What Qualifies For a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit

Hair relaxers, chemical products used to straighten and relax frizzy or curly hair, have been used for a number of years now, and are massively popular in both the black and Latina demographics.

Worryingly, studies have shown that these groups are at a drastically higher risk of developing certain hormone-related cancers, such as uterine cancer or ovarian cancer. Women that have used the product for over 12 months may be at a 2x higher risk of developing these cancers.

If you have developed any form of hormone-related cancer in your body and you have used hair relaxers for a period of more than six months, you should discuss your case with one of our team here at Peter Angelos Law. With our help, you may be able to file a lawsuit against those responsible.

Who Is Eligible To File a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?

Any consumer that uses hair relaxer products containing chemicals that have been shown to affect hormones or endocrine-disrupting chemicals that have developed cancer may be eligible to make a claim.

African American women and Latina women are much more likely to develop uterine cancer and other forms of hormone-related cancer. This is because they are more likely to use these products extensively over a long period of time.

Ultimately, anyone who has used a hair relaxer product containing phthalates or DEHP over a number of months that has developed a hormone-related cancer or hormone-related illness may qualify to bring a claim.

Ultimately, the only way to truly know if you are eligible to make a claim is to have your case evaluated by a team of skilled attorneys. At Peter Angelos Law, we offer a free consultation and case evaluation and use that meeting to answer your questions and ask some of our own. From these questions, we should be able to inform you if your case is a strong one or not.

Illnesses That May Qualify You To Make a Claim

Studies have shown that phthalates, which are a group of chemicals commonly used in hair relaxer products, are the main danger. Exposure to phthalates has been associated with a range of health effects, including potential long-term health risks. This is because phthalates are known to affect the endocrine system. Phthalates are known to be part of a group of chemicals called endocrine-disrupting chemicals. This means they can affect how your hormones work in the body.

When the hormones in your body are disrupted, you are at a drastically increased risk of developing a serious illness. These conditions could massively affect the way you live your life and, in the worst-case scenarios, can be fatal.

Here are some of the life-threatening illnesses that can be associated with phthalate exposure:


Phthalates in hair relaxer products have been linked to an increased risk of cancer, particularly uterine and ovarian cancer. Studies have found that some phthalates can act as endocrine disruptors, affecting hormone levels and potentially contributing to the development of cancer. It can also lead to the development of uterine fibroids.

The development of cancer for users of hair relaxers is the core issue in the massive class action lawsuit that is currently being fought against the hair relaxer manufacturers in the U.S.

Reproductive Health Problems

Due to the fact that phthalates can cause a serious disruption to the body's hormone levels, there can be a huge impact on the reproductive health system. Exposure to phthalates has been linked to decreased sperm count, decreased fertility, and increased risk of reproductive disorders in men and in women.

Birth Defects

Numerous studies have shown that prolonged exposure to certain phthalates during pregnancy can be harmful to developing babies and may increase the risk of the child developing birth defects. The reason this happens is not fully understood, but it is suspected to be related to the fact that phthalates have the ability to disrupt the endocrine system.

Phthalates have the ability to mimic the activity of estrogen, which plays a critical role in the development of the unborn baby. This means that exposure to chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system during pregnancy can potentially lead to developmental abnormalities in the fetus.

Phthalates also have the ability to cross the placenta and collect inside fetal tissues, where they can disrupt normal development and growth. This can lead to abnormalities of the reproductive system, such as undescended testicles, and defects of the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

Neurological Disorders

Two of the hormones that can be strongly influenced by exposure to phthalates are estrogen and androgen. These hormones play a massive role in your brain's health and function. When these hormones are affected, this may increase the risk of neurological disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and learning disabilities.

If you have suffered from the development of any of the above illnesses or conditions, and you have used hair relaxer products for a prolonged period in the past, there is a strong likelihood that your illness was caused by the product you used. If this is the case, you are entitled to bring a claim against the manufacturer responsible.

Free Consultation From A Skilled Attorney at Peter Angelos Law

Our team is awaiting your call, and once you get in touch, we will waste no time investigating the cause of your illnesses. We can examine your medical records and bring in medical experts who can help us with medical testimonials that backup your claims and align them with current studies and medical data.

