Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Eligibility: Everything You Need to Know

People who want to permanently or semi-permanently straighten their hair have long-used hair relaxers and straighteners. However, pursuing beauty has sometimes come at a cost, with reports of adverse health effects linked to these chemical products. As the American Cancer Society states, studies have found that hair straighteners and relaxers increase uterine cancer risks.

These studies led to lawsuits against manufacturers by individuals who claim to have suffered harm from using these products. If you are diagnosed with cancer after using them, it’s essential to understand the eligibility criteria for participating in such lawsuits.

This article provides an overview of hair product cancer lawsuit eligibility and the potential risks of these products.

Understanding Hair Relaxers

Chemical products called hair relaxers are used to change the structure of curly or kinky hair, giving it a straighter, more manageable texture. These products typically contain strong alkaline chemicals, such as sodium hydroxide (lye), calcium hydroxide, or formaldehyde. They cause the hair shaft’s protein bonds to break, giving it a straighter shape.

While hair relaxers can provide desired aesthetic results for many individuals, they also carry potential risks, especially when used over long periods. This has impacted the market’s growth, as many individuals refrain from using these products.

Stratview Research estimates that the hair relaxer market will witness a CAGR of only 2.5% between 2021 and 2026. This is very low compared to the previous demand for hair straightening products.

Risks Associated with Chemical Hair Straighteners

Using hair relaxers has been associated with various health risks, including scalp irritation, chemical burns, hair breakage, and hair loss. These harsh chemicals can harm the scalp and hair follicles, resulting in discomfort and long-term harm.

Additionally, prolonged exposure to certain chemicals in hair relaxers has been linked to more serious health concerns, such as cancers.

In recent years, there has been growing concern about the safety of specific ingredients commonly used in straighteners, such as formaldehyde. These chemicals are often added to hair relaxer formulations to help straighten the hair more effectively and prolong the product’s shelf life.

However, studies have shown that exposure to formaldehyde can pose significant health risks, including respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and even cancer. As a Verywell Health article mentions, formaldehyde is not harmful at low levels. However, they can be carcinogenic at levels higher than 0.1 parts per million (ppm).

This is one of the main causes of the numerous lawsuits against L’Oréal for these chemical products. A BBC news piece mentioned that over 100 lawsuits had already been filed by April 2023. According to TorHoerman Law, several other manufacturers, such as Revlon, Sally Beauty, SoftSheen, and others, are also facing the backlash.

The number of cases has now increased to over 8,000, as 81 new lawsuits were filed in April 2024. If you have faced these problems, you can hire an experienced attorney to file a hair straightener cancer lawsuit.

Legal Action and Hair Relaxer Lawsuits

In response to adverse health effects associated with using hair relaxers, individuals who used these products and were harmed have pursued legal action. Lawsuits about hair relaxers generally assert that the producers of the products did not sufficiently alert customers to the possible hazards connected with them.


To be eligible to participate in a hair relaxer lawsuit, individuals must typically meet certain criteria, including:

  • Documented harm: Individuals must be able to provide evidence of harm from using a hair straightener, such as medical records documentation.
  • Use of specific products: In some cases, lawsuits may target certain brands or formulations of hair relaxers linked to adverse health effects. To be able to take part in the lawsuit, people have to have used the products in question.
  • Statute of limitations: There may be a statute governing how long individuals must file a lawsuit after experiencing harm from using a hair relaxer. To find out if you have time to file a lawsuit, you must speak with a legal professional.

Potential Outcomes of Hair Relaxer Lawsuits

If successful, hair relaxer lawsuits can result in various outcomes, including financial compensation. Additionally, lawsuits can help hold manufacturers accountable and may lead to changes in industry practices to better protect consumers.

Sometimes, hair relaxer lawsuits may also result in settlements or class action lawsuits. This is when multiple individuals harmed by the same product join together to pursue legal action collectively. These lawsuits can be particularly effective in holding large corporations accountable for their actions and can result in significant compensation.


However, the sad part is that despite the growing concerns and increasing number of lawsuits, no action is being taken. As About Lawsuits mentioned, more than 8,300 hair relaxer lawsuits are still pending in multidistrict litigation (MDL). Initial hearings for proceeding with MDL are expected to begin soon, but there’s no saying when the victims will be compensated.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Sue if I Used a Hair Relaxer at Home and Experienced Adverse Effects?

If you suffered harm from using a hair relaxer at home, you may still have grounds for a lawsuit. Manufacturers must produce safe products and provide adequate warnings about potential risks, regardless of where the product is used.

What Settlement Am I Entitled to in a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?

If your lawsuit is successful, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Do I Need Evidence to File a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?

While evidence such as photographs, medical records, and product packaging can strengthen your case, filing a lawsuit is not always required. On your behalf, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can assist in assembling proof and constructing a compelling case.

In conclusion, hair relaxers have been a staple of hair care routines for many seeking to achieve straighter, more manageable hair. However, these products come with certain risks, such as the potential for hair damage, chemical burns, and scalp irritation.

Legal action against the manufacturers may be an option for those who have suffered harm as a result of using hair relaxers to obtain compensation. By understanding the eligibility criteria for hair relaxer lawsuits and seeking legal assistance, affected individuals can take steps to protect their rights.