Have you been diagnosed with uterine, ovarian, or breast cancer? If you’ve used hair relaxers, you should know that recent medical studies have found a link between these products and several cancers. These studies support prior concerns among healthcare experts about the risks of certain chemicals in hair straightening products.

Dozens of women have recently filed lawsuits against manufacturers of hair relaxers such as L’Oréal for putting dangerous products on the market. An El Paso injury attorney from the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC can determine whether you may have a viable hair relaxer claim for damages.

For over 35 years, our firm has provided high-quality and compassionate legal representation to residents of El Paso who have been harmed by the negligence of others. When you have a claim against big manufacturers, you need a lawyer with the experience, resources, and determination to stand up for your rights. Our full-service law firm provides clients the help they need, including connecting them with medical specialists when they have trouble getting the high-quality treatment they deserve.

If you have developed uterine, ovarian, breast, or any form of endometrial cancer after using hair relaxers, contact us immediately. You deserve financial recovery and accountability from the manufacturers of those dangerous products. At the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC, we offer free initial case evaluations to discuss your legal options. Even better – we don’t charge any attorney’s fees unless we win.

What Are Hair Relaxers?

Hair relaxers are lotion or cream products used to straighten tightly curled hair. As the name suggests, these products “relax” hair curls and make the hair easier to straighten out. These products use chemicals to break down the protein bonds in hair strands, straightening the strand. The strand will keep its straight texture until new growth causes the hair to curl up again.

Hair relaxers use one of two types of chemicals to alter the texture of hair:

  • Lye relaxers – Also called alkali relaxers, lye relaxers most frequently use sodium hydroxide as the active ingredient. These relaxers do not need any activating chemicals and usually require no further treatment after washing the cream or lotion out of the hair.
  • “No-lye” relaxers – These kinds of relaxers may use a weaker alkaline agent like potassium hydroxide, lithium hydroxide, or guanidine hydroxide. Or, they may substitute the alkaline agent for another active ingredient, such as ammonium thioglycolate (which must pair with an oxidizer such as hydrogen peroxide or sodium bromate) or ammonium sulfite or ammonium bisulfite. No-lye relaxers often require users to treat their hair to prevent calcium buildup.

Some hair relaxer products may contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogenic product that may absorb through the skin or give off vapors that cause eye and respiratory issues.

Are Hair Relaxer Products Dangerous?

According to the American Cancer Society, researchers found links to cancer from hair relaxer products. A recent study identified a potential correlation between using hair relaxers and the risk of uterine cancer in women. National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers used data collected from over 33,000 women who participated in a Sister Study, which is researching potential risk factors for breast cancer or other diseases. The NIH researchers found that women who reported using hair relaxers developed uterine cancer by age 70 twice as often as women who did not use relaxers.

Medical experts have raised concerns that chemicals in hair straightening products might absorb through the skin and have hormone-like properties in the body. These chemicals may increase the risk of developing cancers linked to hormones, such as breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers. A previous study cited by the American Cancer Society that used data from the Sister Study found a potential link between hair relaxer use and a higher risk of breast cancer.

The NIH study found no statistical difference in the link between hair relaxer use and uterine cancer risk based on race. Still, researchers noted that the potential adverse health effects of hair relaxers might have a more significant impact on Black women, who tend to use hair relaxer products more frequently than women of other races. About 60 percent of the women in the NIH study who reported using a hair relaxer in the previous year self-identified as Black.

What Products Are Included in the Mass Tort?

A federal court in Illinois consolidated approximately 60 lawsuits filed against manufacturers of hair relaxer products into federal multidistrict litigation (MDL). These lawsuits alleged that manufacturers sold hair relaxer products despite knowing they contained dangerous chemicals that could increase the risk of developing cancer and other health conditions. Dozens more lawsuits have since joined the multidistrict litigation.

Consolidating cases into an MDL helps streamline the discovery and pre-trial process. After the MDL, each case in the litigation gets tried separately.

The lawsuits currently in the MDL have named multiple manufacturers, including the following:

  • L’Oréal
  • Strength of Nature/Godrej Consumer Products
  • Namaste Laboratories/Dabur Ltd.

Products named in the lawsuits include:

  • Dark & Lovely
  • Optimum
  • Just for Me
  • Care Free Curl
  • Motions
  • ORS Olive Oil
  • SoftSheen
  • African Pride
  • Soft & Beautiful
  • TCB Naturals Relaxer Cream
  • Dream Kids Olive Miracle

As more lawsuits get added to the MDL, the case will involve additional manufacturers and products not already named.

Contact Michael Gopin Today

If you’ve received a cancer diagnosis after using hair relaxer products, contact the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC today. We offer prospective clients free, no-obligation consultations, so you can learn more about your legal rights to pursue compensation against manufacturers of hair relaxer products. You deserve to know more about your rights during this challenging time. Let an El Paso injury attorney from our firm help you seek accountability and justice for the harm you have suffered.