In one of the latest in a string of lawsuits linking chemical hair straighteners and hair relaxers to various types of cancer, an Illinois woman alleges that decades of using Dark & Lovely hair relaxer caused her to develop endometrial cancer. Each hair straightener lawsuit pending in courts nationwide involves similar allegations that manufacturers put users at risk for cancer and other serious health problems by failing to disclose the known health risks associated with their products. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, infertility, or another adverse health outcome, and you believe a hair relaxer or chemical hair-straightening product to be at fault, contact Consumer Safety Watch right away. The chemical hair-straightener litigation is still in its early stages, and you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
A growing number of lawsuits have recently been brought against the makers of chemical hair straighteners and relaxers by women across the country, amid concerns about a potential increased risk of cancer linked to the products. The litigation centers around claims that manufacturers have known about this potential health risk for decades and continued marketing their products as safe and effective, with a particular emphasis on targeting Black women with natural, textured hair. According to allegations raised in this latest product liability lawsuit, Dark & Lovely, a popular hair relaxer made by L’Oreal, caused an Illinois woman to develop endometrial cancer, a type of cancer that begins in the lining of the uterus. The plaintiff, Ladonna Mahaffey, alleges that her cancer was “directly and proximately caused by her regular and prolonged exposure to phthalates and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in Defendants’ hair care products.”
Chemical relaxing and straightening products are creams or lotions meant to be applied to the scalp to make hair smoother, straighter, and easier to manage on a daily basis. What manufacturers have failed to disclose to consumers is that these seemingly safe products can contain phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde, metals, bisphenol A, and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals that have been linked to various types of cancer and other long-term health effects, including uterine cancer and breast cancer. In one recent study of hair-straightening products, researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that women who used chemical hair-straightening products were at higher risk for uterine cancer, compared to women who did not use these products. According to their findings, women who reported using chemical hair straighteners more than four times in the previous year were more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer.
In her hair relaxer uterine cancer claim, Mahaffey states that she used Dark & Lovely products for decades, beginning in 1986 when she was just nine years old and continuing through at least 2007. She received an endometrial cancer diagnosis in June 2022, at the age of 36, and underwent a full hysterectomy. Like other defendants in the growing chemical hair-straightener litigation, Mahaffey states that she used these products regularly, with no knowledge of their potential link to cancer. “Ms. Mahaffey used Defendants’ Products by applying this to her scalp or by having a professional at a hair salon apply Defendants’ Products exactly as instructed by Defendants,” her lawsuit states. “There was never any indication, on the Products packaging or otherwise, that this normal use could and would cause her to develop endometrial cancer.” Given the similar nature of allegations raised in these hair straightener lawsuits, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) is reviewing a motion to centralize all cases filed in federal courts before one judge for coordinated pretrial proceedings.
Learning about a possible risk of cancer linked to products you have used for decades can be distressing. And women across the country are just now discovering that frequent use of chemical hair straighteners or hair relaxers may more than double their risk of uterine cancer. To find out whether you may be eligible to join the chemical hair straightener litigation, contact Consumer Safety Watch today. You may have grounds to file a claim against the product manufacturer, in order to recover compensation for the harm you and your loved ones have suffered.