FAQ: Why Are Hair Relaxer Lawsuits Being Filed?

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Attorney Jessie Paluch, founder of TruLaw, has over 25 years of experience as a personal injury and mass tort attorney, and previously worked as an international tax attorney at Deloitte. Jessie collaborates with attorneys nationwide — enabling her to share reliable, up-to-date legal information with our readers.

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and legal experts at TruLaw and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced injury lawyer, Jessie Paluch, you can do so here.

TruLaw does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us by using the chat on the bottom of this page. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

Key takeaways:

  • There's a growing number of lawsuits against manufacturers of hair relaxers, particularly focused on the alleged link between these products and the development of hormone-sensitive cancers.
  • The lawsuits not only seek damages but also aim to hold manufacturers accountable for the possible health risks posed by toxic chemicals in hair relaxers.
  • As the cases progress, they form part of multidistrict litigation (MDL), which consolidates similar lawsuits to streamline the legal process and address the concerns more efficiently

Why Are Hair Relaxer Lawsuits Being Filed? Let's Discuss.

Question: Why are Hair Relaxer Lawsuits being filed?

Answer: Hair Relaxer Lawsuits are being filed by individuals who have used hair relaxer products and allege that these products have caused them to develop health conditions such as cancer, Uterine Fibroids, Endometriosis, and more.

On this page, we’ll discuss this question in further depth, the correlation between hair relaxer products and cancer, who qualifies to file a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit, and much more.

FAQ Why Are Hair Relaxer Lawsuits Being Filed

Intro to the Hair Relaxer Lawsuits

Hair relaxer lawsuits are flooding courts because many users have developed uterine cancer, alleging that the chemicals in these hair straightening products played a critical role.

These legal actions target major cosmetic companies, including L’Oreal USA, as plaintiffs accuse them of failing to warn about the risks associated with their products.

Affected individuals point to studies suggesting a connection between the long-term use of chemical hair relaxers and an increased risk of developing hormone-sensitive cancers.

The mounting cases form part of multidistrict litigation (MDL) where victims seek compensation for significant adverse health effects tied to hair relaxing products.

Especially concerning is how African American women, frequent users of such items, find themselves diagnosed with cancer at higher rates than the general population.

The push for justice expands beyond seeking damages; it underscores a demand for accountability from manufacturers whose toxic chemicals may have contributed not just to cancer but also to other conditions like uterine fibroids.

This rallying cry resonates across courtrooms as each new hair relaxer lawsuit filed amplifies the call for safer beauty standards and rigorous corporate scrutiny.

Table of Contents

Link Between Hair Relaxers and Cancer

Recent studies have highlighted a concerning link between the use of chemical hair relaxers and an increased risk for certain types of cancer, prompting scrutiny from both medical professionals and legal experts.

Notable research, including findings from the National Cancer Institute’s Sister Study, has indicated that frequent exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in these hair products may correlate with elevated instances of breast and ovarian cancer as well as uterine cancers.

These revelations have fueled a growing number of lawsuits alleging that manufacturers failed to adequately warn consumers about the potential danger associated with their hair relaxer products.

Recent Hair Relaxer Studies

Recent investigations have revealed significant health concerns associated with the use of chemical hair relaxers, particularly an elevated risk of cancer.

Two notable studies stand out:

  • NIH Study on Uterine Cancer Risk: Women who use chemical hair straighteners and relaxers may have a higher risk of uterine cancer. The study, which included data from over 33,000 women, showed that frequent users of hair straighteners were about 2.5 times more likely to develop uterine cancer than non-users​​​.
  • Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS): Conducted by Boston University, this study reported that long-term use of chemical hair relaxers by postmenopausal Black women was linked to an increased risk of uterine cancer. Those who used hair relaxers more than twice a year or for over five years had a greater than 50% increased risk compared to those who rarely or never used them.

Types of cancer associated with hair relaxers

Studies and ongoing research suggest a disturbing connection between hair relaxer use and the risk of developing certain types of cancer.

Women who regularly apply these products may face heightened exposure to potential carcinogens.

