What You Need to Know About the Hair Relaxer Lawsuit

Our product liability attorneys are here to help.

Hair relaxers are a common and preferred product among women of color and those with textured and curly hair. Although many women use chemical hair relaxers to make their hair smooth, sleek, and soft, some of these products pose a significant health risk to the users. According to a study conducted and published in 2022 by the National Institutes of Health, women who use chemical hair relaxers are more likely to develop uterine, endometrial, breast, and ovarian cancer than those who don’t. For this reason, lawsuits against major hair relaxer manufacturers are on the rise.

Scientific studies have shown hair relaxers to contain harmful chemicals and phthalates that are believed to cause cancer. Continued exposure to these chemicals only leads to more costly health issues. Many manufacturers of the said products haven’t taken the initiative to warn consumers of the risks involved with using their products, nor taken any safety measures towards the same.

If you, or a loved one, has been using hair relaxer products for some time, and have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, or uterine cancer, you need proper legal advice on the best way forward. At Hoover Rogers Law, we will investigate your case and discuss all possible legal options to ensure you are adequately compensated for all you have been through. Our team of lawyers is prepared to file a hair relaxer lawsuit against the parties responsible on your behalf. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation claim evaluation and case review.

How Do Hair Relaxers Cause Health Problems?

Chemical hair relaxers contain chemical compounds that disrupt/inhibit the proper functioning of the endocrine system, causing a myriad of health issues. The endocrine system, mainly comprised of the adrenal glands, pancreas, and thyroids, plays a crucial part in a person’s overall health and well-being. The chemical compounds in hair relaxers are absorbed directly through the skin (on the scalp) or through inhaling. Some of the dangers of using chemical relaxers include:

  1. Damaged Hair and Scalp

Hair relaxers cause a burning/tingling sensation when exposed to the skin/scalp for a few minutes. Guanidine carbonate, lye (sodium hydroxide), and succinic acid are the ingredients responsible. These compounds inflame and irritate the skin causing a burning sensation, which further causes the hair shaft to weaken and split after some time. These chemicals are toxic enough to cause frizz and scalp dryness. They also alter the normal pH of your scalp, leading to dandruff, scalp infection, and hair loss. Most people also suffer blistering, redness of the skin/scalp, and itching when exposed to these chemicals.

  1. Disrupted Hormones (Hormonal Imbalance)

Active toxic compounds in chemical hair relaxers disrupt the endocrine system, leading to abnormal production and hormone levels in the body. Hormones play a critical role in the regulation of various essential bodily functions including immunity, mood, reproduction, metabolism, and growth. Hair relaxers trigger hormonal imbalance, which often leads to depression, infertility, irregular periods, acne, fatigue, and weight gain, among other health issues.

Studies also show that active ingredients used in hair relaxers, including parabens and phthalates, disrupt healthy production/levels of testosterone levels in the body. These chemicals may also mimic or block natural hormones and lead to the accumulation of toxic chemicals and metals that affect kidney, liver, and thyroid function.

  1. Increased Risk of Cancer

Numerous studies have shown chemical hair relaxers to cause several types of cancer in women of color. Breast cancer, cervical cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and brain cancer are the most common types of cancers directly linked to hair relaxers. This is because chemical hair relaxers contain carcinogenic compounds (formaldehyde) that damage and cause the DNA to mutate. Continued use of these products also leads to chronic inflammation, which further stimulates the development of cancerous cells. The toxic compounds also create a favorable environment for the formation of tumors, infection, and injury.

  1. Dermatitis

Many women are sensitive and allergic to sodium hydroxide, a crucial ingredient in chemical hair relaxers. Sodium hydroxide causes severe irritation on the skin which almost always leads to dermatitis. Dermatitis is a skin condition characterized by skin irritation and swelling. Dry, itchy skin makes the condition worse. Studies show that women who use hair relaxers are at a higher risk of suffering from dermatitis compared to those who use natural hair products.

  1. Uterine Fibroids

Numerous studies and data show that continued use of hair relaxer products increases the risk of uterine fibroids in women. One of the main ingredients of hair relaxers, lye, contributes to abnormal hormone imbalances that make the condition even worse. Other studies also show that hair relaxers trigger unconjugated levels of estrogen in women, often overwhelming their reproductive health. Fibroids are often linked to infertility in women as well.

What Is the Average Payout for The Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?

Several factors must be considered when computing the final/potential compensation payout for the lawsuit. The severity of injuries and strength of the case as presented by your lawyers will greatly determine how much you, the client, will get in compensation. The average settlement for hair relaxer lawsuits ranges between $100,000 and $1,500,000. Some of the factors the lawyers and courts must consider when computing total settlement cost include:

  • Treatment costs: This includes all costs that one incurred when undergoing treatment for the damages, including but not limited to travel expenses, doctor visits, home care costs, medications, surgery, and ambulance costs.
  • Lost wages: This covers any wages lost due to one’s inability to work as a result of conditions linked to the product. The damages will/should cover both past and future lost wages from the health problems.
  • Pain and suffering: Your legal team will need to come up with a concrete method to quantify how much you suffered due to using the chemical hair relaxer. This includes both physical and emotional trauma.
  • Lower quality and loss of enjoyment of life: You are entitled to compensation if health issues from using the products lead to a decline in your way and quality of life. For instance, this applies to the inability to engage with your kids or play your favorite instrument.

The amount of compensation will thus be dependent on:

  • The impact of the injuries on your quality of life
  • The wrongdoing/negligence by the product manufacturer
  • The extent and severity of the injuries
  • The strength of the evidence and arguments your lawyers present

Arguing how much you should be paid in compensation for damages in a court of law requires a proper understanding of the intricacies of the law as well as collaborating with other professionals. Our team of dedicated lawyers understands the legal framework surrounding personal injury cases especially cosmetic and beauty products. We collect evidence and all materials required to make a sound case on our behalf. The team will also work alongside medical experts to ascertain how much damage these products have done to you.

When Will the Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Be Settled?

On average, a hair relaxer lawsuit should take an average of 12-14 months to resolve. Some cases may be settled faster. Others take longer.

Most hair relaxer lawsuits end in settlements rather than in court hearings. If the manufacturer chooses to settle, the lawsuit can be settled as soon as they have agreed to our terms and conditions. Our team of experienced lawyers will engage the opposing counsel to reach an agreement and a settlement plan fit for our client. The lawsuit could, however, take a lot longer if the opposing side is adamant and prefers having the case heard in court. Our team of lawyers is ready to battle out the facts in court and ensure that justice prevails.

Contact us today for a free consultation

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with endometrial, ovarian, or uterine cancer, after using hair relaxer products for years, you may qualify for compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses. Most chemical hair relaxer products on the shelves are loaded with toxic compounds that have been linked to these types of cancer and other health conditions. You shouldn’t suffer in silence anymore. Our attorneys will ensure your rights are protected and compensated fairly for all damages.

Thousands of other people have taken the initiative to file hair relaxer lawsuits against the leading hair relaxer product manufacturers. These companies can be held accountable for selling toxic products without warning users of the dangers that come with using them. Hundreds of lawsuits are underway across the country, mainly from customers who have been diagnosed with chronic conditions caused by these products. You too can get justice and compensation for damages inflicted.

Contact our law firm for a free consultation and review of your case. Our team of lawyers will evaluate your case and determine if you are qualified to file a hair relaxer lawsuit or join the existing litigation.

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