cancer. These products are used most often by women of color, especially Black women, to style their naturally curly or wavy hair. As a result, these women face the greatest chance of receiving a cancer diagnosis, according to the study. Many women facing medical issues after using these products are filing hair straightener cancer lawsuits against various product manufacturers.
Relaxers and straighteners use a combination of chemicals to break down each hair’s structure and make it more pliable and soft. People who prefer a smoother style often use these products several times each year to maintain the look. Unfortunately, these products are now linked to an increased risk of uterine cancer, especially for those who have regularly used relaxers and straighteners for a long period of time. There are now several published scientific studies linking hair relaxers to cancer.
If doctors diagnosed you or a loved one with uterine cancer and you used hair straightening or relaxing products in the past, you may be eligible to bring a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the products you used.
To learn more about your legal rights, consult a personal injury lawyer with product liability experience and, specifically, a law firm that is handling hair relaxer lawsuits.
Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Updates
Please check back here regularly. This will be the most up-to-date page regarding hair relaxer litigation on the internet.
We will continue providing updates on the hair relaxer cancer lawsuit, where thousands of federal lawsuits have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of Illinois before Judge Mary Rowland. We anticipate thousands of new chemical hair straightener lawsuits will still be filed over the coming year.
This should continue to be one of the fastest-growing mass torts. We love this lawsuit based
on L'Oreal USA having such a large share of the market. There is a growing body of scientific research and published studies linking uterine cancer to hair relaxer use.
Further, plaintiff lawyers believe chemical hair straightener brands have long known that endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in their products, such as phthalates, metals, and parabens, are known carcinogens (chemicals that cause cancer). Brands such as L'Oreal failed to provide a warning that the use of such products could cause uterine cancer.
February 6, 2024 - Nearly 200 New Cases Join the Hair Relaxer MDL; Trials Will Focus on 3 Types of Cancer
With the addition of 191 new lawsuits in January, there are now 8,217 pending claims in the hair relaxer cancer MDL. The number of new claims has dropped significantly since last summer, when 2,000 to 3,000 new cases per month were the norm.
The plaintiff's lawyers are focusing on three main types of cancer that should be the easiest to prove were caused by these products: uterine cancer, endometrial cancer, and ovarian cancer.
January 19 – Future Growth in the Hair Relaxer MDL
Court filings in the hair relaxer MDL have diminished considerably over the winter of 2023 and 2024, suggesting enrollment in the litigation has peaked. Although, the total number of cases has now exceeded 8,000.
Once an MDL is established, law firms and attorneys seek to inform potentially eligible claimants of their legal options. The subsequent growth rate of the MDL varies but typically reaches a natural plateau.
Plaintiffs have proposed a trial calendar for potential bellwether cases that extends into July for expert witness depositions. We don't expect any settlement offers until a trial date is pending, which could easily happen in 2025.
January 12, 2024 - Hair Relaxer Lawsuit: The First Two Bellwether Trials Selected
Judge Rowland has selected the first two bellwether trials to occur in the hair relaxer MDL (Northern District of Illinois). The initial trial is slated for November 3, 2025, and the second one will occur on February 2, 2026.
The mere fact we now have trial dates places some pressure on the defendants. Bellwether trials tend to be weighed heavily by both the plaintiff and defense in the context of potentially resolving all claims within the MDL. It is impossible to try every last case within a mass tort or class action lawsuit.
A bellwether trial allows both sides to see how a jury will weigh the scientific evidence and sheds light on the potential damages a jury may award. We are intrigued by how a jury will evaluate evidence exposure to chemical hair relaxers can increase the risk of women developing uterine cancer.
January 8, 2024 – Over 8,000 Pending Cases in Hair Relaxer MDL
From August 2023 to January 2024, the number of cases enrolled or pending in the hair relaxer MDL has increased from 300 to more than 8,100. Given the collective market share of the defendants in this litigation, we anticipate a drastic increase in court filings in the near future. The MDL was established in February 2023 after various longtime users of popular haircare products developed severe medical conditions, including uterine cancer.
January 3 - Discovery Extends to Foreign Sales and Deadline for Interrogatories
Judge Mary Rowland accepted a request to extend the scope of the discovery process to include the international sale of hair products. In November, the court addressed the complex jurisdictional questions in the context of companies and corporations of international origin or scale, ultimately dismissing two defendants from the MDL. The recent development, however, enables plaintiffs to investigate the products, marketing, and revenue of defendants still participating in the litigation.
