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Hair Relaxer Litigation Update

February 21, 2023 Mass Tort Blog

In October 2022 , the US National Institute of Health (NIH) published a study showing a strong correlation between the frequency of use of hair relaxers/hair straighteners, and several types of cancers such as Uterine cancer. You can read more about this in our previous blog post.

The study proposed that phthalates or plasticizers found in these products, including a specific chemical known to be carcinogenic – Di-2-ethyl hexyl phthalate (DEHP), may cause serious health issues to users, especially an increased possibility of uterine cancer. The NIH study is not the only study that has linked certain chemicals to cancer, however, despite being aware of the dangerous chemicals in their products, manufacturers of hair relaxing products have continued to market their products without warning their customers.

There are several aspects of this case that make it especially jarring, such as:

  • Who is the primary user of this product?

The majority of hair relaxer product users are Women of Color with over a 60% market share.

  • How often is it used?

Generations of women have used hair relaxing products from childhood, greatly increasing their risk of cancer.

  • How are manufacturers held accountable for their actions?

There are currently 57 lawsuits filed against L’Oreal and other hair relaxer manufacturers. It is expected that there will be more. The cases are being consolidated into an MDL due to the potentially large number of people who have been affected by this.

  • What do those responsible feel about these lawsuits?

Reuters reported that French manufacturer, L’Oreal, who is being sued said that they are, “confident in the safety of our products and believe the recent lawsuits filed against us have no legal merit.”


If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with uterine, or other types of cancer, and have been a regular user of hair relaxing/straightening products for at least four years, we urge you to contact our attorneys at (619) 238-1811 or complete the questionnaire form here.