New research has shown that women who use chemical hair straighteners and/or relaxers are at a higher risk of uterine cancer. This new evidence linking hair perms and straighteners and uterus cancer has led to a wave of hair relaxer cancer uterine cancer lawsuits against cosmetic companies like L’Oreal and Revlon.
There is now a national hair relaxer class action lawsuit that houses uterine cancer claims. Our lawyers are now actively seeking women who want to seek a hair relaxer settlement for uterine cancer based on the following criteria:
- You used chemical hair relaxers or hair straightener products at least three times per year for 7-10 years.
- You were diagnosed with uterine cancer (cancer of the uterus) before age 70.
If you think you have a hair relaxer cancer case, call us for a free consultation today at 800-553-8082. We will also answer your questions and give you a free case evaluation online.
Chemical Hair Relaxers and Straighteners
A hair relaxer or hair straightener is a lotion or cream that makes the hair straighten and lay flat. These products use chemicals that break down the hair strand, altering the texture and eliminating the natural curl.
Getting chemical hair relaxer applied (often called getting a “hair perm”) occurs at home or the salon. It involves applying the straightener product to the scalp at the base of the hair. The product then “cooks” over time, during which the chemical structure of the hair is altered. The process must typically be repeated every month as hair grows in.
Hair relaxers and chemical hair straighteners are very unhealthy. These products have many synthetic chemicals that are hormonally active and carcinogenic, such as phthalates. Phthalates are chemicals known to cause endocrine disruption. Instead of being listed as ingredients, these chemicals are often obscured behind labels such as “fragrance” or “perfume.”
The Endocrine System
The endocrine system is essential for regulating all biological processes in the body, from brain development to metabolism. Hormones, like estrogen and testosterone, are chemical signals that control these processes. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) interfere with the regular activity of the endocrine system, disrupting the body’s hormonal balance.
EDCs can mimic or block hormone receptors, increase or decrease hormone levels, and induce changes in DNA that affect gene expression. EDCs cause many adverse health outcomes, including reproductive issues, cancer, immune disorders, metabolic syndrome, and neurological and learning disabilities. EDCs that mimic estrogen may also increase the risk of breast cancer. Studies have found that EDCs are present in hair products, and exposure to these chemicals can lead to reproductive issues, abnormal puberty onset, and pregnancy loss.
Endocrine Disruption Chemicals (EDCs) Cause Uterine Cancer
EDCs are harmful chemicals that can interfere with the normal activity of the endocrine system, which regulates many biological processes in our body.
Uterine cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women in developed countries, accounting for about 3% of all new cancer cases. This type of cancer is usually diagnosed in older women, with the average age being 61 years. Unfortunately, Black women have a higher incidence of uterine cancer than White women and a poorer prognosis.
Over the past 20 years, the death rates from uterine cancer have increased by more than 100%, and new cases have increased by 0.6 percent per year from 2010 to 2019, with death rates rising an average of 1.7 percent per year during the same time frame.
A recent groundbreaking study – flushed out in greater detail below – found that chemical hair straightening or relaxing products can increase the risk of developing uterine cancer. Frequent users of these products have more than double the risk of developing uterine cancer compared to women who have never used such products. Black women are the majority of users of these hair products.
Phthalates and EDCs in Hair Relaxers
Phthalates belong to a family of manmade chemicals that are especially harmful to human biology because they are endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The endocrine system controls the circulation and distribution of vital hormones, such as estrogen, throughout the body. In women, it comprises the ovaries, the pituitary gland, the thyroid, and the adrenal gland. EDCs interfere with the regular activity of the organs in the endocrine system.
Di-2- ethyl hexyl phthalate (“DEHP”) is an EDC phthalate chemical that is used in all hair relaxer products, even those labeled as “non-chemical.” The compound makes the cream or lotion stick to the scalp and absorb into the hair. DEHP is an EDC known to cause adverse disruption of the endocrine system. When absorbed into the body, DEHP breaks down into various metabolites that are very harmful.
