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Chemical Hair Straighteners and Your Health: Are They Safe?

06/5/2024
Mass Torts
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Are chemical hair straighteners safe? For many people, the answer is “No.” Unfortunately, many companies have sold unsafe chemical-containing hair straightening products for years—even after discovering that the chemicals in their products can cause cancer and other serious health problems.

With this in mind, and given that there are safer hair straightening alternatives available, we recommend against using chemical hair straighteners. The health risks simply are not worth it. For those who have used chemical hair straighteners in the past, it is important to be aware of the potential consequences—and to see a doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

What Are the Health Risks Linked to Chemical Hair Straighteners?

The primary health risks linked to chemical hair straighteners are related to prolonged use. However, while using a chemical hair straightening product over an extended period of time can increase your risk of developing health problems, any amount of use can potentially have serious consequences. Several of the chemicals commonly used in hair straightening products are now known to be unsafe when they enter the human body, which they can do by either absorbing into the skin or entering the bloodstream through abrasions on the scalp.

Scientific studies and medical diagnoses have linked chemical hair straighteners to three primary health risks: breast cancer, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer. While each of these forms of cancer can be treated, none can be fully cured, and treatment often involves radiation therapy, surgery or both. When surgery is necessary, this typically involves removing the affected body part—whether the affected breast, the ovaries or the uterus.

What Are the Signs of Cancer Caused By a Chemical Hair Straightener?

In light of the serious health risks associated with chemical hair straighteners, it is important for anyone who has used these products in the past to be aware of the signs of cancer. While everyone’s body will respond to cancer differently, the typical symptoms of cancers caused by chemical hair straighteners include:

  • Signs of Breast Cancer: A lump on the breast, changes in the size or shape of the breast, and changes in the look or feel of the skin on the breast (i.e., changes in color, a “dimpled” look, flaking, peeling or scaling).
  • Signs of Ovarian Cancer: Abdominal swelling or bloating, discomfort in the pelvic or lower back region, changes in eating habits, changes in bowel or bladder habits, and unexplained weight loss or fatigue.
  • Signs of Uterine Cancer: Vaginal bleeding after menopause, bleeding between periods, and pain in the pelvic region.

You don’t necessarily have to have all of the symptoms associated with a particular type of cancer to receive a diagnosis. Additionally, individuals who have developed breast, ovarian or uterine cancer after using a chemical hair straightener may experience other symptoms as well. Once again, if you have any cause for concern, the best thing you can do is see your doctor as soon as possible. When you see your doctor, describe your symptoms in detail, and be sure to tell your doctor that you have used a chemical hair straightener. If possible, bring the bottle with you so that your doctor can review the list of ingredients.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Using Chemical Hair Straighteners?

The long-term effects of using chemical hair straighteners vary. Some people are lucky, and they never experience any adverse effects. But, for others, using a chemical hair straightening product can prove to be a life altering experience. A cancer diagnosis can be life changing; and, sadly, the forms of cancer linked to chemical hair straighteners can also prove fatal in some cases.

For many people, the consequences of using chemical hair straightening products include:

  • The need for radiation therapy, surgery and other forms of treatment
  • The need for long-term medical care
  • Inability to work (either during the recovery process or indefinitely)
  • Physical pain and emotional trauma
  • Scarring and disfigurement due to surgery
  • Loss of companionship, consortium and enjoyment of life
  • Shortened life expectancy

If you receive a cancer diagnosis, your doctor will be able to help you understand what you can expect in the years to come. Your doctor should also be able to help you understand the costs involved and help you develop a plan for treating your cancer and coping with its effects long-term.

What Should You Do if You Receive a Cancer Diagnosis After Using a Chemical Hair Straightener?

In addition to consulting with your doctor, if you receive a cancer diagnosis after using a chemical hair straightener, you should also consult with a lawyer about your legal rights. You may have a chemical hair straightener lawsuit. Many individuals and families have filed lawsuits already.

If you have a lawsuit for cancer caused by a chemical hair straightener, your lawyer can help you seek financial compensation for all of the costs (both financial and non-financial) listed above—and this can be essential for managing these costs long-term. Over years or decades, a cancer diagnosis can prove incredibly expensive, and it can negatively impact all aspects of your life. While filing a lawsuit will not make your cancer go away, it can make living with your cancer more bearable. It can also provide financial stability and peace of mind for your family, and it is the one opportunity you have to hold accountable the company that sold you a dangerous hair care product. It costs nothing to find out if you have a claim; and, if you do, you will not have to pay any legal fees or costs unless you win.

Talk to a Lawyer at Searcy Denney About Your Legal Rights for Free

If you would like to know more about filing a chemical hair straightener lawsuit, we strongly encourage you to get in touch. We can help you make informed decisions with your (and your family’s) best interests in mind. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a lawyer at Searcy Denney, please call 800-780-8607 or contact us online today.

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