December 31, 2023 - Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit Continues to Grow
Much attention has been focused on the recently published Black Women's Health Study wherein the health records of just under 50,000 black women were tracked from 1997 through 2019. Women who utilized chemical hair relaxers for at least fifteen (15) years at a rate of use of five (5) times a year had an increased risk of uterine cancer (i.e., endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma).
There is a growing body of scientific literature illustrating a link between the use of chemical hair relaxers and uterine cancer. The scientific community is already well aware of the relationship between formaldehyde and cancer when absorbed through the skin.
Further, chemical hair straighteners contain a multitude of endocrine-disrupting chemicals that create an elevated risk of hormonal cancers, which include reproductive cancers like ovarian cancer and uterine cancer.
December 18, 2023 - More Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Plaintiffs
As of December 2023, nearly 8,000 plaintiffs have enrolled in the sweeping chemical hair relaxer multidistrict litigation (MDL). The exponential increase in filings in the final quarter of 2023 is largely attributable both to Judge Rowland’s reaffirmation of plaintiffs’ Master Long Form Complaint and an FDA proposal to ban hair products that contain formaldehyde.
Moreover, the prosecution’s Leadership Development Committee (LDC) has requested the establishment of a common benefit fund. In multidistrict litigation, courts commonly appoint some kind of leadership structure to oversee plaintiffs’ collective activities, filings, and strategy. Common benefit funds serve to reimburse attorneys who participate in these court-approved committees.
The LDC seeks an 11% rate for the common benefit fund, whose resources will derive from the compensation awarded to all counsel representing individual clients in the MDL. Judge Rowland has yet to issue an official ruling on the request.
November 16, 2023 - Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Chemical Hair Straightener Lawsuit Master Complaint Rejected
Judge Mary Rowland largely rejected the defendants’ motion to dismiss. The defense argued that federal law precluded the inclusion of various charges advanced under state statutes and that additional product liability claims were unviable. Judge Rowland’s ruling sustained the majority of plaintiffs’ charges at the pleading stage, including:
- Design defect
- Failure to warn
- Implied and Express warranty
- Unjust enrichment
- Punitive damages
- Derivative damages
However, the court ultimately dismissed the plaintiffs' fraud claims on the grounds that they failed to satisfy the stringent requirements under Rule 9(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In addition, two international defendants were excused from the litigation for want of appropriate jurisdiction. There are approximately 8000 hair relaxer cancer lawsuits in the MDL.
We are noting an increase in television advertising related to the chemical hair straightener lawsuit. In turn, the general public is learning of the toxic chemicals, including endocrine disruptors in hair relaxer products. Exposure to endocrine disruptors will often lead to hormonal imbalances. Ovarian cancer and uterine cancer are both considered hormonal cancers.
September 1, 2023 - Judge Rowland Holds Hair Straightener Lawsuit Status Conference
Judge Rowland held a status conference this past week where she provided the lawyers one week to enter a joint status report concerning the recent motion to dismiss filed by McBride (one of the smaller defendants), one of a handful of defendants in the hair straightener cancer lawsuits. Further, a bankruptcy attorney addressed the Court regarding the recent filing of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy by Revlon.
August 15, 2023 - New Master Complaint Approved in Hair Relaxer MDL
Judge Rowland approved a master complaint for the chemical hair straightener cancer lawsuit. The master complaint is nearly 400 pages long and provides a thorough breakdown of the plaintiffs' common allegations and legal claims against hair relaxer manufacturers.
August 1, 2023 - Over 400 Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuits in MDL
The Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuits is one of the fastest-growing mass torts of all time. In seven months, some 400 lawsuits have been filed into the MDL with common allegations that the use of chemical hair straighteners resulted in uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, and cervical cancer.
May 1, 2023 - Short Form Complaint Approved in Hair Relaxer MDL
Judge Mary Rowland made it easier for plaintiffs to file lawsuits against the likes of L'Oreal, Revlon, and Dabur International (the largest manufacturers of hair straighteners) by approving a short-form complaint to file directly into the MDL.
