Harmful Chemicals Found in Hair Straighteners

January 26, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Harmful Chemicals Found in Hair Straighteners

Researchers have identified several toxic chemicals found in chemical hair straighteners as carcinogens. While makers of chemical hair straighteners continue to defend their products, women across the country have filed product liability lawsuits against beauty companies like L’Oreal. According to their complaints, the makers of chemical hair straighteners failed to inform their customers of the increased risk of certain reproductive cancers associated with the heavy usage

As a result of using chemical hair straighteners multiple times a year, often for decades, these women have incurred substantial medical bills, lost wages, and compromised fertility. Dolman Law Group is looking for women who have been diagnosed with reproductive health issues like endometrial cancer or uterine fibroids after the long-term use of chemical hair straighteners. Our team of personal injury lawyers offers prospective clients the opportunity to sit down with us for a free consultation to discuss their legal options for pursuing compensation for their damages.

Women Who Use Chemical Hair Straighteners Are at a Higher Risk for Cancer

A growing body of evidence suggests that using chemical hair straighteners consistently for a significant period of time can cause several types of hormone-sensitive cancers and other reproductive health issues, including:

While other studies had previously warned women of the increased risk of certain cancers associated with the long-term use of chemical hair straighteners, a recent NIH study has drawn significant attention for uncovering a connection to uterine cancer. Researchers found that women who reported using chemical hair straighteners 4 or more times a year were at twice the risk of developing uterine cancer in their lifetime.

NIH Warns That Chemical Hair Straighteners Contain Known Carcinogens 

The NIH study that discovered that using chemical hair straighteners frequently increases a woman’s risk of developing uterine cancer also identified certain chemicals common to many of these products that may be carcinogens. These controversial chemicals include:

  • Parabens
  • Bisphenol A
  • Various metals
  • Formaldehyde 

The FDA is currently investigating the effects of parabens in cosmetic products to determine if they cause harm when absorbed or ingested by humans. Parabens function as preservatives in a variety of cosmetic products, including chemical hair straighteners. Another chemical found in chemical hair straighteners, Bisphenol A, more commonly known as BPA, is a known health hazard when it comes into contact with food.

Increased levels of certain metals can damage the DNA of healthy cells. When the cells with mutated DNA replicate, they take resources from healthy cells, causing them to die. In addition to various metals, chemical hair straighteners also contain detectable levels of Formaldehyde. This chemical is typically used as a preservative. Studies have shown that absorbing or consuming high levels of Formaldehyde leads to cancer, which may be achieved with the frequent use of chemical hair straighteners.

Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Linked to Cancer

Women are absorbing these chemicals through their scalps as they apply at-home chemical hair straighteners or receive salon treatments to straighten their natural curls. Researchers believe that the toxic chemicals found in chemical hair straighteners can be categorized as endocrine-disrupting chemicals. EDCs interfere with the body’s hormone balance, which can lead to the out-of-control growth of damaged cells. As the unhealthy cells grow in number, they can spread and cause irreparable damage to the body.

Recovering Damages in a Chemical Hair Straightener Lawsuit

Plaintiffs are currently pushing for their claims to be consolidated into a multidistrict litigation. Multidistrict litigations consider similar individual claims as a group. In this case, plaintiffs are making similar accusations of negligence against the makers of chemical hair straighteners and have suffered from similar types of injuries. It remains to be seen if the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will approve this request for an MDL, as the hearing for oral arguments is set for January 26th, 2023.

If the JPML agrees to condense the chemical hair straightener claims into a multidistrict litigation, plaintiffs will be able to share the responsibility of the discovery and pre-trial processes. They will still have the individual responsibility of demonstrating the monetary value of the damages they sustained in order to recover compensation. The chemical hair straightener defendants are opposed to the MDL. They continue to support their products and refuse to issue recalls or add warning labels.

Types of Damages in a Chemical Hair Straightener Lawsuit

Plaintiffs can claim compensatory damages in the form of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages come with a set price tag, so quantifying their value is fairly straightforward. For example, a plaintiff might show a receipt for an Uber ride to a doctor’s appointment to validate their claim. Non-economic damages compensate plaintiffs for the emotional toll their injuries have taken, as well as other intangible losses.

Examples of Damages in a Chemical Hair Straightener Lawsuit:

Why Should I Choose Dolman Law Group to Represent Me?

When you have been diagnosed with cancer or other reproductive health issues, you may be grappling with accepting a different future than you had envisioned for yourself and your family. The additional burden of damages like medical bills, lost wages, and loss of quality of life, can feel completely overwhelming. You should consider hiring a chemical hair straightener attorney to take over the claims process.

At Dolman Law Group, we will prioritize your needs as we handle the process of filing a product liability claim for you. Our award-winning team has ample experience negotiating mass tort claims dealing with defective products, such as the AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits and the NEC baby formula lawsuits.

With our specialized knowledge and exemplary record of securing maximum compensation, you can rest assured that you are in good hands. As your personal injury attorneys, we will assess the value of your claim, form a solid negotiation strategy, and commit ourselves to maximizing your compensation while you focus on healing. It may be months or years before your chemical hair straightener claim is settled, so reach out to our team today.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Chemical Hair Straightener Lawsuit

At Dolman Law Group, we have the resources and expertise needed to hold negligent companies like L’Oreal accountable for failing to alert women to how dangerous chemical hair straighteners can be. Our team of dedicated personal injury lawyers takes pride in our results-driven approach.

The product liability lawyers of Dolman Law Group have years of experience taking claims to court in order to get our clients the compensation they deserve. You don’t have to worry about our team handing you off to another firm if your case goes to trial. Instead, we will redouble our efforts and work tirelessly to ensure that we secure a fair settlement on your behalf.

We recommend scheduling a free consultation with one of our product liability lawyers as soon as possible to avoid delaying filing your claim and missing critical deadlines. Our team will protect your right to seek compensation for damages and work with you to secure a settlement that covers the value of your losses.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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