  • Uterine Cancer: The significant findings from the National Institutes of Health point to an increased uterine cancer risk among users of chemical hair relaxers. This link is particularly concerning due to the aggressive nature of uterine cancer and its impact on women’s reproductive health.
  • Ovarian Cancer: Though less discussed, there’s emerging evidence correlating hair relaxers with ovarian cancer cases. Ovaries, being part of the endocrine system, are susceptible to disruption by chemicals present in these products.
  • Breast Cancer: Some studies have raised the possibility that endocrine-disrupting chemicals in hair relaxers might contribute to a higher incidence of breast cancer. These findings warrant more research into this potential association.
  • Endometrial Cancer: With similarities to uterine cancer, endometrial cancer affects the lining of the uterus and has also been connected with the use of harsh hair-straightening chemicals.

Cancer Risks Linked to Hair Relaxers

Recent research has drawn connections between the use of chemical hair relaxers and an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer, including uterine and ovarian cancers.

Uterine cancer, in particular, has been noted for its potential link to these cosmetic products, with studies citing a higher prevalence among users.

Ovarian cancer risk is also under scrutiny as experts continue to analyze ingredients found in hair relaxation treatments that might contribute to hormone-sensitive malignancies.

The active chemicals present in these beauty aids could disrupt endocrine function, leading scientists to investigate their long-term health implications on women frequently utilizing such hair styling methods.

These revelations regarding possible carcinogenic properties have propelled numerous lawsuits due to concerns over inadequate consumer safety warnings and insufficient regulatory oversight concerning chemical hair straightening products.

Uterine Cancer

Uterine cancer, particularly endometrial cancer, stands as the most common gynecologic cancer affecting women and involves the abnormal growth of cells in the uterus.

Evidence points to a disturbing link between this form of cancer and the prolonged use of chemical hair straighteners.

The chemicals found in these products may disrupt hormonal functions, potentially leading to an increased risk of developing hormone-sensitive cancers such as uterine or endometrial cancer.

Recent findings by the National Institutes of Health highlight that women utilizing chemical hair straightening products face higher odds of being diagnosed with uterine cancer compared to those who do not use these products.

This elevated risk is particularly concerning for black women who have historically used hair relaxers more frequently.

These studies reveal a pressing need to further investigate and identify specific risk factors tied to exposure to chemical hair straighteners linked to serious health outcomes.

As discussions about these risks intensify, they resonate with thousands facing diagnoses that may be attributable to years of applying such beauty treatments.

With ongoing research into how often individuals use perms or body waves—treatments similar in their formulations—and their subsequent effects on reproductive health, it remains critical for consumers to stay informed about potential hazards linked with these widely used cosmetics.

Ovarian Cancer

Research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicates that chemicals found in hair relaxers may have a connection to ovarian cancer.

Women who use these products frequently are concerned, as some ingredients can be absorbed into the body, possibly leading to increased health risks.

Several studies suggest that certain compounds in these hair straightening treatments could contribute to hormone-sensitive cancers like ovarian cancer.

The concern about ovarian cancer is particularly acute among Black women, many of whom have used chemical hair relaxers for years.

Given their claims and subsequent lawsuits against cosmetic companies, there’s a burgeoning focus on uncovering more evidence regarding this potential risk.

Attorneys are actively investigating connections between the regular use of hair straightening chemicals and the development of ovarian cancer.

With ongoing legal actions, it’s clear that both consumers and experts seek clarity on how exposure to these substances might influence the occurrence of hormonally influenced malignancies such as ovarian cancer.

Litigation Timeline

The litigation timeline for hair relaxer lawsuits reveals a growing number of claims; as recently reported, scores of suits have been filed across various jurisdictions.

These cases allege that endocrine-disrupting chemicals in hair straightening products are linked to an increased risk of uterine cancer and other health issues.

Legal proceedings saw a significant turn when these individual cases were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL), designed to streamline pretrial activities and facilitate the legal process.

As we continue to monitor the progress, updates on the MDL’s developments reflect key milestones in this unfolding judicial chapter, with implications for victims seeking compensation through hair relaxer settlements.

Number of lawsuits filed

The surge in litigation against manufacturers of hair relaxers is evident, with over 7000 hair relaxer lawsuits filed as individuals seek compensation for the alleged harm caused by these products.

The influx began in November 2022, marking a turning point as consumers started to hold companies accountable for potential health risks associated with their products.

One notable company, L’Oreal, faces nearly 60 separate claims as of February 2023.

