Chemical Hair Straighteners Linked to Uterine Cancer Risk: Study
In October 2022, the results of a groundbreaking study on the link between hair relaxers and cancer were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute . The researchers looked at the cancer rate among women who regularly used hair relaxers compared to women who never used the products over a period of more than 10 years.
Results of the study indicated that women who used hair relaxers or hair straighteners were more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer vs. non-users.
Additionally, the uterine cancer rate was even higher among women who reported using hair relaxers more frequently. In other words, the more hair relaxers the women used, the higher their risk of developing cancer. The study marked the first epidemiologic evidence showing a definitive link between hair relaxers and uterine cancer.
Related Article: Hair Straighteners Cancer Lawsuit
Uterine Cancer Survivor Sues L’Oreal Over Hair Straightener Chemicals
Just days after the above study was published, a product liability lawsuit  was filed against L'Oreal and several cosmetic companies alleging that their hair relaxers caused uterine cancer. The complaint was filed in federal court in Chicago on October 21, 2022.
Plaintiff Jennifer Mitchell is a 32-year-old Missouri resident who used chemical hair relaxers her entire life, beginning in the third grade. In 2018, when she was just 28 years old, Mitchell was diagnosed with uterine cancer, according to the lawsuit.
Mitchell's complaint is the first of what could potentially be thousands of similar product liability lawsuits filed against companies that make chemical hair relaxers and straighteners. The suits will allege that the manufacturers knew, or should have known, that the chemicals in their products could increase the risk of uterine cancer and other serious side effects.
Hair Relaxer Chemicals Contain Toxic Ingredients
Hair relaxers use strong chemicals that attack the protein structure of the hair, causing it to flatten and lay down. Almost all of these products contain phthalates, chemicals often referred to as “plasticizers” because they are durable to certain types of pliable plastics. Phthalates are endocrine-disrupting chemicals (“EDCs”), which means that they impact and disrupt the endocrine system and interfere with hormone receptors.
Most hair relaxers and hair straighteners also contain a phthalate chemical called Di-2- ethyl hexyl phthalate (“DEHP”), which is a synthetic chemical that is biologically toxic. DEHP is considered a probable human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance), and it has been linked to numerous adverse health effects including developmental abnormalities, reproductive dysfunction, and infertility.
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Do Hair Relaxers Permanently Damage Hair Follicles?
If you continue to relax your hair for a prolonged period of time, you can cause permanent damage to your hair follicles. When this happens, your scalp will become scarred and your hair will not grow back. Scarring causes the hair follicle opening to close, which leads to permanent hair loss.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Out a Relaxer?
Whether you decide to chop your hair off or gradually grow out a relaxer, it's going to take 3 to 4 months at a minimum to see real change. In some cases, it may be a full year before you're completely chemical-free.
What Happens When You Stop Using a Hair Relaxer?
There is no product that can remove relaxers; when you relax your hair, it's straightened permanently. When your relaxer does come out, you will be left with your natural hair. If you skip the perm or relaxer, the new hair growing underneath will be your natural hair.
Can I Relax My Hair Without Damaging It?
You can apply a light coating of Vaseline, grease, conditioner, castor oil, or olive oil to your scalp to your existing relaxed hair. The light coating will help prevent your existing hair from getting “re-relaxed” and damaging your hair further.
Get a Free Optimum Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Review With Our Attorneys
The Products Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Optimum 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 Optimum Hair Relaxer, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an Optimum Hair Relaxer Lawsuit and our product liability lawyers can help.