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Chemical Hair Relaxers: A Guide to Lawsuits and Compensation with Eric Blank

A chemical hair relaxer is a product intended to make curly or frizzy hair smoother, softer, and straighter. The objective of a chemical hair relaxer is to assist individuals obtain the desired appearance, raise their confidence, and improve their self-esteem. For many people, their hair is a crucial component of their identity, and chemical hair relaxers allow them to express their originality and express themselves. Whether you wish to alter your appearance or follow the newest fashion trends, a chemical hair relaxer can assist you in achieving your objectives.

However, while a chemical hair relaxer can be an effective means of achieving a desired look, there are significant risks associated with its use. If you or a loved one has been affected by a chemical hair relaxer, you should seek legal counsel immediately.

At Eric Blank Injury Attorneys, we believe in preserving the health and safety of our clients while enabling them to express themselves through their hair. If you or a loved one has suffered harm from a chemical hair relaxer, our team of attorneys will help you understand your legal options and guide you through the process of seeking compensation.

What are Chemical Relaxers?

Chemical hair relaxers are products that are used to straighten curly or kinky hair. These products work by breaking down the protein bonds in hair, which makes it easier to straighten. The chemicals found in hair relaxers can be harsh, and prolonged use can cause damage to the hair and scalp.

The history of chemical hair relaxers can be traced back to the early 1900s when Madam C.J. Walker, the first self-made female millionaire in America, developed a formula to straighten hair. However, it was not until the 1940s that the first commercial hair relaxer, called "Curl Free," was introduced.

Over the years, hair relaxers have evolved, and new formulations have been developed. Today, there are many different types of hair relaxers available on the market, including lye and no-lye relaxers.

While hair relaxers and hair straighteners are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. Chemical hair relaxers permanently change the hair's texture by breaking its protein bonds, while chemical hair straighteners provide a temporary straightening effect and use milder chemicals to alter the hair's texture.

Common Ingredients Found in Chemical Hair Relaxers

Chemical hair relaxers contain a number of potentially hazardous substances. These are some of the most frequent components found in these products:

  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Calcium hydroxide
  • Guanidine hydroxide
  • Lithium hydroxide
  • Potassium hydroxide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Parabens

Top 10 Chemical Hair Relaxer Manufacturers

  • SoftSheen-Carson
  • Optimum Care by SoftSheen-Carson
  • Dark and Lovely by SoftSheen-Carson
  • Africa's Best
  • ORS Olive Oil
  • Mizani
  • Affirm by Avlon
  • Motions by Unilever
  • Profectiv MegaGrowth by Strength of Nature
  • Dr. Miracle's

Dangers Associated with Chemical Hair Relaxers

Although chemical hair relaxers can effectively straighten hair, they carry serious health hazards.

Chemical hair relaxers are capable of causing both short-term and long-term damage to the hair and scalp.

Following are examples of the potential short- and long-term risks connected with chemical hair relaxers:

  • Hair breakage and loss: Chemical hair relaxers can weaken hair and cause it to break or fall out. Prolonged use can cause long-lasting damage to the hair follicles, leading to hair loss and thinning.
  • Scalp irritation and itching: Chemical hair relaxers contain harsh chemicals that can irritate the scalp, causing itching, redness, and soreness.
  • Allergic reactions: Some individuals may be allergic to the chemicals found in chemical hair relaxers, leading to allergic reactions such as hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
  • Chemical pneumonia: Inhaling the fumes from chemical hair relaxers can lead to chemical pneumonia, a condition characterized by inflammation of the lungs.
  • Cancer: Chemical hair relaxers have been linked to an increased risk of cancer. Formaldehyde and parabens are two examples of chemicals found in some hair relaxers that have been shown to have carcinogenic properties.

Chemical Hair Relaxers Associated with Cancer

Any chemical hair relaxer has the potential to cause harm, and there is no definitive list of hair relaxers that are linked to cancer. However, some chemical hair relaxers have been identified as potentially problematic due to their use of harmful chemicals.