Call us today at 410-705-2405.

What are Chemical Hair Relaxers?

A chemical hair relaxer is a hair straightening product that uses various chemicals to transform curly or frizzy hair into a smooth, straightened look. These hair relaxers may contain harmful chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, ammonium thioglycolate, guanidine carbonate, lithium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, and potassium thioglycolate.

To use a hair relaxer, it is generally applied to damp hair and brushed through as the hair dries, which breaks down protein bonds and creates a smoother appearance.

People should always take caution when using chemical hair relaxers, as they can be damaging to the scalp and cause inflammation, irritation, and burns. These products contain harsh chemicals that can damage the scalp and cause rashes, such as ammonium thioglycolate, sodium hydroxide, and guanidine carbonate.

Long-term exposure to these chemicals may also weaken the immune system and increase the risk of hormone cancers, including uterine, ovarian, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, breast cancer, and bladder cancer. Furthermore, prolonged use of chemical relaxers can lead to weak and brittle hair that may eventually result in hair loss.

Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, may be present in hair relaxers. This substance can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled from vapors during application, leading to eye and respiratory problems, and an increased risk of certain types of cancer, such as nasal cavity tumors.

List of Common Hair Relaxer Products Used in America

Some chemical hair relaxer products sold in the United States and their respective manufacturers include:

  • Positively Smooth Relaxer System by African Pride
  • Soft & Beautiful Botanicals by L'Oreal USA
  • Next Generation PRO 5, No Base Cream Relaxer System by Dark & Lovely
  • TCB Naturals No Base Cream Relaxer System by Soft Sheen Carson
  • Affirm Relaxer System by Avlon Industries
  • Luster's S-Curl Texturizer No Base Creme Relaxer by Luster Products Inc.
  • Just For Me No-Lye Relaxer System Sensitive Scalp Care Formula by Soft Sheen Carson
  • Dark and Lovely Healthy-Gloss 5 Relaxer System by L'Oreal USA
  • Ultra Glaze Professional Hair Strengthening Creme Relaxer Kit by Ultra Glaze
  • ORS Olive Oil Built-In Protection New Growth No-Lye Relaxer System by Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) Hair Care
  • Easy Waves Extra Strength Regular Formula Hair Relaxed Gel Activator Comb-Thru Wave Setter and Wave Starter from Cureplex

The Link Between Hair Relaxers and Cancer

A number of studies that have been published and research that has been carried out has now shown that the chemicals used in many hair relaxer products can increase a person's risk of cancer significantly, in particular, uterine and ovarian cancer.

Scientists believe that the risk comes from the use of phthalates, as these chemicals are known to cause a disruption to the body's hormone and endocrine system. This fluctuation or disruption of the body's natural hormone function can leave the body unbalanced, and this increases the risk of developing hormone-related cancers.

In emerging research, researchers are finding that exposure to these chemicals may also increase the risk of a woman developing uterine fibroids which can leave them in chronic pain and cause them further health problems.

Damages You May Be Entitled To Recover From Lawsuits involving Chemical Hair Relaxers or Chemical Hair Straighteners

For those that file a successful chemical hair straightener lawsuit , you may be entitled to recover all of the damages that you have suffered. This includes your economic and non-economic damages.

Your economic damages are the damages that you have suffered that are going to cost you money. This includes things like the additional cost of medical care and the wages you may have lost out on or stand to lose out on because of the diagnosis.

These damages are easy to calculate and are difficult to argue with. You can help your attorney when it comes to calculating your economic damages by keeping records of all your expenses.

Your non-economic damages are subjective, and this means they are harder to calculate. Their value will be decided by your attorney. Your non-economic damages include pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life and are usually the most substantial.

Medical Expenses

One of the main worries that victims face when they are diagnosed with uterine cancer or ovarian cancer, is the extortionate cost of medical care. Cancer treatment is expensive and even if you have a high level of healthcare coverage, you may be surprised by how fast you exceed it. This can leave victims in a difficult spot.

If your case is successful, your damages should include compensation for all of the medical costs you have suffered or will suffer in the future. Your attorney may need to discuss your case with a medical expert who can help them in understanding what your long term costs may be. This ensures they pursue the recovery of your future costs as well as your past costs, preventing you from being left out of pocket in the long run.