February 8, 2023 - Hair Relaxer Multidistrict Litigation is Created
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has consolidated all hair straightener cancer lawsuits filed in Federal Courts throughout the U.S., before Judge Mary M. Rowland in the Northern District of Illinois. Approximately sixty (60) lawsuits will be transferred into the Northern District of Illinois this month.
January 28, 2023 - JPML Meets Today to Discuss Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit
The Joint Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) met today in Miami to discuss consolidating all lawsuits filed in Federal District Courts throughout the nation in the hair relaxer class action. We strongly believe the JPML will inevitably consolidate all lawsuits in the Northern District of Illinois for convenience to all plaintiffs and defendants. Further, there are several hair straightener lawsuits that are pending in the Northern District of Illinois.
Why You Should Choose Lawsuit Legal News to Help With Your Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit
We are proud to have earned numerous distinctions on our way to being a nationally recognized, award-winning personal injury legal team. We are dedicated to helping clients who have been harmed by defective products. Our hair relaxer attorneys provide over 120 years of combined experience in product liability to advocate for clients suffering serious, complicated injuries and losses. We'll use our knowledge and skills to help you prepare and present a solid product liability case to recover the losses you deserve.
The Dolman Law Group has represented over 10,000 victims of negligence and has collected over $500 million in compensation on behalf of our clients. Matthew Dolman is an experienced attorney who has been repeatedly selected by his colleagues as one of Florida's Legal Elite and a Florida Superlawyer multiple times.
Matthew has been active in the hair straightener class action lawsuit since the beginning. The hair relaxer lawyers at Dolman Law Group have studied the harmful chemicals in these hair relaxer and hair straightener products. We are well versed in the health conditions associated with the dangerous chemicals in hair straighteners, including, phthalates, phenols, and paragons. More specific chemicals in hair relaxers include formaldehyde, sodium hydroxide, and lye are known carcinogens (i.e., chemicals that can cause cancer when one is exposed to them in sufficient quantity).
When you speak with one of our product liability lawyers, we can explain whether you can take legal action, who you can hold responsible, the damages you can request, and how the process works.
Our goal is to help you recover the compensation you need to put your life back in order and hold negligent manufacturers responsible for the injuries their products cause. We believe that manufacturers such as L'Oreal knew full well just how dangerous their chemical straighteners were and failed to warn prospective consumers.
How the Product Liability Lawyers at LLN Can Help You
To join this MDL, all injured plaintiffs must prepare and file a Short Form Complaint and comply with the legal procedures required by the MDL judge. If you have questions about bringing a hair product claim, start by consulting with an experienced product liability lawyer affiliated with Lawsuit Legal News (LLN). The team at LLN can:
- Explain the complicated legal process,
- Help you gather and prepare the necessary evidence required to support your claim,
- Help you decide whether to file a civil lawsuit or join the multi-district litigation (MDL) now pending in Illinois and
- Fight for your rights to receive the compensation you deserve.
The LLN team is actively investigating hair straightener injury claims against several different manufacturers. We understand the serious impact a cancer diagnosis can have on the lives of countless consumers, and we are prepared to fight for you.
How Can You Hold Product Manufacturers Responsible for Causing Cancer?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates cosmetics and other products sold in our country. Manufacturers must make cosmetics safe for consumers who follow the label instructions or customary procedures for using the product. Hair care products must meet rigorous safety standards to make them safe, effective, and not dangerous to society.
Consumers who purchase hair products have the right to expect that these treatments will not harm them or cause an increased risk of cancer. Hair straightening product manufacturers are legally obligated to provide safe hair products and warn about cancer-causing ingredients. If a manufacturer fails to market a safe product or warn about its potential dangers, you can bring a claim to hold it responsible for paying compensation for the injuries its product caused.
If a dangerous product injures you, turn to a nationally recognized and award-winning law firm that understands what you are facing. Our team of product liability and mass tort lawyers has advocated for many injured consumers and filed numerous product liability lawsuits against manufacturers that create and sell items that harm users.
If you have developed uterine cancer after using hair straightening or relaxing products, don’t wait to contact the team of product liability lawyers at LLN to discuss your right to take legal action.
Recent Studies Show a Connection Between Uterine Cancer and Hair Straightener Use
The Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) published a study analyzing the relationship between hair straightening and relaxing products and the occurrence of uterine cancer among consumers. The researchers followed 33,947 participants from The Sister Study.