Plaintiffs allege that the use of these hair treatments has led to serious health conditions such as various forms of cancer.

This growing number reflects increasing concern over ingredients thought to be endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which link back to serious health issues like uterine and ovarian cancers.

In response to this escalation, courts have streamlined the process; plaintiffs can now directly join the multidistrict litigation (MDL) through a short-form complaint introduced in August 2023.

This consolidation aims to efficiently manage the numerous cases brought forward while maintaining focus on individual experiences and outcomes related to hair straightener use and its consequences on women’s health.

Updates and developments in the MDL

Judge Rowland has established clear protocols for the ongoing hair relaxer lawsuits now recognized as multi-district litigation (MDL).

These include specific guidelines for how complaints should be filed, serviced, and amended.

This structure is pivotal in streamlining the process and ensuring consistent handling of cases across different jurisdictions.

Contributing to these advancements, new plaintiffs have been granted permission to file their claims directly into the MDL using an official Short Form Complaint.

This significant development simplifies submission procedures for individuals alleging harm from hair relaxer products, potentially broadening participation in the litigation against manufacturers.

With this momentum, there’s a coordinated push forward in addressing claims that link hair relaxers with cancer risks, while also accelerating legal proceedings towards resolutions or potential settlements.

Negative Impact on Women's Health

The use of hair relaxers has been linked with severe negative impacts on women’s health, including the potential development of uterine cancer and fibroids.

Increasingly, evidence suggests that chemicals in these products may lead to serious conditions necessitating a hysterectomy as a result of prolonged hair relaxer use.

Victims are coming forward in litigation, alleging that manufacturers failed to warn consumers about the risks associated with their products.

It is imperative for any individual who has developed health issues potentially connected to hair relaxers to understand the implications and explore legal avenues for compensation.

Uterine cancer and fibroids

Hair relaxers have been linked to a higher risk of uterine cancer, creating deep concern among users. Research indicates that these beauty products might be contributing to an increased incidence of this serious health condition.

Uterine cancer affects the inner lining of the uterus, and its development has shaken the trust many places in common hair care items.

Fibroids, which are noncancerous growths in the uterus, present another significant health challenge potentially connected to hair relaxer use.

Often found during middle and later reproductive years, fibroids can cause severe discomfort and complications such as heavy menstrual bleeding or even infertility.

African American women experience a disproportionate rate of fibroids, with studies suggesting a possible link between their prevalence and the use of chemical hair relaxers marketed primarily to them.

This connection raises important questions about product safety and regulation within the industry.

Legal action is being taken against manufacturers by individuals who have developed these conditions, believing that insufficient warnings were provided regarding potential risks associated with hair relaxer compounds.

Lawyers representing those affected argue for accountability from companies whose products could possibly exacerbate or facilitate these medical issues—and seek compensation on behalf of their clients for damages incurred.

Hysterectomy as a result of hair relaxer use

Women using hair relaxers face a higher risk of developing conditions like uterine cancer, endometriosis, and fibroids.

In many cases, these health issues can lead to the significant decision to undergo a hysterectomy.

This surgical procedure removes the uterus and is often seen as a last resort when other treatments fail to provide relief or when the presence of cancer makes it necessary.

The growing number of reported incidents links the use of chemical hair straighteners with severe reproductive health consequences.

As lawsuits are being filed against manufacturers, affected women are coming forward about their need for hysterectomies due to complications from these products.

The lawsuits highlight the urgency of recognizing the serious implications that such beauty products can have on women’s overall health.

Statute of Limitations for Hair Relaxer Lawsuits

The legal timeframe to initiate a hair relaxer lawsuit is governed by the statute of limitations, which varies by state and can be influenced by factors such as the delayed discovery of an injury.

This strict window necessitates prompt action from potential plaintiffs who have developed cancer after using hair relaxers.

Understanding these time constraints is crucial for anyone considering legal recourse, with deadlines differing based on the jurisdiction in which the case will be filed.

Exceptions may apply under certain circumstances, allowing for an extension when injuries become apparent only at a later date due to the latency period associated with cancer diagnoses.

Exceptions for delayed discovery

Exceptions for delayed discovery can play a critical role in hair relaxer lawsuits.

