Hair Relaxer Lawsuits: Here’s What You Need to Know
Hair Relaxer Lawsuits

Thousands of people across the country have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of hair relaxers, claiming that the chemicals in these products interfere with hormones and cause major health issues like uterine and ovarian cancer.

The hair relaxer product liability lawsuits allege that the makers of these products knew or should have known about the cancer risks associated with their products, but they failed to warn consumers. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the hair relaxer litigation, possible claims, and whether you might be eligible to participate.

History of Hair Relaxers, TexTurism, and Hair Discrimination 

The plaintiffs in the hair relaxer case are mostly women of color who have been diagnosed with cancer after using hair relaxers.

For generations, people of color, particularly Black women, have adopted the practice of chemically relaxing their hair in pursuit of achieving straighter, “more manageable” hair. 

Whether the use of hair relaxers is based on personal choice, cultural norms, or societal expectations, the practice is rooted in a longstanding societal standard that has historically favored Eurocentric features and marginalized natural Black hair textures.

Afro-textured hair has long been viewed as unruly, unprofessional, and inferior to straight hair, which has perpetuated stereotypes and prejudice against Black people. 

The Sister Study and the Suits the Followed

The first hair relaxer lawsuit was filed in 2017, but that case did not go far. However, that changed in October 2022 when the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a new study indicating a link between frequent hair relaxer use. Called the “Sister Study,” this investigation, undertaken by specialists from the National Institutes of Health, analyzed long-term health data from over 33,000 women. 

The study’s findings, which showed a potential link between regular hair relaxer use and certain types of cancer, became the catalyst for a new wave of lawsuits against hair relaxer manufacturers like Revlon and L’Oreal that alleged that these companies knew about the health risks but failed to warn consumers. 

In 2023, cases filed in federal court were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) so they could be heard together by one judge. Today more than 8,300 hair relaxer cases live in the MDL. Many cases have also been filed in state courts. 

Filing Your Hair Relaxer Case

Our firm is currently accepting new hair relaxer product liability cases. If you were diagnosed with uterine or ovarian cancer, contact our office today for a free consultation.  

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