Hair relaxers, causing serious diseases in young women

Michael Bartlett

By Michael Bartlett

Posted on April 20th, 2023

While cancer is usually a disease of middle age and beyond, women who regularly use chemical hair relaxers are prone to developing a malignant disease at a much younger age. This is because many start using these harmful products as teenagers or even children.

Even though anyone can develop cancer, including children, the average diagnosis age for malignant diseases is 66. Still, there are countless factors that can influence whether a person will get cancer and the age at which they will come to struggle with it. One of the more obscure risk factors for uterine cancer and ovarian cancer is regularly using chemical hair relaxers. Race is also a factor that comes into play in this case, as between 70% and 80% of Black women report using these products, which often abound in toxic chemicals. Therefore, women who often have their hair straightened using chemical hair relaxers should keep a close eye on their health.

Uterine cancer

Uterine cancer

As a disease that is uncommon in women under 45, uterine cancer affects over 66,000 women nationwide annually. The mortality rate is the highest among Black women, as they die of uterine cancer at twice the rate of white women. This gap is one of the largest racial disparities observed for any cancer.

Uterine cancer is being diagnosed more often in younger women who are in their childbearing years. Women who use hair relaxers can develop this life-threatening disease even at 35 due to the toxic chemicals lurking in these products.

These are the most important symptoms to look out for if you suspect you have uterine cancer:

  • pain in the lower back
  • blood in the urine
  • a lump in the abdomen
  • pain between the hip bones
  • unusual vaginal bleeding
  • pain in the pelvic area

The mortality rate for uterine cancer has been increasing by almost 2% a year overall, with even greater spikes among Black women. Approximately 15 years ago, just 39,000 new cases of uterine cancer were diagnosed every year. Women who had reported frequent use of hair relaxers, specifically more than 4 times in the previous year, were more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer than those who had not, according to a study from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. It is important to note that if you have been using toxic hair relaxers, you might be eligible to file a claim only for endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma, as these subtypes have the strongest association with these products.

Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer

Every year, over 19,000 women receive a diagnosis of ovarian cancer nationwide. A woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer during her lifetime is approximately 1 in 78. Still, women who frequently use chemical hair relaxers are more susceptible to this disease.

The average diagnosis age for ovarian cancer is 55, but women as young as 35 to 45 can get ovarian cancer if they were exposed to the dangerous chemicals in hair relaxers.

Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, being responsible for more deaths than any other malignant disease of the female reproductive system. It is worthy of note that women who have endometriosis have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. These are the usual symptoms of ovarian cancer you should look out for if you suspect you have it:

  • back pain
  • changes in your period
  • abdominal swelling
  • feeling full after eating small meals
  • unexplained weight loss
  • fatigue
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • indigestion
  • discomfort in the pelvic area

Although less than 1% of Black women develop ovarian cancer, this percentage is significantly higher in those who have been regularly using hair relaxers. Using chemical hair relaxers could increase ovarian cancer risk by 50%, regardless of race. If you intend to file a toxic hair relaxer claim, it is important to know that you might be entitled to compensation only if you have a non-serous or serous tumor. Consequently, women who regularly use these products should cease applying them immediately and find safer alternatives to straightening their hair, as the risk of developing uterine cancer and ovarian cancer is high in this demographic.

File your toxic hair relaxer claim with the assistance of our experienced attorneys

With over 30 years of experience in pursuing compensation for people injured by toxic products, our attorneys will gladly help you determine whether you are eligible to file a toxic hair relaxer claim. The legal process is simple and will mostly take place over the phone. We will only request evidence of your use of hair relaxers and your medical records stating your diagnosis. To become eligible, you must have uterine cancer or ovarian cancer and you must have used chemical hair relaxers at least 4 times per year for at least 2 to 5 years.

After a thorough evaluation of your case, we will let you know if you are entitled to compensation from the responsible manufacturers. If you are too ill to participate in the legal process, you should not worry, as our compassionate team will take care of the most demanding aspects on your behalf. Furthermore, you can have a family member help you navigate the process. Eventually, if our endeavors are successful, you will obtain the money you deserve for your physical and emotional suffering.