Super Lawyers
Illinois State Bar Association
Justia Lawyer Rating
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Avvo Rating
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers BBB Business Review

Hair Relaxer Lawsuit for Cancer

In 2014, the FDA issued new regulations requiring hair relaxer manufacturers to disclose the ingredients used in their products. Unfortunately, many companies failed to comply with these rules. As a result, thousands of women filed hair relaxer lawsuits against major hair care product makers, including L'Oreal, Schwarzkopf, and Pantene.

The plaintiffs in these hair relaxer lawsuits claimed that the companies knew that using formaldehyde was dangerous, yet they continued to sell products containing it. They argued that the companies should be held liable for any injuries caused by their products.


Were you diagnosed with endometrial, uterine, or breast cancer, and suspect your medical condition resulted from using hair relaxing and straightening products for years? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can file a hair relaxer lawsuit to ensure you receive compensation for damages.

Contact our product liability lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation.

All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Hair Relaxer Products

Hair relaxer products contain an alkali agent which breaks down the sulfide bonds in the hair, allowing it to become softer and easier to comb. The chemicals in hair relaxer products break down the sulfur bonds in the hair.

The keratin protein found in human hair is sensitive to changes in its hydrogen ion concentration. The pH level of the hair relaxer determines how effective it will be. There are many hair relaxer products, and most are marketed to African American women.

Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court

A civil suit filed in federal court claims that popular chemical hair relaxer/straightener products contain harmful ingredients to consumers, especially black women. The hair relaxer lawsuit alleges that the products contain carcinogenic chemicals called nitrosamines.

These chemicals are found in some foods and drinks, including coffee, beer, wine, cured meats, and processed meat. Nitrosamines are known to cause cancer in animals.

The hair relaxer lawsuit plaintiff, Susan L. Johnson, says she used a "relaxing solution" manufactured by Schwarzkopf Professional Corporation. She purchased it online in 2008 and began using it regularly.

In 2010, her hair began falling out, and she noticed rashes on her arms and legs. After seeing a dermatologist, she learned the chemical hair relaxer caused the rashes.

Johnson sued the chemical hair relaxer manufacturer in a New Jersey state court in 2013. Her lawyer, Michael J. Sussman, told CBS News that he believes the case will set a precedent for people who suffer adverse reactions to hair relaxers. He said his client is seeking damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages, and punitive damages.

EDCs and Phthalates in Hair Relaxers

Hair relaxer products contain chemicals called EDCs and phthalates, known to damage DNA and increase the risk of breast, prostate, testicular, endometrial, and uterine cancer. They also interfere with hormone function, causing early puberty and infertility.

There are many hair relaxers, including ammonia-based, sulfate-free, and enzyme-based relaxers. Some hair relaxer products use sodium hydroxide, while others use ammonium thioglycolate. Sodium hydroxide relaxes hair by breaking down proteins, whereas ammonium thioglycolate relaxes hair by breaking disulfide bonds.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires hair relaxer manufacturers to list the active ingredient on the label, but it does not require companies to disclose what else is in the product. Manufacturers often include preservatives such as parabens and propylparaben, which are linked to an increased risk of breast and uterine cancer.

A Connection Between Uterine Cancer and Hair Relaxers

A recent JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) internal medicine study found that women who used chemical hair relaxer products had a higher risk of developing endometrial and uterine cancer than those who did not. The researchers analyzed data from over 5 million women enrolled in the National Health Interview Survey from 2001 to 2010.

They discovered that women who reported having used hair care products containing relaxer chemicals at least once per week had a 43 percent increased risk of endometrial and uterine cancer compared with those who never used hair relaxer/straightener products.

There was no significant difference in the risk of ovarian cancer among the groups of black or white women.

The findings are limited because it is difficult to determine whether the association between hair relaxer endocrine-disrupting chemicals in hair products and endometrial cancer is causal. However, they suggest further research is warranted to better understand the link between hair relaxer use and endometrial cancer, uterine cancer, and other cancers.

About Uterine Cancer

Uterine cancer accounts for approximately 10% of all gynecological tumors. Most are endometrial carcinomas, which are much more common than sarcomas. Survival rates for uterine cancer depend on the stage of the disease.

Uterine cancer treatment options include:

Plaintiff's Use of Hair Relaxing / Organic Root Stimulator Products

In early 2017, the plaintiff filed a hair relaxer lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the defendant, alleging that she developed cervical cancer from using hair-relaxing products, including chemical hair straighteners.

She claimed that her use of hair relaxer treatments caused damage to her cervix, resulting in cancer.

