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Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuits: What Victims Need to Know

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Peter J. Gregory
Jul 5, 2023
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Hair relaxers have long been used by individuals seeking to straighten or soften their natural hair. However, recent studies and mounting evidence suggest a potential link between certain hair relaxer products and an increased risk of cancer. As a result, numerous lawsuits have been filed by victims who have suffered harm due to the use of these products. This article aims to provide a brief overview of hair relaxer cancer lawsuits and inform victims about their rights, legal options, and the importance of seeking justice.

Hair Relaxers and Cancer Risk

Hair relaxers are chemical products designed to alter the structure of curly or tightly coiled hair, making it straighter and more manageable. Many hair relaxers contain potentially harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, lye (sodium hydroxide), or no-lye (calcium hydroxide). These chemicals have been associated with adverse health effects, including an increased risk of cancer. Studies have indicated a potential correlation between hair relaxer use and an elevated risk of various types of cancer, such as breast, ovarian, uterine, and lung cancer.

Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuits: Overview

Victims who have been diagnosed with cancer after using hair relaxer products have been filing lawsuits against manufacturers, distributors, and even hair salons. Lawsuits typically allege that manufacturers failed to warn consumers about the potential health risks associated with their products or knowingly marketed dangerous hair relaxers. Hair relaxer cancer lawsuits often involve claims of negligence, strict product liability, breach of warranty, and failure to warn.

Steps for Hair Relaxer Cancer Victims

  1. Medical Attention: If you suspect that your cancer diagnosis may be linked to hair relaxer use, seek medical attention from a qualified healthcare professional immediately.
  2. Documenting Evidence: Gather and preserve any relevant evidence, including receipts, product labels, photographs, and medical records, to support your case.
  3. Consult an Attorney: Contact an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in product liability and toxic tort litigation. They can evaluate your case, guide you through the legal process, and protect your rights.
  4. Statute of Limitations: Understand the applicable statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in your jurisdiction, as it varies from state to state. Timely action is crucial to avoid losing your right to seek compensation.
  5. Joining Class Action Lawsuits: In some cases, victims may be eligible to join class action lawsuits against hair relaxer manufacturers. Class actions consolidate similar claims, making legal action more efficient and cost-effective.

Seeking Compensation and Justice

Hair relaxer cancer victims may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and punitive damages. Your attorney will guide you through the legal process, which typically involves filing a complaint, engaging in settlement negotiations, and, if necessary, proceeding with a trial. Some hair relaxer cancer lawsuits have resulted in significant settlements or jury verdicts, providing victims with financial relief and holding responsible parties accountable.


Hair relaxer cancer lawsuits shed light on the potential health risks associated with certain hair relaxer products. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer following the use of these products, it's crucial to understand your rights and legal options. Consult with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the legal process, seek compensation, and ultimately contribute to raising awareness about the dangers of hair relaxers. By taking action, you can play a vital role in holding manufacturers accountable and preventing harm to others in the future. For assistance with these matters, please contact us to learn more.

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About the author: Peter J. Gregory is a partner with MCCM Personal Injury Lawyers in Rochester, NY.  He is a trial lawyer with extensive experience resolving disputes in state and federal trial courts. As a personal injury lawyer, Gregory focuses on advising clients who have been injured or lost loved ones in accidents caused by the carelessness or recklessness of others. Please feel free to contact him directly at or (585) 512-3506.

This publication is intended as an information source for clients, prospective clients, and colleagues and constitutes attorney advertising. The content should not be considered legal advice and readers should not act upon information in this publication without individualized professional counsel.

About MCCM

McConville Considine Cooman & Morin, P.C. is a full-service law firm based in Rochester, New York, providing high-quality legal services to businesses and individuals since 1979.  With over a dozen attorneys and a full paralegal support staff, the firm is well-positioned to right-size services tailored to each client. We are large enough to provide expertise in a broad range of practice areas, yet small enough to devote prompt, personal attention to our clients.

We represent a diverse range of clients located throughout New York State and New England.  They include individuals, numerous manufacturing and service industry businesses, local governments, and health care professionals, provider groups, facilities and associations. We also serve as local counsel to out-of-state clients and their attorneys who have litigation pending in Western New York courts.  For more information, please contact us at 585.546.2500.