Chemical Hair Relaxer Scientific Research

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Picture of Researcher: Ariana Arce​

Researcher: Ariana Arce​

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Journalist: Aaron Vivanco

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Editor: Daniela Polo

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Chemical Hair Relaxer Scientific Research

The dangers of hair relaxer and hair straightening products have been proven by several studies. Frequent users of these hair care products, mainly black women, are at high risk of uterine, ovarian, and endometrial cancer.

Chemical Hair Straighteners on a supermarket shell, with black women on its cover.

The dangers of hair relaxer and hair straightening products have been proven by several studies. Frequent users of these hair care products, mainly black women, are at high risk of uterine, ovarian, and endometrial cancer.

Endocrine disrupting chemicals are the reason thousands of American women are suffering adverse health effects.

The present article aims to review different scientific studies that reported the association between hair relaxers or straighteners and the development of different types of cancer.

Remember that you can get free legal assistance if you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer after prolonged use of these hair products. An experienced adviser will review your case to check if it qualifies for a chemical hair relaxer lawsuit.

Is there a potential association between chemical hair straighteners and uterine cancer?

As previously mentioned, the main cause of concern regarding the chemicals in hair relaxers is the development of ovarian and uterine cancer.

A study from the National Institutes of Health entitled Use of Straighteners and Other Hair Products and Incident Uterine Cancer explained this association. The results were overwhelming as it stated that people who frequently used these straightening products were found to be prone to an increased risk of uterine cancer compared to those who never used these hair products.

These results come from the sister study. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a division of NIH, conducted research to determine the risk factors for breast cancer and other health conditions. Uterine cancer was diagnosed in 378 women within the nearly 11-year follow-up period.

A total of 33,947 participants were examined under the sister study. In this extensive and diverse study, participants reported their usage of hair products within the past year. These included hair dye, straighteners, relaxers, pressing products, permanents, and body waves.

What is the risk for black women who use hair relaxers?

According to the authors of this study, nearly 60% of the participants self-identified as black women and explained its importance.

One of the authors of this study, Che-Jung Chang, Ph.D., stated that the findings may particularly be relevant for black women, as they tend to use hair relaxer or straightening products more frequently and from an earlier age compared to other racial and ethnic groups.

Chandra Jackson, Ph.D., another coauthor of this study mentioned that black women may face a higher exposure burden. She stated, “Hair products marketed to black women and children contain chemicals that can disrupt hormones, and black women tend to use multiple products, leading to higher concentrations of these chemicals in their system.”

Women who use these chemical relaxers can also develop ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is one of the most challenging ailments among the different health disparities that women are facing.

The American Cancer Society reported that ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death among reproductive cancers in women. The relationship between exposure to endocrine disruptors and ovarian cancer risk is not well understood although it is believed to be hormonally driven.

In a 10-year follow-up study, 241 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Researchers examined the use of hair products in the past year and found that frequent use (more than four times per year) of straighteners/relaxers or hair pressing products was associated with a higher risk, while the overall use was not linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Information is available for individuals with a cancer diagnosis who use chemical hair relaxers

Regular doctor consultations should be a frequent practice after a cancer diagnosis to explore management options for symptoms and receive personalized treatment.

Furthermore, consulting a lawyer specializing in hair relaxer lawsuits can be advantageous. The lawyer can provide legal guidance and support throughout the hair relaxer lawsuit process while assessing the case and assisting the individual in seeking compensation from the responsible parties.

You or a loved one diagnosed with uterine, ovarian, or endometrial cancer after prolonged use of hair relaxers might be entitled to compensation. You can seek free legal advice and hold these companies accountable.

Sources

https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/114/12/1636/6759686
https://sisterstudy.niehs.nih.gov/English/about.htm
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34173819/
https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/114/12/1567/6759687