The Sister Study tracked almost 51,000 women from 2003 to 2009. The participants were women ages 35 to 74 who were breast cancer-free at the start of the study but had at least one sister who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Through questionnaires and self-reporting, the study analyzed thousands of women, the products they used over several years, and the incidence of cancer among the group.
The researchers involved in the JNCI study noted:
“In the Sister Study, we have previously observed a higher breast cancer incidence associated with adolescent and adult use of hair products and a higher ovarian cancer incidence associated with adult use of straighteners.” Citations omitted.
A study by the International Journal of Cancer reported possible links between products such as hair straighteners and hair dyes and the development of breast and ovarian cancers. So, although hair products have been controversial for a long time because of their chemical makeup and the harm they can cause, no one has looked for a link to uterine cancer until now.
The JNCI study examined Sister Study data provided by roughly 33,500 women who met the qualifications for the program. These women reported using several different hair products, including hair straighteners, relaxers, hair color, permanents, body waves, and other hair modifying products.
Finding a Statistical Link Between Uterine Cancer and Chemical Hair Straighteners
Of the 33,497 participants in the JNCI study, 378 women reported a uterine cancer diagnosis. The results indicated that only 1.64 percent of women who reported they never used hair straightening products developed uterine cancer by age 70. However, 4.05 percent of women in the study who used chemical hair straighteners or relaxers developed uterine cancer by age 70.
The study also found that women who used chemical hair straighteners within the prior year had a higher risk of developing uterine cancer than those who had never used these products. In an even more frightening finding, women who reported using chemical hair straighteners four or more times in the past year suffered an even higher risk of uterine cancer.
Overall, uterine cancer is fairly rare. Although the number of women reporting a cancer diagnosis appears low, these statistics show a sizable increase in cancer risks linked to using chemical hair straighteners. Also, this study uncovers an ethnic bias against Black women because more Black women use hair straighteners than Caucasian women, usually from an early age. Unfortunately, uterine cancer is more common in Black women, and Black women are more likely to die from uterine cancer than other ethnicities.
The study participants who used hair straighteners were diagnosed with uterine cancer more than twice as often as those who never used straighteners. Considering the large number of women involved in this study, these findings may link thousands of uterine cancer cases to hair product use.
Hair Relaxer Uterine Cancer FAQs
Do You Know if You Have Used Any of the Products That Can Increase Your Risk of Uterine Cancer?
The recent JNCI study did not ask participants to identify which specific brands of chemical hair straightening or relaxer products they used or the chemicals listed on the product labels. In fact, many cosmetic companies don’t list every chemical in their products on the label. This makes it difficult for consumers to avoid possibly dangerous chemicals and products that remain on the market without warnings.
The study determined that the uterine cancer risks linked to chemical hair straightener use did not apply to people who used hair color, highlights, and perms. Despite the lack of a statistical link to uterine cancer, many other hair-processing products remain under heavy scrutiny. Past studies have found a potential link between these products and other cancers, including breast and ovarian cancer.
For example, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) used data from the Sister Study to correlate 2,794 breast cancer diagnoses with chemical hair straightener use. That study found a 30 percent increase in the risk of developing breast cancer in women who straightened their hair every five to eight weeks or more often.
Do You Have the Legal Right to Bring a Chemical Hair Straightener Case?
Makers of products like chemical hair straighteners owe consumers a legal duty of care. Manufacturers must provide safe products, free of unnecessary cancer risks, or at the very least, a warning about the product’s possible dangers. If a company fails to meet these standards, its customers can hold it responsible for the damages these products cause.
Unfortunately, researchers don’t have a definitive answer about how hair straighteners may cause an increased risk of cancer. However, since studies have found a connection between these products and cancer patients, people diagnosed with cancer after using hair straightening products may seek compensation from manufacturers that create and sell dangerous items.
To prevail in a product liability lawsuit, you must prove a connection between the dangerous product you used and your medical condition. As you can imagine, this is not an easy task. An experienced product liability lawyer can link a dangerous consumer product to serious medical conditions to help meet this legal requirement. Once you prove this connection, you may recover compensation for your losses.
Are You in the High-Risk of Uterine Cancer Group?
