Hair Relaxers Cause Cancer Studies Say

By April Norris

57 US lawsuits have been filed to federal courts claiming the products use dangerous chemicals which permanently straighten hair and that companies are aware of the danger of the chemicals used in these products.   

The cases name the US L’Oréal SA and India-based companies Godrej SON Holdings Inc and Dabur International Ltd. 

L’Oréal posted the following statement: “confident in the safety of our products and believe the recent lawsuits filed against us have no legal merit”. 

The lawsuits were filed after an October National Institutes of Health study which demonstrated women who used these products numerous times a year were twice as likely to acquire uterine cancer. 

 For example, a quote from Alexandra White, who led the study said: “We estimated that 1.64% of women who never used hair straighteners would go on to develop uterine cancer by the age of 70, but for frequent users, that risk goes up to 4.05%.”  

 In the USA, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says Uterine cancer is frequently the most common gynaecologic cancer. Rates of this cancer are increasing at a high rate particularly for Black women. 

Diandra Debrosse Zimmermann filed the first case after the study was published. She said the panel’s decision “recognised the clear benefits of centralising the hair relaxer litigation.” And she expects a surge of cases to file in the next few weeks. 

She believes thousands of women could sue the companies for these products.