There are a lot of complicated emotions surrounding hair care and hair relaxers for women. While some women choose to relax their natural curls for purely aesthetic reasons, others are conditioned to see natural hair textures as unappealing or unattractive. For decades, women have felt the pressure to change their hair care routine to conform to a manufactured image of what is beautiful. Haircare companies capitalize on this message, creating splashy and eye-catching advertisements tempting women to ditch their natural curls in favor of sleek, straight hair.
Unfortunately, women did not know that in altering their natural hair, they were exposing themselves to harsh and potentially cancer-causing chemicals. These chemicals could be responsible for various diseases, cancers, and medical complications.
At Bullock Ward Mason, LLC, our bold women are ready to move mountains for you. We understand the complicated history behind hair relaxing products. We also understand how the companies behind these relaxers may be responsible for putting products on the market that harm women, especially women of color.
Have you regularly used hair-relaxing products to straighten your natural hair or change its texture? Have you been recently diagnosed with cancer or other health complications? You may be eligible to file a product liability lawsuit against hair-relaxing manufacturers seeking compensation for your financial losses.
Contact the office of Bullock Ward Mason, LLC at (833) 296-5291 to arrange a confidential legal consultation with a product liability attorney. Let’s talk over your situation and outline your options for seeking the compensation you deserve.
Why You Need an Experienced Product Liability Lawyer on Your Side
Product liability cases are complicated. You must prove several elements to mount a potentially successful product liability lawsuit against a company or manufacturer. Managing the challenging aspects of a product liability case solo is never in your best interests. You need the experience that only a skilled product liability attorney can provide.
In the case of hair-relaxing products, they continue to be manufactured by some of the top names in the beauty industry. Going head-to-head with a multi-million-dollar beauty company can be overwhelming and intimidating. The bold women at Bullock Ward Mason, LLC have the experience and resources to tackle the most demanding legal challenges and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. Our legal team has obtained more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
How do we put this experience to work for you? Our legal team can:
- Investigate the circumstances of your case
- Identify all parties potentially liable for your injuries
- Gather evidence and medical documentation to strengthen your case
- Manage communication between you and other parties
- Accurately calculate the value of your financial losses
- Aggressively negotiate for the compensation you deserve
- Prepare a case for court when necessary
Our compassionate legal team can offer honest legal advice and support during this challenging time.
Do Hair Relaxing Product Cause Cancer?
Relaxers and chemical straightening belong to a class of beauty products designed to loosen the curl pattern of hair. When applied to wet hair, chemicals in these products break down the protein bonds in hair called disulfides. Hair with curls or tight coils tends to have more disulfide bonds than straight hair. Breaking these bonds relaxes the curl pattern and leaves hair straight or slightly wavy. However, as hair grows, more product must be applied to relax the new growth close to the scalp. Chemical straighteners are not a one-and-done product. To keep hair straight, women must constantly reapply the chemicals.
Increasingly, medical studies indicate that the chemicals in popular hair-relaxing treatments may lead to the development of certain cancers. Those who regularly use chemical relaxers or straightening products may be up to two and a half times more likely to develop specific types of cancer.
How do hair relaxing products cause cancer? The answer may involve chemicals in the products called endocrine disrupters. Many popular hair-relaxing products contain chemicals like formaldehyde, bisphenol A, parabens, ammonium thioglycolate, and diethanolamine. Many of these chemicals are known as endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors interfere with the body’s hormonal system, leading to increased cancers impacting reproductive organs.
Hair Relaxers Pose Significant Risks for Women of Color
A broad spectrum of women uses chemical straightening products and hair relaxing kits. However, women of color may have an elevated risk of developing cancer from using relaxers. The reason why more women of color turn to straighteners is complicated.
Women of color have a complex relationship with natural hair texture, beauty industry standards, and constant marketing to make them want to change their natural hair. One study suggests 60 percent of women who reported using chemical hair relaxers identified as African American.
Unfortunately, more women of color not only reach for hair-relaxing products but also face health disparities and healthcare bias. Studies indicate African American women have shorter life expectancies, higher maternal mortality, and are disproportionately burdened by chronic health conditions. The American Cancer Society estimates that African American women are 41 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than white women.
Types of Cancer Caused by Hair Relaxers and Straighteners
Since most hair relaxers contain chemicals that disrupt hormones in the human body, these products tend to increase the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers and cancers that impact the reproductive organs. Common types of cancer associated with the prolonged use of chemical relaxers and straightening products include:
- Uterine cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Breast cancer
- Endometrial cancer
These hair products may also contribute to a higher incidence of other medical conditions, such as the development of:
- Uterine fibroids
Hair Relaxing Products Linked to Cancer
The business of beautiful hair is a multi-billion-dollar industry in the United States. The industry makes money by convincing women they need specialized products to enhance their looks and fit into the Hollywood beauty mold. Hair relaxers and straightening treatments have gained a significant foothold in the beauty market, and research firms expect that market share to continue to grow, despite concerns that many popular products on the market today may increase cancer rates among women.
With a glut of products on store shelves, how should women make educated decisions about their health and safety? Some of the most widely available hair relaxers linked to cancer are still available for purchase from retailers and salons. Which ones contain cancer-causing chemicals and may elevate your risk of developing hormone-sensitive cancers? The following brands have potential links to cancer:
- Dark and Lovely
- Soft & Beautiful
- Optimum Care
- Crème of Nature
- Olive Oil Girls
- Brazilian Blow Out
- Just for Me
Influential beauty companies like Revlon and L’Oréal manufacture and distribute many hair-relaxing products. The same companies may also distribute products under different brand names.
What Compensation Is Available in a Hair Straightener Lawsuit?
Suppose you’ve been diagnosed with hormone-sensitive cancer like uterine or ovarian cancer and consistently used hair-relaxing products. In that case, you might be eligible to file a lawsuit against the company or manufacturer of the product. A lawsuit allows you to seek compensation for your financial losses related to your cancer diagnosis. Although the value of your case may vary, most women can seek money for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
In rare cases, the court can award someone punitive damages in addition to the compensatory damages listed above. Punitive damages do not compensate you for your financial losses. Punitive damages are a type of financial punishment for egregious conduct on the part of an individual or company.
Statute of Limitations
Coping with a life-changing cancer diagnosis is challenging enough without having to consider the possibility of filing a lawsuit. However, you have limited time to pursue a case against a company or manufacturer seeking compensation for your financial losses. Typically, you have two years from discovering your injury or condition to file a lawsuit.
For more specific filing deadline information, consulting with a skilled attorney is always wise. Some factors may impact legal deadlines. An attorney can work with you to meet necessary deadlines and pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.
Connect with a Skilled Attorney Today
Never in a million years would most women think that a product designed to enhance their hair would be responsible for causing a life-altering cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, that is the reality many women face today after the prolonged use of chemical hair relaxers. If you believe your cancer diagnosis may correspond to your use of chemical hair straightening products, talk to the team at Bullock Ward Mason, LLC.
At Bullock Ward Mason, LLC, our bold women are prepared to move mountains to seek the compensation you deserve. Contact our office at (833) 296-5291 to arrange a consultation with one of our compassionate product liability attorneys. We are ready to listen to you.