Although uterine cancer is a fairly rare cancer, the National Cancer Institute recently reported that Black women are more often diagnosed with uterine cancer and more than twice as likely to die from uterine cancer than women of other races. The results of the JNCI study confirm this frightening statistic.
In the JNCI study, Black women accounted for 7.4 percent of the study’s participants, but they constituted almost 60 percent of the women who used chemical hair straighteners. Another study linked Black women who regularly colored their hair with permanent hair dye to a 60 percent increase in breast cancer diagnoses compared to only an 8 percent increase in cancer risks in Caucasian women.
Because women of color are the primary consumer demographic for chemical hair straighteners and relaxers, manufacturers target them with advertising and marketing. They also know this target market is more likely to start using their products at a younger age, so they count on consumers using these chemicals throughout their lives.
If an irresponsible manufacturer created and marketed a dangerous product that led to your injury, turn to our compassionate team of product liability lawyers for the compensation you need to help you recover.
What Compensation Can You Recover in a Uterine Cancer Product Liability Claim?
Because every case is different, the LLN team would need to gather more information from you to calculate a potential compensation award. During a free consultation with one of our product liability lawyers, we will discuss your unique situation, what you have been through, and what the future may bring. We can investigate your claim, gather evidence for you, and create a legal strategy to recover the maximum amount possible.
We understand that uterine cancer, or any other type of cancer, presents an extremely stressful, painful, emotional, and life-changing experience. A cancer diagnosis also involves extensive medical treatments and overwhelming expenses. You may miss work to attend multiple doctor visits and face significant changes in your quality of life.
Most states allow a product liability claimant to recover compensation for economic and non-economic losses, known as legal damages. Economic losses can include medical bills, lost income, and other expenses that you can document. Non-economic losses may include mental anguish, pain and suffering, loss of family relationships, and other items that are more difficult to calculate.
A dedicated, compassionate personal injury attorney can help you determine your legal damages and work with you to recover as much as possible to help you move forward.
Uterine Cancer Basics and the Harm You May Suffer
Uterine cancer falls into two types—Type 1 endometrial cancer is more common, while Type 2 uterine sarcoma is more rare. Doctors can often cure this cancer in the early stages by performing a hysterectomy or other surgery. Other treatments, such as immunotherapy and chemotherapy, may work, depending on the type and severity of the cancer.
Uterine cancer patients experience similar symptoms, procedures, and challenges as other cancer patients, including:
- Surgery involving risks, pain, and extended recovery.
- Chemotherapy with strong drugs to destroy cancer cells.
- Radiation using targeted beams that burn and destroy cancer cells.
- Hormone replacement therapy, since the condition involves the reproductive system. Patients might receive hormones to replace what the body can no longer create or to block further cancer growth.
- Medicine therapy focusing on keeping certain types of cancer cells from growing.
- Immunotherapy to stimulate the patient’s natural immune system to fight cancer.
These treatments often make the patient nauseated and unable to eat. Certain chemicals also can reduce their ability to fight off other diseases or conditions, such as pneumonia or even the common cold.
Uterine cancer patients may also face:
- Skin burns from radiation,
- Reactions to medications,
- The inability to perform basic daily activities,
- Loss of employment,
- Extensive and long-term medical care and rehabilitation,
- Mental and emotional distress and
Since most uterine cancer victims have surgeons remove their uterus, they can no longer bear children and will probably start menopause regardless of their age. These circumstances create another group of physical and emotional repercussions beyond the typical issues faced by cancer survivors.
You Can Afford to Partner With LLN
At Lawsuit Legal News. we strive to help those who have been injured by ruthless corporations that care more about their bottom lines than their customers' health and safety. Often, dangerous product victims do not have the financial resources to pay their medical bills and monthly expenses, let alone legal fees. This is why we don't charge for legal consultations and case reviews, and we don't receive payment until you receive compensation for your losses.
With no upfront costs and no legal fees owed until you have money from the liable company, you have nothing to lose by working with us. Reach out today!
Trust LLN to Handle Your Hair Straightener Cancer-Related Lawsuit
If you or a loved one used chemical hair straighteners or relaxers and then received a uterine cancer diagnosis, we can help. We promise to provide the highest quality services as we guide you through the complicated product liability legal process. Let us help you pursue your legal options and find peace of mind.