What Is Relaxed Hair?

What Is Relaxed Hair?

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What Is Relaxed Hair?

If you've been following the news, you may be aware that there are class action lawsuits claiming victims have been seriously hurt due to the use of hair relaxer products. This news may lead you to ask, “What is relaxed hair?”

To keep yourself and loved ones safe, you may need to understand what relaxed hair is and which products have been associated with serious issues that can cause dangerous side effects or other problems. 

However, if you already know what relaxed hair is and, in fact, have been injured due to the use of certain hair relaxers, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering and may have grounds to pursue a lawsuit with the help of experienced personal injury lawyers, such as the legal team at Morgan & Morgan.

To learn more about your legal options, contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

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  • What Is Relaxed Hair?

    Relaxed hair is a term used to describe curly or coiled hair that has been chemically straightened flat. The hair relaxer itself is a chemical that penetrates the cortex of the hair and opens up the hair cuticles. The primary purpose of using this hair relaxer is to break down those bonds that keep a hair strand curly. 

    If you're wondering if relaxing hair is a permanent process, the answer is yes. Unlike coloring hair, which can ultimately fade or grow out over time, the only way to undo a relaxer is to physically cut it out of the hair.

    The first chemical relaxer product was introduced to the consumer marketplace in the early 1900s after it was determined that some chemicals used to clean needles caused curly thread fibers to lay flat. This was then introduced as a way to relax hair. 

    Hair relaxers may be referred to in a variety of different ways, including as lotions or creams, and these are typically marketed to help make the hair easier to manage, straighter, and smoother. Hair relaxation can be performed with an at-home relaxer kit or can be done by a professional cosmetologist. These home kits are sold throughout drugstores, beauty supply stores, and even grocery stores all over the United States.

  • How Often Do People Get Their Relaxed Hair Touched Up?

    Most people get a relaxed hair treatment every eight to 10 weeks in order to make sure that all hair cuticles have been straightened. Haircare professionals recommend getting a touch-up every eight weeks, but some users with cropped hair or tighter curls use relaxers more frequently. 

  • What Happens to My Hair if I Go Too Long Between Relaxers?

    You may see breakage in your hair if you go too long in between relaxer treatments. However, there is a dangerous side to getting too many hair relaxers. If you get it done too frequently, this could have damaging effects on your hair—or worse.

  • What Are the Risks of Using Hair Relaxers?

    Hair relaxers contain chemicals that are meant to straighten curly hair by breaking down protein bonds. However, the use of chemicals on hair may lead to those chemicals being absorbed by the scalp and the rest of the body. To make matters worse, some of these chemicals may be endocrine disruptors.

    Endocrine-disrupting chemicals impact the endocrine system, which is in charge of producing, storing, and secreting hormones throughout the body. These are found in hair relaxers and can be absorbed through cuts, burns, lesions, or sores on the scalp.

    One study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in October 2022 indicated that there are serious side effects for chemical hair relaxers. That research identified that people who used hair relaxer products faced double the risk of developing uterine cancer. Using the product more often, too, came with risks. Those women who reported using hair relaxers more than four times a year showed a 150% increase in the risk of uterine cancer. Other studies in 2012 and 2018 indicated similar risks of uterine fibroid development for those women using chemical hair relaxers.

    Hair straighteners or hair relaxers have been used primarily by African American women to make curly or coiled hair lay flat, and they therefore are disproportionately at higher risk of these side effects. 

  • What Are the Lawsuits Filed in Relation to Hair Relaxers?

    Many different brands of hair relaxers have been named in lawsuits. These lawsuits claim that the chemicals found in hair relaxer products cause cancer. Those who developed endometriosis and uterine fibroids after using hair relaxers may also be eligible to file a lawsuit.

    At this time, lawsuits have been filed against L'Oréal, which manufactures Dark & Lovely and other brands. Additionally, SoftSheen, Strength of Nature, and Namaste are other hair relaxer manufacturers that have also been named as defendants.

  • Is There Any Connection Between Hair Relaxers and Hysterectomies?

    A hysterectomy refers to the total or partial surgical removal of the uterus and, on occasion, the cervix. Many cases of uterine cancer and uterine fibroids have been linked to chemical relaxers. A hysterectomy is a common treatment for uterine cancer, especially when combined with other methods such as chemotherapy. 

    A hysterectomy is often an effective method because it can be used for the long term and stops the cancer cells from spreading to other organs throughout the body. Hysterectomy is also a commonly recommended treatment for people with severe uterine fibroids.

  • What Are the Risks of a Hysterectomy?

    If you have been using hair relaxers throughout your life or on an ongoing basis for the last several years, you may be concerned about the development of uterine fibroids and the possibility of uterine cancer. 

    There are serious risks associated with a hysterectomy, even though it is often successful in helping to prevent the spread of cancer. A hysterectomy is still considered a significant surgery and carries risks like any other surgery, such as complications. In the context of litigation for a hair relaxer lawsuit, this is important because the pain and suffering you have to undergo for a hysterectomy may form some part of your damage claim. Some of the serious complications and risks associated with a hysterectomy include:

    • Early menopause
    • Decreased libido
    • Blood clots
    • Bleeding
    • Injury to nearby organs
    • Infection
    • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Should I Complain to the Company?

    It can be shocking to realize that a product you believed was safe is actually dangerous and may have caused a medical condition that you're currently struggling with. This might make you wonder if you should contact the company about your concerns. 

    Although writing to the company who sold the product to you may be a good starting point to advise them about the risks, this does not guarantee you will receive any benefits or compensation from the company for your suffering or injuries. In fact, many companies who recognize potential liability issues may encourage you to sign paperwork with them to limit their own exposure in lawsuits. 

    This could inhibit your opportunity to recover compensation, and it is strongly recommended that you not sign anything presented to you by a hair relaxer company until you have had the opportunity to speak with your own attorney. A defective products lawyer is the first person you should contact about whether you have grounds to pursue a claim and whether an existing claim or a new claim is most appropriate based on the allegations in your lawsuit.

  • Hiring a Lawyer

    An experienced attorney at Morgan & Morgan can help you with every aspect of your personal injury claim, from filing a lawsuit to recovering damages. 

    Sadly, for many women who use certain relaxed hair products, the side effects can be severe, if not life-altering or even life-threatening. This is serious danger inflicted on consumers, and the responsible companies should be held accountable.

    Our Morgan & Morgan defective products lawyers work hard on your behalf from the moment you contact us and decide to hire us as your legal representatives. We can handle all communication associated with the lawsuit, keep you informed as the claim unfolds, and help fight for your best interests through settlement or trial. You need to rely on the experience and dedication of your defective products lawyers when you're going up against a big company, and as the country’s largest injury law firm, Morgan & Morgan may be the sizable advocate you need.

    Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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