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Women all over have begun looking for a North Carolina hair relaxer injury lawyer after being diagnosed with cancer because of their use of hair straightening or hair relaxing products. Hair relaxers and straighteners have been used for decades by those with naturally curly hair to achieve a long-lasting, straightened look. But unfortunately, many hair relaxer companies have neglected to inform their customers that their products contain cancer-causing chemicals.

Some of the beauty companies included are:

  • L’Oreal (including Dark & Lovely® and Optimum®)
  • Soft Sheen-Carson
  • Strength of Nature LLC
  • Namaste Laboratories
  • Darbur International
  • TBC Naturals
  • Cantu Beauty
  • And more

Now, victims of these products who have developed uterine cancer, endometrial cancer, and ovarian cancer are seeking justice by contacting a Raleigh hair relaxer injury lawyer.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with uterine, ovarian, or endometrial cancer after the use of a hair relaxer or hair straightener product, you may be eligible for compensation. If you were diagnosed with cancer 4 years after continued use of a hair relaxer or hair straightener for a year, call a Raleigh personal injury lawyer at Whitley Law Firm today for a free consultation at (919) 785-5000.

A North Carolina personal injury lawyer can help you seek the justice you deserve and make sure you are taken care of during the process.

are hair relaxers carcinogenic?

Why Are Hair Relaxers Dangerous?

In October of 2022, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a study examining the incidence of uterine cancer among women who frequently use straighteners and other hair products.

The National Cancer Institute study found that women who used hair straighteners and relaxers were nearly twice as likely to develop uterine cancer than those who never used these products. Women who used hair relaxers and straighteners frequently (i.e., more than four times in the preceding 12 months) were at the greatest risk, with a 2.5 times higher likelihood of uterine cancer.

Cancer risk connected to hair relaxers and hair straighteners is an ongoing field of study. However, the chemicals in these products have long been the source of health concerns.

Many hair relaxers and straighteners are known to contain phthalates, a chemical that can disrupt the body’s endocrine system and may lead to cancer. Some products also contain formaldehyde and other toxins.

Who Is At Risk for Hair Relaxer Cancer?

Women who regularly use hair relaxers or straighteners are at risk of cancer from the chemicals in these products. The risk is especially pronounced for Black women and women of color.

Black women often feel pressure to have straight hair. This leads to widespread use of straighteners, relaxers, and other hair-altering products.

Unfortunately, the new research on hair straighteners and uterine cancer risk suggests that the “price of beauty” for this population could be very high. Nearly 60% of the participants in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute study who reported using hair straighteners were Black or African-American.

young Black woman with straight hair

What Cancers Are Associated with Hair Straighteners and Relaxers?

Cancer-causing chemicals in hair relaxer products have been associated with multiple forms of cancer affecting women. These include:

  • Uterine cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Endometrial cancer (cancer of the endometrium, or the lining of the uterus)

Symptoms of Uterine and Endometrial Cancer

There are two primary forms of uterine cancer. Endometrial cancer is the most common, with approximately 50,000 women diagnosed every year. Uterine sarcoma (cancer of the muscle walls of the uterus) is the rarer, more aggressive form of the disease.

Symptoms of these uterine cancers may include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting between menstrual cycles
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Pain in the pelvis or lower abdomen
  • Difficulty or pain when urinating
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

Uterine and endometrial cancer may be detected through a pelvic exam. Abnormal Pap smear results may also be indicative of a cancerous or precancerous condition.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is cancer of the ovaries, the glands responsible for storing eggs and producing estrogen and other hormones. The ovaries contain epithelial, germ, and stromal cells, each of which can develop abnormally and cause cancer.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer may include:

  • Bloating or swelling in the abdomen
  • Pelvic pain
  • Greater frequency and urgency of urination
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation and other changes in the bowels

A pelvic exam, imaging, and blood tests may be performed to diagnose ovarian cancer. Some women may need to undergo surgery to check the ovary for cancerous tissue.

young Black woman lying on her bed suffering from pelvic pain

What Are My Rights If I Developed Cancer After Using Hair Relaxers?

Litigation against the companies that manufacture and sell hair relaxers and straighteners is in its very early stages. Although you might see a number of ads from attorneys and law firms that are accepting these cases, it is important to find a lawyer who is committed to protecting your best interest and fighting for the outcome you deserve.

The Whitley Law Firm is well-versed in product liability claims. We have represented individuals who have been harmed by a wide range of defective products due to issues such as:

Our team will examine the details of your situation to determine whether you have a viable claim against the manufacturer of a dangerous hair relaxer product. We consult medical professionals and other experts to build the strongest case possible on your behalf.

If you are looking for a hair relaxer lawyer, we encourage you to contact the Whitley Law Firm as soon as possible. Our firm has been serving the Raleigh community and all of North Carolina for more than 80 years.

What Compensation May Be Available in a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?

The compensation you may be entitled to if you developed cancer after regularly using a toxic hair relaxer product depends on the losses you are facing now and will face in the future. A hair relaxer lawyer at the Whitley Law Firm will evaluate the damages in your case and pursue the full compensation you deserve.

Compensation that may be recovered in a hair relaxer cancer lawsuit may include:

  • Medical expenses to date, including the cost of diagnosing and treating the cancer
  • Future medical expenses, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, medications, hospital stays, etc.
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • The cost of home-based medical care and other household services
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Emotional anguish
  • Reduced life expectancy
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

If you lost a loved one to uterine, endometrial, or ovarian cancer and you suspect that regular use of a dangerous hair relaxer was a factor in their death, you and your family may be entitled to compensation.

Contact a Raleigh Hair Relaxer Lawyer Today

Hair relaxer lawsuits are grabbing headlines across the country. While the Whitley Law Firm is exploring these new cases, we never turn our back on the client-focused approach we take toward litigation.

Get the Whitley Advantage

Our team is passionate about helping people with all our hearts. We focus not only on the details of your case but the needs of our clients and their families. You can count on us to provide support and compassion as well as superior legal guidance.

For assistance with a hair relaxer lawsuit, please call the Whitley Law Firm at (919) 785-5000 today. It won’t cost anything to see if we can help. Our firm has offices in Raleigh and across North Carolina, and we also handle claims on behalf of clients who are outside the state.