Lost Wages

All of your lost wages may be recoverable in your cancer lawsuit if you can prove that the cancer caused by the hair relaxers prevented you from working and earning income. In general, lost wages are a type of economic damage that compensates a victim for the income they have missed out on because of the injuries they have suffered.

In terms of a hair relaxer cancer lawsuit, you will need to show that the cancer was indeed caused by the product and because of that, you missed out on work.

If your diagnosis means it is likely that you will need further time off work for treatment or worse, that you will never be able to return to work in the same capacity, your attorney may pursue a lifetime of lost earnings.

Pain and Suffering

As a victim in a hair relaxer cancer lawsuit, you may be entitled to receive damages for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional distress experienced as a result of an injury or illness caused by a product like hair relaxers.

In the context of a hair relaxer cancer lawsuit, pain and suffering damages may include compensation for physical pain, discomfort, and emotional suffering, such as anxiety, depression, and loss of enjoyment of life.

These damages are meant to acknowledge the impact that the cancer has had on the victim's quality of life and to help provide some measure of compensation for the harm they have suffered.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Loss of enjoyment damages are designed to compensate the victim when the injuries they have suffered or illnesses they have developed have had a strong effect on their enjoyment of life. This is when the victim cannot do things they used to love, such as carrying their child to bed, riding a bike, playing sports at the weekend etc.

How Are Hair Relaxer Lawsuits Funded?

At Peter Angelos Law, we believe all victims have the right to representation, and should not be put off from seeking it because of worry. Worry about up-front costs or costs if you lose your case should not stop you from seeking the compensation you deserve.

In order to provide that opportunity to anyone that needs it, we take our cases on a contingency fee basis. This means there are no upfront costs or fees for our representation. We will evaluate your case and if it is worth pursuing, we will begin the process.

We only take our fees from winning cases, meaning that if you lose your case and are not awarded anything, we don't charge. We simply take our fees from your settlement if you win your case. This will be a pre-discussed flat percentage cut of your settlement.

Chemical Hair Straightener Lawsuits Involving Wrongful Death

All forms of hormone related cancer can lead to the death of the patient in the most tragic of cases.

If a loved one has lost their fight with cancer, and has lost their life, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturers of the products that could have led to their diagnosis of cancer.

These cases can allow for the loved ones of the deceased to recover damages for:

  • Medical bills
  • Hospital costs
  • Lost wages
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • The decedent's pain and suffering before dying
  • The family's grief due to the untimely passing of a loved one

How Peter Angelos Helps Victims Fight Their Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuits

The attorneys on the team here at Peter Angelos Law are prepared to help victims file their lawsuits against the at-fault parties.

Hair relaxer manufacturers owe you, their customers, a duty of care. A duty of care is a legal obligation to act in a manner that prevents harm befalling others. If a product manufacturer fails to warn customers that their products carry a risk of certain injuries or illnesses, then they may be liable. If they are found liable, they are liable for your damages.

Once you have agreed to representation, we will investigate on your behalf, seek expert witness testimonials that backs up your claims and calculate your damages.

The start of the process will be the negotiation stage. We will have calculated your damages and this will give us a settlement figure to take to the manufacturer. If they are willing to cooperate, we can negotiate a settlement that is fair and reasonable.

If they will not cooperate your case may need to be seen in court.

I've been diagnosed with uterine cancer, and used hair relaxers in the past, what should I do?

If you are currently dealing with the bombshell that is a cancer diagnosis, you may be unsure of your next steps.

Firstly, we highly recommend discussing your case with a skilled attorney that has handled cases similar to yours. At Peter Angelos Law, we are experienced when it comes to fighting against large corporations. We can give you immediate advice and represent you if you decide to pursue the recovery of your damages.

Here are some things we recommend that you do if you have been diagnosed with a cancer that may have been caused by DEHP or other endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Prepare Your Evidence

Making sure that you have access to your full medical records will help your attorney when it comes to building your case. This means you should keep copies of all your medical expenses and test results.

