Hair Straightener Claims

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Chemical Hair Straightener & Relaxer Lawsuits

If you regularly use chemical hair straighteners, you may have an increased risk of health problems caused by endocrine disruptors. Multiple hair straightener lawsuits have recently highlighted the harmful potential of these commonly used hair care products. Let’s explore how the chemicals in certain hair straighteners could impact your well-being and how to file a hair straightener lawsuit.

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Straighteners Explained.

How Chemical Hair Straighteners Are Used

Chemical hair straighteners, also known as chemical hair relaxers, are hair care products that straighten curls. They work by changing the protein structures in the hair to alter their shape. These changes are often permanent, which means the hair remains straight until the treated strands grow out. 

There are several types of chemical hair relaxer products. The most affordable treatments are at-home kits from pharmacies and drug stores. Many hair salons also offer professional chemical hair straightening treatments. The American Academy of Dermatology Association advises having straightening treatments applied by a professional stylist and reapplying the products no sooner than two to three months to straighten regrowth.

Chemical Breakdown.

Chemicals in Hair Straighteners and Relaxers

Hair relaxers rely on potentially dangerous chemicals to break down the protein bonds in hair. These chemicals vary between products, but many formulas contain known endocrine disruptors and asthma-associated chemicals

A long-term study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences called the “Sister Study” examined the causes of breast cancer and other health problems in a cohort of 33,497 American women. The researchers discovered that chemical hair straighteners typically contain potentially toxic chemicals, such as:

The study found that participants who used chemical hair relaxers had a higher risk of developing uterine cancer than those who never straightened their hair with chemicals. Furthermore, they discovered that prolonged exposure to hair relaxer products (using hair relaxers more than four times per year) significantly increased the risk of cancer. It’s thought that lesions or burns on the scalp caused by these products could increase the absorption of endocrine disruptors.

The study didn’t find a difference in cancer risk between races of people using chemical hair straighteners. However, the study’s findings may be particularly relevant to Black women because the use of straightening products is more widespread in the Black community. Research shows that around 60% of African-American women use hair relaxers, with 46% using these products by age eight.

Dangers Explained.

Why People Are Filing Hair Straightener Lawsuits

Mounting scientific evidence on the potential dangers of chemical relaxers has prompted multiple chemical hair straightener lawsuits. In Illinois, 275 cases were pending in August 2023. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits say the companies manufacturing these products didn’t warn them of the possible dangers of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, including:

If successful, these lawsuits could award plaintiffs compensation to cover pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss of earnings. Meanwhile, several class action lawsuits seek to achieve refunds for the cost of purchasing potentially dangerous hair straightening products. 

What Is Included?

Brands Included in Hair Relaxer Litigation

Several well-known cosmetic companies are defending hair straightener class action and individual lawsuits. They include:

One of the most well-known hair straightener lawsuits is Jenny Mitchell’s 2022 case against multiple cosmetic companies, including L’Oreal and Namaste Laboratories. Mitchell received a uterine cancer diagnosis at 28 and had a hysterectomy, putting an end to her dream of having children. According to her lawsuit, the manufacturers either knew or should have known that their products were dangerous, yet they continued to market them. 

The case later became a mass tort because of emerging evidence that endocrine disruptors in chemical hair straighteners may have harmed multiple plaintiffs. A mass tort case involves bringing individual lawsuits as a group against a common defendant, allowing other plaintiffs to join the case. Our team can help you file an individual lawsuit against Namaste Laboratories or another cosmetic company or add your case to the existing mass tort. 

Still Have Questions?

We're Here to Help You

Navigating hair straightener claims can feel daunting, but you don’t have to face litigation alone. Here are the answers to commonly asked questions about filing a hair relaxer lawsuit.

You'll generally need to use chemical hair straighteners frequently (or have used them previously) to file a successful lawsuit against the manufacturer. Furthermore, you may need to prove you suffered a negative consequence of using these hair care products, such as uterine cancer. 

How recently you used hair relaxer products may affect your claim. The statute of limitations might impact your ability to file a case if you stopped using chemical hair straighteners a long time ago. Therefore, starting the process as soon as possible is essential if you believe you've developed a health condition because of your hair care products. 

It's too early to determine the average settlement or payout for a chemical hair straightener lawsuit because none of the cases have concluded yet. According to Consumer Notice, some attorneys anticipate payouts of between $100,000 and $1.5 million based on similar lawsuits involving cancers caused by harmful products. 

Several factors may affect your compensation in a hair relaxer lawsuit. The severity of your illness, your current and ongoing medical expenses, and other losses, such as lost earnings, can all impact your settlement. 

It's unknown how long the mass tort lawsuit will take to settle. Based on historical mass tort cases, settlements may take several years. For example, a landmark case against American cigarette companies took just under two years to conclude. 

However, most product liability cases don't go to trial. Lawyers often help plaintiffs and defendants reach settlement agreements, which means the court dismisses the case, and the injured party receives compensation. Getting a settlement agreement can help you access compensation more quickly.

Our team can help you join a hair straightener class action lawsuit or the ongoing mass tort case. However, you don't have to join a group claim. You can also file an individual lawsuit against the company or companies that manufactured your hair straightening products. We can help you determine the most appropriate litigation route for your unique circumstances. 

Still Have Questions?

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