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Bantu Hair Relaxer Lawsuit

A recent study has found that chemical hair straightening products like Bantu Hair Relaxer, which are marketed primarily to black women, may increase the risk of uterine cancer and other serious side effects.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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If you or a loved one was diagnosed with uterine cancer, breast cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids after using Bantu Hair Relaxer, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Bantu Hair Relaxer Lawsuit and our products liability lawyers can help.

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Research has found that chemicals used in popular hair relaxers and hair straightening products may increase a woman’s risk of developing uterine cancer. For instance, a new study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) [1] indicated that women who use chemical hair-straightening treatments have a 4% risk of being diagnosed with uterine cancer by the age of 70.

However, for women who did not use hair straighteners or hair relaxers, the probability was only 1.6%. Therefore, the study found that women who used hair relaxer products were more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer compared to those who did not use hair relaxers.

Related Article: Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit Update

First Lawsuit Filed in Chicago

In October 2022, a 32-year-old woman from Missouri who had spent her whole life using chemical hair relaxers filed the first hair straightener lawsuit [2] in a Chicago federal courthouse (Mitchell v. L’Oreal, et al. – 1:22-cv-5815). The most notable defendant named in the complaint is L’Oréal®, but 3 other cosmetic manufacturers were also named.

Plaintiff Jennifer Mitchell claimed that she first started using chemical hair relaxer products in 2000 when she was in the third grade. She did this regularly (roughly every 2 months), and would either apply the products at home or have a professional do it in a salon.

In August 2018, at the age of 28, Mitchell was diagnosed with uterine cancer, according to the lawsuit. She was forced to undergo a total hysterectomy and is still being treated and cared for regularly. Mitchell claims there is no history of cancer in her family.

Did L’Oreal Know Its Hair Relaxers Could Cause Cancer?

Mitchell’s lawsuit alleges that L’Oréal knew as early as 2015 that the chemicals in its hair relaxers were toxic and could increase the risk of serious health conditions to users. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not require L’Oréal to obtain approval before bringing the products to market. Additionally, cosmetic manufacturers are not required to list each chemical individually, and instead are allowed to classify all of the substances together simply as “fragrance” or “perfume.”

As a result, consumers purchased L’Oréal® hair straightening products, unaware that they contained dangerous chemicals. In the lawsuit, Mitchell alleges that L’Oréal “actively and intentionally concealed and/or suppressed material facts, in whole or in part, to induce consumers, including Plaintiff, to purchase and use the Products and did so at her expense”.

Who Is Liable?

The lawsuit Jennifer Mitchell filed against L’Oréal is a product liability lawsuit, which is a personal injury lawsuit made by a plaintiff who was allegedly harmed by a hazardous or defective product. In such cases, the manufacturer of the product that caused the harm is the target of the claim; however, some product liability lawsuits also target distributors, retailers, and other entities in the supply chain.

One unique feature of a product liability lawsuit is that injured parties may not be required to show that the manufacturer was negligent; instead, they only need to show the product contained a defect that led to their injuries. Although this makes proving product liability claims simpler in some ways, there are still many inherent challenges in proving that a product was defective or unreasonably dangerous.

What Is Bantu Hair Relaxer?

SoftSheen-Carlson’s Bantu No Base Relaxer with Shea Butter is used to straighten hair with a sodium hydroxide formula. It is designed to relax and smooth tightly curled hair fibers.

What Is the Difference Between Regular and Super Hair Relaxers?

The amount of active chemical — sodium hydroxide or calcium hydroxide — determines the strength of the hair relaxer. Regular is for people with normal hair and super is for people with very coarse or resistant hair.

What Is the Most Commonly Used Hair Relaxer?

Lye relaxers are the most commonly used hair relaxers. The sodium hydroxide contained in the product quickly breaks down the hair’s bonds and makes the process much faster.

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Have you or a loved one been unreasonably injured by a dangerous or defective consumer product?

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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 Bantu Hair Relaxer Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting 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 Bantu Hair Relaxer, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Bantu Hair Relaxer Lawsuit and our product liability lawyers can help.

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