You should start keeping a diary from the day you have been diagnosed. In this diary talk about your daily pain levels and mood in general. You should also note down any treatment you receive. This will help your attorney when it comes to building a medical timeline and calculating your pain and suffering damages.

You should also make a note of how long you have been using the products, what products you have been using and how often you used the products.

Make a List of Important Questions

You should prepare for your initial consultation as much as possible. If you come up with any questions you need answered, write them down so that you don't forget. We recommend that you ask about:

  1. The attorney's previous track record, such as past victories, most substantial wins and cases that are similar to yours.
  2. How busy the attorney currently is and how they plan to allocate your case the time it deserves.
  3. Your attorneys litigation experience as well as their negotiation experience.

Familiarize Yourself With Your Consumer Rights

Understanding your consumer rights can be a smart decision. Whilst your attorney will have a deeper understanding, having a basic understanding yourself can prove beneficial to your case.

Part of our promise to our clients here at Peter Angelos, is to keep you informed and educated about everything that is relevant in your case.

Choose the Right Law Firm

Choosing the right attorney is of utmost importance, and the process can be challenging. For individuals who have never sought legal representation before, researching the best law firm for their needs can be a daunting task.

However, some key factors to consider when selecting an attorney include their track record of success in cases similar to yours, strong organizational skills, and a personable attitude and personality that you can easily work with.

Hair Relaxer Lawsuit FAQ

How much can I get from a hair relaxer lawsuit?

The amount you can secure in compensation from a hair relaxer lawsuit will depend upon the level of damages you have suffered. You may be able to recover all of your medical bills and lost wages in a successful claim and you may also be able to pursue compensation for your pain and suffering, depending upon your situation. 

The best way to understand how much you may be entitled to, is to contact an attorney who can provide you with a free case evaluation.

What does it cost to file a hair relaxer cancer lawsuit?

We work on a contingency fee basis here at Peter Angelos, as we want the opportunity to pursue the recovery of damages to be an option that all victims have access to. We take the risk on behalf of victims to give them the confidence to pursue their case.

If we win your case, we will deduct our fees from your settlement, which will be a predetermined percentage. If we lose your case, you don't owe us any fees or costs.

How much time do I have to file a hair relaxer lawsuit?

Maryland places a time limit on claimants, known as the statute of limitations. Every state has its own unique time limit but in Maryland, you have two years from the discovery of the injuries to bring a claim.

If you have lost a loved one, you have two years from the date of the victims' death to bring your claim.

This time limit is in place to stop people from suing other parties at a point of time too far away from the incident where evidence will be unreliable.

Your chances of fighting a successful case are always improved when you speak to an attorney quickly after your diagnosis. The sooner, the better.

Who is most at risk for hormone-related cancers from hair relaxers?

Due to the fact that they are more likely to use the products, black women, and Latina women are at the highest risk of developing a hormone-related cancer from chemical hair straightening products.

The risk is the same for any woman that uses hair relaxer products or straighteners however.

Does it cost anything for you to review my case?

If you have developed uterine cancer because of the chemicals used in a hair relaxer product, you should have the opportunity to pursue and recover your damages from the at-fault party.

At Peter Angelos Law, we promise to listen to your case. We offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation for a reason, to provide victims with the advice they need and a compassionate ear.

Contact a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Attorney at Peter Angelos Law

Here at Peter Angelos Law, we understand the devastating effects that can result from using hair relaxers containing dangerous chemicals. We are committed to helping individuals who have suffered harm as a result of using these products seek justice and compensation for their injuries.

If you or a loved one have developed uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, or any other injuries after using a hair relaxer product, our experienced team of attorneys is ready to help. We will work tirelessly to hold the responsible parties accountable and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Our legal team has extensive experience in product liability cases, including those involving dangerous hair relaxer products. We have a proven track record of success in securing substantial settlements and verdicts for our clients.

We are passionate about fighting for the victims of the state, and we have spent many of our years of service to the state of Maryland fighting on their behalf. We have won record breaking settlements from the tobacco giants, winning Maryland's largest settlement ever ($4.5 billion dollars).

Our team of dedicated attorneys has experience spanning many years of service to the state of Maryland. We excel in both litigation and negotiation and we promise to fight your case to the fullest extent.

Call us today at 410-705-2405.