Typically, there’s a set time frame after an injury occurs within which you must file a lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations.

However, if someone is not immediately aware that they have been harmed by a product due to latent effects or delayed symptoms, this period may not start until the discovery of the condition.

In cases involving hair relaxers and cancer diagnoses such as uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, or other related conditions, the harm might not be evident right away.

This acknowledgment accommodates individuals who discover their injuries only years after using a product like hair relaxers linked with endometrial cancer cases or hormone disruption.

The courts understand it’s not always possible to connect the dots between exposure and illness immediately.

Consequently, Judge Mary Rowland’s decision to allow most claims in the class action suit against hair relaxer manufacturers stands as a recognition of these complexities.

Victims now might be able to pursue justice even if substantial time has passed since their last usage of products like permanent hair dyes or relaxers – provided they take legal action promptly upon learning about their injuries tied to these products.

It underscores the importance of timely consultation with legal experts for those who believe they’ve suffered adverse health consequences due to long-term use of chemical hair treatments.

Latest Developments and Updates

As the litigious landscape evolves, new studies and evidence continue to surface, significantly impacting ongoing hair relaxer lawsuits.

For example, Revlon’s recent declaration of bankruptcy has sparked discussions regarding its effect on existing legal claims against the company.

It is imperative for those affected to stay informed about the latest research linking certain chemicals in hair relaxers to health concerns and the progress of related court cases.

This vigilance ensures that plaintiffs are prepared to navigate these complex legal scenarios effectively.

New studies and evidence

Recent research has shone a light on the serious health risks associated with hair relaxers.

Groundbreaking findings have initiated a wave of litigation as women step forward to file hair relaxer cancer lawsuits.

  • Recent Studies and Findings: A significant National Institutes of Health (NIH) study has revealed that frequent use of hair relaxer products is linked to a higher likelihood of uterine cancer.
  • Types of Cancer Associated with Hair Relaxers: Beyond uterine cancer, ongoing research suggests that other forms of cancer may be related to the chemicals found in these products, though further investigation is needed.
  • Developments in Scientific Understanding: Advancements in technology are enabling researchers to more accurately identify and quantify the risk factors associated with prolonged exposure to hair-relaxing chemicals.
  • Impact on Lawsuit Progression: The influx of new studies provides crucial evidence supporting the claims made by plaintiffs in federal hair relaxer lawsuits.

Revlon’s bankruptcy and impact on lawsuits

Revlon’s mid-2022 declaration of bankruptcy sent ripples through the ongoing hair relaxer lawsuits, affecting both plaintiffs and legal proceedings.

The company’s financial restructuring poses significant challenges in settling claims and determining fair compensation for victims alleging harm from product use.

Plaintiffs involved in the hair relaxer cases are closely monitoring the impact of this corporate upheaval, as it could influence their ability to collect damages for injuries linked to harmful chemicals in hair-relaxing products.

Legal experts are scrutinizing how Revlon’s bankruptcy might shield the company from liability or affect payouts.

With concerns mounting over whether Revlon can fully satisfy claims against its products, those affected by hair relaxers are seeking clarity on what this financial turmoil means for their pursuit of justice.

As these developments unfold, individuals filing a hair relaxer lawsuit remain hopeful that despite the bankruptcy status, accountability and reparations will not fall by the wayside.

Seeking Legal Assistance

Navigating the legalities of hair relaxer litigation can be complex and overwhelming for individuals suspecting harm from product use.

It’s imperative to contact a specialized law firm with experience in hair relaxer cancer lawsuits to examine your unique case, discuss potential compensations, and understand the intricacies involved in filing a suit.

These firms are equipped with resources to guide plaintiffs through the necessary steps toward seeking justice and settlement for injuries allegedly connected to hair relaxers containing olive oil or other endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

Prompt action is crucial due to statutes of limitations that dictate the timeframe within which one must file a lawsuit, making immediate legal consultation an essential component of protecting one’s rights in these cases.

Contacting a law firm for a hair relaxer cancer lawsuit

Taking legal action begins with selecting a reputable law firm experienced in handling hair relaxer cancer lawsuits.

You may feel overwhelmed, but reaching out for assistance is crucial if you’ve been affected by these products.

Attorneys specializing in such cases can offer valuable guidance on the best course of action and will evaluate your situation to determine eligibility for filing a lawsuit.