The types of cancers that have been linked to chemical hair relaxers include:

  • Breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

The following chemical hair relaxers have been related to cancer in the United States:

  • SoftSheen-Carson Optimum Care No-Lye Relaxer
  • SoftSheen-Carson Dark and Lovely Relaxer
  • Luster's Pink Relaxer
  • Profectiv Mega Growth Relaxer
  • Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) Olive Oil Relaxer
  • Motions Relaxer
  • Affirm Relaxer by Avlon
  • Mizani Butter Blend Relaxer
  • Gentle Treatment Relaxer by Johnson Products
  • Just For Me No-Lye Relaxer for Children by SoftSheen-Carson

How to Protect Yourself from the Risks of Chemical Hair Relaxers

If you choose to use a chemical hair relaxer, there are actions you may do to protect yourself from the potential risks:

  • Research the product: Before employing a chemical hair relaxer, investigate the product and its contents to ascertain its safety. Search for items that do not contain harmful ingredients such as sodium hydroxide.
  • Follow the instructions: Always strictly adhere to the directions included with the product. Do not leave the product on your hair for longer than advised and avoid using the product excessively.
  • Test the product: Before using a product on your hair, perform a patch test. Apply a tiny amount of the product to a small section of your scalp and observe for 24 hours for any bad reactions.
  • Use protective gear: Employ protective gloves and a protective cape to avoid skin and clothing contact.
  • Contact a professional: To guarantee that the hair relaxer is done correctly and safely, consider having a professional stylist do it for you.

Hair Relaxer Lawsuits

Over the years, there have been many lawsuits, verdicts, and settlements involving chemical hair relaxers. These cases have been brought against some of the biggest manufacturers in the industry, alleging that their products caused serious harm to users.

Typical types of hair relaxer lawsuits include:

  • Lawsuits for chemical burns to the scalp
  • Lawsuits for hair loss or breakage
  • Lawsuits for allergic reactions
  • Lawsuits for cancer

Following are some cases, verdicts, and settlements involving chemical hair relaxers:

  • In 2011, a lawsuit was filed against L'Oreal and its subsidiary SoftSheen-Carson, alleging that the company's hair relaxers contained dangerous levels of formaldehyde. The case was settled for $1.9 million.
  • In 2012, a class action lawsuit was filed against L'Oreal and SoftSheen-Carson, alleging that the company's Optimum Care No-Lye Relaxer caused hair loss and scalp irritation. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount.
  • In 2016, a woman filed a lawsuit against Luster Products, Inc., alleging that the company's Pink Luster's Relaxer caused her to develop a severe scalp infection. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount.
  • In 2018, a lawsuit was filed against Unilever, alleging that the company's Motions Relaxer caused the plaintiff to suffer hair loss and scalp burns. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount.
  • In 2020, a woman filed a lawsuit against L'Oreal and SoftSheen-Carson, alleging that the company's Dark and Lovely Relaxer caused her to suffer chemical burns and hair loss. The case is ongoing.
  • In 2023, eleven additional product liability lawsuits concerning hair relaxers have been brought to federal courts, with seven of the cases being filed in the Northern District of Illinois and the remaining four being filed in different districts nationwide. However, all four of these cases will be transferred to the new Hair Relaxer class action MDL.

Taking Legal Action with Eric Blank Injury Attorneys

If you have been affected by a chemical hair relaxer, you may be eligible for compensation through a hair relaxer lawsuit. Hair relaxer lawsuits are legal disputes in which persons who have been affected by these treatments demand compensation from the producers.

The damages that may be claimed in a chemical hair lawsuit can include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Punitive damages

To file a case against a hair relaxer, you must provide evidence that the product caused harm. These may contain medical data, pictures, and witness accounts. An experienced attorney can help you collect the necessary documentation, negotiate with the manufacturers, and, if necessary, represent you in court.

At Eric Blank Injury Attorneys, we specialize in personal injury cases, including hair relaxer lawsuits. Our attorneys have an in-depth understanding of the complicated legal problems involved in chemical hair relaxer claims, and we have a history of successfully obtaining compensation for our clients.

If you're ready to take legal action, contact Eric Blank Injury Attorneys now at (702) 222-2115 (702) 222-2115 or visit www.ericblanklaw.com for a free consultation. We'll review your case and help you understand your legal options, so you can make an informed decision about your next steps.

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