Uterine cancer (cancer in which a tumor forms in the endometrial tissue of the uterus wall) is a common type of cancer, with about 65,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. 4 out of every 100 cancer cases are uterine cancer, and 12,500 women died from uterine cancer each year (2% of cancer-related deaths).
African American women are disproportionately impacted by uterine cancer and are several times more likely to develop uterine fibroids compared to other racial groups. The survival rate for uterine cancer is comparatively good at 81%, but here too Black women in the U.S. statistically have worse outcomes with the lowest survival rate of any group.
Chemical Hair Relaxer Causes Uterine Cancer
Over the last 10 years, a study by researchers at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) called the “Sister Study” has focused on a possible connection between exposure to chemicals in hair relaxer products and uterine cancer. The results of this major NIH Sister Study, which included over 33,000 women, were published in October 2022 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and they were very significant.
The “Sister Study” is serious a long-term research study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that investigates the environmental and genetic factors that may contribute to cancer. The study focuses on women whose sisters have had breast cancer, as they are at an increased risk of developing the disease. The study began in 2003 and has enrolled more than 50,000 women across the United States and Puerto Rico. Participants are asked to complete regular health surveys and provide biological samples, such as blood and urine, which are used to study genetic and environmental factors that may influence cancer risk.
The Sister Study found that women who used hair straightening products were almost twice as likely to develop uterine cancer than those who did not (after adjusting for other risk factors). Even more significantly, those women who had reported more frequent use of straighteners or relaxers (more than 4 times per year) were about 2½ times more likely to develop uterine cancer.
More than twice as like just jumps off page. It is a stunning statistic and it is why you are seeing so many hair relaxer lawsuit commercials. You don’t often get proof that is this solid in a class action lawsuit.
Specifically, the NIH Study predicted that 1.64% of women who never used chemical hair relaxers would develop uterine cancer by the age of 70. But for frequent users of hair relaxers, the risk may jump to 4.05%.
Again, digest that. Those statistics jump off the page. The results of the Sister Study were a breakthrough that will be foundational in every uterine cancer lawsuit. This goes a long way towards resolving the disparity in uterine cancer rates between Black women in the U.S. and other racial groups. Around 80% of Black women in the U.S. use hair relaxer, most regularly. The Sister Study suggests that this use of chemical hair relaxer may explain why Black women get uterine cancer more often than others.
The breakthrough findings of the Sister Study have generated the start of what is likely to be a large wave of hair relaxer lawsuits against the cosmetic companies that manufacture these products. The first hair relaxer lawsuit was filed in federal court in Chicago in October 2022. It was quickly followed by a dozen more hair relaxer lawsuits over the next weeks.
Nearly all of these early hair relaxer lawsuits have been uterine cancer cases. The plaintiffs in these cases claim that they developed uterine cancer from the chronic use of chemical hair relaxers. Major cosmetic companies such as L’Oreal and Revlon have been named as defendants in these cases.
L’Oreal makes Dark & Lovely®, which is the most popular hair relaxer product on the market. Revlon makes a leading brand of professional hair relaxers used in salons. A host of other small companies that make hair relaxer products have also been named as defendants.
What Are Likely Hair Relaxer Uterine Cancer Lawsuit Settlement Amounts?
It is very premature to speculate on the potential settlement value of uterine cancer hair relaxer lawsuits. The scientific evidence in these cases is still developing and our lawyers don’t know if it will be admissible in court (but we certainly expect it will be).
The settlement value estimate below is based on several very significant assumptions. Based on the assumption that the causation evidence is valid and the Sister Study is replicated, uterine cancer cases will likely see the highest settlement payouts in the hair relaxer litigation. Our attorneys estimate that hair relaxer lawsuits involving uterine cancer will have a settlement payout value of $300,000 to $1,750,000. Certain cases presenting compelling circumstances, such as a very young plaintiff, could have a much higher value.
Contact Us About Filing a Hair Relaxer Uterine Cancer Lawsuit
Our firm is currently investigating product liability cases alleging that chemicals in hair perm and hair relaxer products caused uterine cancer. If you used chemical hair straightener and were later diagnosed with uterine cancer, contact our office today for a free consultation at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.