Are hair straighteners causing cancer? This fan-favorite hair treatment gives us the smooth, sleek look they crave. It tames the wild mountain of frizz into healthy-looking locks. Surely such a miracle beauty hack doesn’t live up to these bald-faced lies — except plenty of lawsuits say otherwise.
Why Chemical Hair Straighteners Are Finding Their Way into the Courtroom
Studies have linked chemical hair straighteners to an increased risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer, endometriosis, and fibroids. Women are outraged and are now taking legal action against popular brands, including L’Oreal, Dark and Lovely, TCB Naturals, Namaste, and many others.
According to research, women who use these products more than four times a year have double the risk of developing one of these diseases. These products contain phthalates, parabens, and DHEP (a highly toxic chemical), all of which can cause cancer, wreak havoc on your hormones, and lead to serious health consequences.
Here’s the clincher: some of these ingredients weren’t disclosed on the products’ labels, which is pretty sus.
So far, 78 cases are pending in Illinois courts, and more may be on the way.
Is There Any Truth to These Claims?
The research paints a scary story. Data from more than 33,000 women found that those who used chemical hair straighteners experienced uterine cancer more than those who didn’t use these products. Black women have been more heavily affected, as they’re the prime target audience for these products.
Women who use chemical hair straighteners also have a 30% higher risk of developing breast cancer, according to another study. Again, Black women tend to have a higher breast cancer development rate because they’re the core users of these products.
The application process isn’t like adding mousse or styling cream to your hair, both of which will wash out. Because these are chemical hair straighteners, they change the chemistry of your hair. They’re permanent solutions that last until your hair grows out. Those chemical changes don’t just affect the application area, either. Those effects can change what’s happening inside you.
The ingredients in chemical hair straighteners support these claims. Common ingredients include triclosan, benzophenone-3, formaldehyde, cyclosiloxanes, ammonium thioglycolate, and many others that have been identified as bad actors. Countless research has already shown the many risks of exposure to these chemicals (why they’re not banned is beyond us).
Now You Know: What Next?
If you’ve been an avid user of chemical hair straighteners and have developed uterine cancer, breast cancer, fibroids, or endometriosis, you may be eligible for compensation. Check with your lawyer to see if you can join a class action suit and show shady beauty brands you’re not condoning their lies.
Wanting beautiful hair isn’t a crime, and you shouldn’t have to pay the ultimate price. Now is the time to make a switch. There are safer options out there, ones that prioritize your internal health while giving you the outer beauty you deserve. Do your research and stay into the know.