Injuries Caused by Long-Term Hair Relaxer Use

Injuries Caused by Long-Term Hair Relaxer Use

Recent research has uncovered toxic chemicals in certain hair straightening products can cause uterine cancer or breast cancer. Unfortunately, this is far from the only potential health issue that can result from the persistent use of chemical hair relaxers. Plaintiffs allege that the makers of these hair straightening products are liable for damages like medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress.

The consequences of cancer or other serious reproductive health issues can diminish a woman’s quality of life, irreparably impact her reproductive health, and cause significant financial burdens. Women have begun pursuing compensation from the companies that designed these hair relaxers in product liability lawsuits. A personal injury lawyer who specializes in product liability can provide the legal expertise you need to maximize your compensation for your injuries caused by long-term chemical relaxer use.

Toxic Chemicals Found in Hair Straightening Products Increase the Risk of Cancer

Chemical hair straighteners have previously been linked to breast cancer, and more recently, uterine cancer. An NIH study found that using chemical hair straighteners 4 or more times a year can be enough to impact the estrogen balance that leads to uterine cancer in some women. In fact, it more than doubled a woman’s risk of developing uterine cancer.

Both of these types of cancer can be instigated by a hormone imbalance. Researchers have been able to connect the use of chemical hair straighteners, which have a component that is similar to the hormone estrogen, with a greater chance of developing cancers related to the female reproductive system. 

At a healthy level, the hormone estrogen helps regulate the female reproductive system. When this balance is disrupted by an influx of estrogen-mimicking chemicals, it can lead to abnormal cell growth within the female reproductive system. In some cases, this cell growth can develop into cancer or other health conditions like uterine fibroids. Women who use these products frequently are increasing their risk as the chemicals are absorbed through the scalp and enter the body, where they accumulate.

Chemical Hair Straightners Found to Cause Cancer and Reproductive Health Issues

Chemicals present in certain hair straightening products have caused a variety of cancers and issues within the reproductive system. Even non-cancerous conditions, like uterine fibroids, can still threaten pregnancies. When left untreated, these issues can permanently damage the reproductive organs or even become life-threatening. 

Injuries Caused By Chemical hair Straightner Use:

Certain groups of women are already at a heightened risk of developing uterine cancer or breast cancer, so if you have a family history of reproductive cancer or you have used chemical hair straighteners with regularity over an extended period of time, you should be aware of the symptoms associated with these health issues. 

Documenting the process of seeking and receiving treatment is often critical in product liability lawsuits, so we recommend keeping a copy of your records and seeking treatment as soon as possible. Otherwise, it can be difficult to demonstrate that you attempted to mitigate your damages, which can reduce the value of your settlement.

Damages in a Hair Straightener Product Liability Lawsuit

The monetary and non-economic ramifications of cancer treatments can derail a family’s financial future and take an emotional toll on a woman and her family. In personal injury lawsuits, such as product liability lawsuits, an injured party can be compensated for losses that they sustained as a result of another party’s negligence. These losses are considered compensatory damages because the plaintiff is being repaid for a cost they otherwise would not have incurred.

Compensatory further classified as economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages reimburse an injured party for their monetary losses. If an economic damage is acknowledged by the defendant, the plaintiff would generally be able to use a receipt to validate its value. Non-economic damages, in contrast, are decided on a more subjective basis. This type of damage provides compensation for emotional losses, like pain and suffering.

Examples of Damages in a Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit:

  • Medical bills
  • Job-related losses
    • Lost wages
    • Missed promotions
    • Reduced earning capacity
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death
    • Funeral and burial costs
    • Loss of consortium

The extent of the financial, physical, and emotional damage you sustain will impact what your hair relaxer cancer claim is worth. Permanent consequences, like losing the ability to have children, generally receive more substantial compensation. 

Other factors, like career and lifestyle, are also considered when calculating the value of a plaintiff’s damages. For example, a woman who missed a promotion she was on track for because she was receiving treatments for uterine cancer would likely receive more compensation for career-related losses as compared to a woman who underwent similar treatments but was already retired.

Seeking Compensation for Hair Relaxer Injuries in a Product Liability Lawsuit

The product liability lawsuits being brought against negligent companies like L’Oreal claim that they failed to fulfill their duty of care to consumers. Plaintiffs argue that the makers of chemical hair straighteners had an obligation to design non-carcinogenic products and provide warning labels on products that carried the risk of cancer. 

If women who have developed uterine cancer or other health conditions connected to the long-term use of chemical hair relaxers can successfully demonstrate that their health issues and damages are a result of the makers’ negligence, they may be able to recover substantial compensation. They must be able to prove that a preponderance of the evidence indicates that the makers’ negligence is more likely than not responsible for their injuries and damages.

It is in your best interest to hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so they can begin collecting evidence and establishing a convincing claim for damages in order to effectively negotiate a substantial settlement and represent you in court, if necessary. You can take advantage of a free consultation with our product liability attorneys to learn more about how we can assist you in recovering compensation for your chemical hair relaxer injuries.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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