These lawyers understand the complexities associated with product liability claims and have the knowledge to navigate through medical records, scientific research, and legal hurdles.

Reaching out to a law firm means setting up an initial consultation where you’ll share your story – how long you’ve used hair relaxers, any related health issues like uterine or ovarian cancer, and the impact on your quality of life.

Law firms like TruLaw are actively investigating claims linking chemicals in hair relaxers to harmful diseases.

They will scrutinize every angle of your case against companies like L’Oreal, which face nearly 60 lawsuits alleging their products caused cancer.

It’s essential to act promptly due to statutes of limitations that limit the time frame for filing such suits.

A qualified attorney can also brief you on potential compensations and settlements stemming from successful litigation or negotiations outside of court.

As each woman’s experience is unique, they tailor their approach accordingly—whether it involves individual actions or monitoring developments pertaining to class action certification processes for future reference in litigation strategies.

Compensations and settlements

Victims seeking justice for injuries related to hair relaxer products aim to receive compensations and settlements appropriate to their suffering and financial losses.

The monetary value awarded in these cases can reflect medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and emotional distress caused by conditions such as uterine cancer or other harm linked to the use of hair straighteners.

Lawyers actively pursue fair compensation on behalf of those affected; they assess individual circumstances against the strength of evidence showing causation between product use and injury.

These group litigations facilitate a streamlined legal process that consolidates similar claims, potentially expediting the path toward resolution while also sharing litigation costs among plaintiffs.

As legal firms file hair relaxer suits filed under multidistrict litigation (MDL), victims share their personal stories highlighting the negative effects endured from hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptive use combined with exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in hair relaxing products.


Understanding the reasons behind the hair relaxer lawsuits is crucial for anyone who has used these products and experienced adverse health effects.

The mounting evidence linking hair relaxers to serious health issues underscores the importance of legal recourse for those affected.

If you’re facing similar concerns, exploring your legal options could lead to compensation for damages incurred.

It’s about taking a stand against harmful practices and seeking justice in light of new findings on product safety.

With each lawsuit filed, consumers send a powerful message about holding manufacturers accountable for the products they put on the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why Are Hair Relaxer Lawsuits Being Filed?

    Hair relaxer lawsuits are being filed due to allegations that the use of these products increases the risk of cancer.

    Several brands, including L’Oreal and SoftSheen, have been named as defendants in these suits.

    The plaintiffs argue that the manufacturers failed to adequately warn users about the potential risk of uterine, endometrial, and ovarian cancer associated with their use.

  • Why are the Hair Relaxer Lawsuits being consolidated into an MDL?

    Hair relaxer lawsuits are being consolidated into Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) because of the large number of similar individual and class action lawsuits filed against hair relaxer manufacturers.

    These lawsuits allege that manufacturers failed to warn users about the risk of cancer.

    The consolidation of these cases into an MDL allows for a more efficient trial process and seeks refunds and medical monitoring costs for the plaintiffs.

    If settlements are not reached, the lawsuits may be remanded back to different U.S. District Courts for individual trial dates.

  • Can young people file a lawsuit if they used hair relaxers at an earlier age?

    Yes, it is possible for young people to file a lawsuit if they have used hair relaxers at an earlier age and have since developed health issues believed to be caused by these products.

    This usually involves proving that the product was harmful and that the manufacturer failed to adequately warn about the risks.

  • How do I file a claim for a hair relaxer lawsuit?

    To file a hair relaxer lawsuit, you must have used a product from a brand currently under investigation and been diagnosed with a related health condition such as uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, or breast cancer.

    You should have also received medical care and/or treatment for these conditions.

    If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer after using a hair relaxer, it’s essential to understand your legal rights and options.

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Experienced Attorney & Legal SaaS CEO

With over 25 years of legal experience, Jessie is an Illinois lawyer, a CPA, and a mother of three.  She spent the first decade of her career working as an international tax attorney at Deloitte.

In 2009, Jessie co-founded her own law firm with her husband – which has scaled to over 30 employees since its conception.

In 2016, Jessie founded TruLaw, which allows her to collaborate with attorneys and legal experts across the United States on a daily basis. This hypervaluable network of experts is what enables her to share reliable legal information with her readers!

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