NIH Study Links Hair Straightening Chemicals to Uterine Cancer
Women who frequently use chemical hair straighteners may have an increased risk of uterine cancer compared to women who do not use the products, according to a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute .
The researchers defined “frequent use” as more than 4 times over the course of the previous year, and included any personal use, whether women applied the products themselves or paid to have them applied at a salon.
For women who had never used hair straighteners, the risk of developing uterine cancer by the age of 70 was 1.64%, while the rate for frequent users of straighteners was more than doubled, at 4.05%, the study found.
While the increased risk of cancer was found among women from all racial and ethnic backgrounds, black women were found to be disproportionately affected: 60% of participants who reported using hair straighteners identified as black women.
Rates of uterine cancer have been rising recently among all women in the U.S. However, black women die of uterine cancer at twice the rate that white women do, according to a report published in Obstetrics and Gynecology .
Woman Claims L'Oreal Chemical Hair Relaxers Caused Uterine Cancer
Jenny Mitchell, a 32-year-old woman from Missouri, is the first woman to come forward claiming her uterine cancer was caused by the use of L'Oréal hair relaxers.
At 28, Mitchell was forced to undergo a total hysterectomy, according to the lawsuit . She said she began using chemical relaxers at the age of 10, in the third grade.
"September 2018 – that's when I had a full and total hysterectomy and at that time, at the age of 28, my dreams of becoming a mother were gone," Mitchell said.
Hair Dye, Hair Relaxers and Breast Cancer
In addition to the uterine cancer risk, a 2019 study published in the International Journal of Cancer  linked hair dye and hair straightening chemicals to breast cancer, showing a 60% increase in risk for some women who use them.
Some hair dye and hair straightening treatments contain toxic chemicals called "endocrine disrupters" which can interfere with a user's hormones. This hormone disruption is a concern, particularly when it comes to hormone-driven cancers like breast, prostate, and ovarian cancers.
The study focused on women who had a sister who had breast cancer. The results might not be the same for women with no family history of the disease.
Related Article: Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit Update
Hair Products, Cancer and Race
African American women who used hair dye every 6-8 weeks were 60% more likely to develop breast cancer, the above study found.
The increased risk may not be due to genetics and instead caused by the kind of dye used. The trend showed the higher increase in risk was for women dying their hair darker, not those dying their hair lighter.
“African American women are more likely to dye their hair darker,” said Abenaa Brewster, M.D., M.H.S., professor in MD Anderson’s Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention. “Whatever is in those products may be more of a problem than what is in the products that make your hair lighter.”
What is African Pride Hair Relaxer?
African Pride Olive Miracle Conditioning Anti-Breakage Hair Relaxer is formulated to help strengthen & protect hair during the relaxer application process. The product is enriched with African Shea butter, Olive Oil & herbal oil extracts.
How Do Chemical Hair Straighteners Work?
Hair relaxers use chemicals to straighten the hair by breaking the disulfide bonds found in the cortex layer of the hair and re-forming them while hair is being held in a straight pattern. The cortex is the layer under the cuticle which is made up of twisted 'cables' of protein, and it's this layer on which hair relaxers work.
Related Article: Hair Straighteners Cancer Lawsuits
How Popular are Hair Relaxers?
Hair relaxers are very common in the U.S. and around the world. Statistics show that up to 90% of African American women have used hair relaxants at some point in their life. Hair relaxer use typically begins in the childhood or adolescent years, and this is the period of primary susceptibility to cancers caused by exposure to the chemicals contained in the products.
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Get a Free African Pride Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers
The Products Liability Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in African Pride Hair Relaxer Lawsuits. We handle individual litigation nationwide and accept new cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one was diagnosed with uterine cancer, breast cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids after using African Pride Hair Relaxer, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an African Pride Hair Relaxer Lawsuit and our product liability lawyers can help.