The defendant denied all allegations and asserted that no scientific proof links hair relaxer products to cervical cancer. They argued that many hair relaxer/straightener products are available, including those containing natural ingredients such as glycolic acid, salicylic acids, etc.

Potential Settlement Value of Hair Relaxer Uterine Cancer Lawsuits

Our hair relaxer injury lawyers estimate the potential settlement values of uterine cancer/hair relaxer lawsuits at between $400k and $1,750k. Our data is based on our experience representing clients involved in similar cases and the number of settlements we've obtained for our clients over the years.

We believe many more hair relaxer cases are waiting to be filed. Were you diagnosed with uterine cancer and used a chemical hair relaxer? Contact our uterine cancer lawyers to discuss your hair relaxer cancer lawsuit for compensation.

Product Liability and Medical Malpractice Uterine Cancer Settlements and Verdicts

Cancer settlement statistics show that uterine cancer is one of the most expensive cancers to treat. Injured victims can file a hair relaxer lawsuit against a doctor for failing to diagnose uterine cancer.

The average amount paid out for uterine cancer settlements is $2 million. A hair relaxer lawsuit study found the median payout for women diagnosed with cervical cancer was $1.5 million. For ovarian cancer, the median payout was $4.3 million.

A woman treated for endometrial cancer received a settlement of $9.6 million. She had undergone multiple surgeries and radiation therapy.

In some states, there is a limit on how much money doctors may have to pay for failure to diagnose uterine cancer, depending on the treatment. Some states allow for punitive damages, meaning the jury could award extra money to punish the doctor for his actions.

Doctors should always document ultrasounds and MRI scans to help explain the diagnosis's results, which can serve as evidence in court. Did you develop uterine cancer that was undiagnosed by your doctor? Contact our law firm to discuss filing a hair relaxer cancer lawsuit.

Statistical Link Between Hair Relaxers and Uterine Cancer

Some statistics reveal that women who use hair relaxer/straightener products may be more susceptible to developing uterine cancer.

Researchers who analyzed data collected from over 10 million people in Denmark between 1997 and 2013 found that females who used hair relaxers were 20% more likely to develop uteri cancer than those who did not.

The data also showed that African American women have a higher incidence rate of being diagnosed with uterine cancer because of their heavy use of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in hair straightening products

This association remained even after researchers accounted for age, body mass index, smoking status, alcohol consumption, hormone therapy use, history of diabetes, hypertension, and socioeconomic status.

The chemicals in hair relaxer and organic root stimulator hair products include:

  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Ammonium thioglycolate
  • Guanidine carbonate
  • Dimethyl sulfoxide

These chemicals are known carcinogens and have been linked to several cancers, including breast cancer, cervical cancer, and leukemia.

Studies Linking Hair Straightener Chemicals to Uterine Cancer

A recent National Institute of Environmental Health Science study suggests that women who use hair dryers are likely to develop uterine cancers.

The study examined data from the National Health Interview Survey over ten years, including information about how often people used hair dryers and whether they developed uterine cancer.

The research team found that frequent users of hair dryers with chemically-laced hair relaxer/straightener products had a greater chance of developing uterine cancer than those who did not. There was a link between hair dryer usage and uterine cancer, even among women who didn’t have children.

The findings come amid growing concerns about the safety of heating the chemicals. Several studies have linked hair straighteners and relaxing chemicals to health problems like infertility, premature births, miscarriages, and birth defects.

Studies Linking Hair Straightener Chemicals to Breast Cancer

An Environmental Health Perspectives study suggests that women who regularly use hair straightening tools or permanent hair dyes are at a greater risk of developing breast cancer. Researchers analyzed data collected from over 3,500 participants in the Nurses' Health Study II.

They found that regular use of hair straighteners increased the risk of breast cancer by 30% compared to those who did not use such devices. In addition, the researchers discovered that women who used hair dyes had a 50% increase in the odds of developing breast cancer.

The study authors believe that the chemical compounds in hair straighteners and permanent hair dyes could cause DNA damage, leading to mutations and cell growth, resulting in breast cancer. The increased risk of being diagnosed with cancer was among African American women with a family history of the disease.

These changes can lead to abnormal cells forming tumors. Previous studies have already linked certain chemicals in hair dyes to leukemia, bladder cancer, and testicular cancer.

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer Specializing in Hair Care Relaxer Lawsuits

Were you diagnosed with breast, endometrial, or uterine cancer or another medical disease you believe is related to your years of using hair straightening and relaxing products? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC specialize in hair relaxer lawsuits.

Contact us at (888) 424-5757 to discuss filing a cancer lawsuit on your behalf to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your damages.

Our legal team accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits through a contingency fee agreement, meaning you pay no upfront fees until we secure financial compensation on your behalf.


Client Reviews
Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa