Update on Hair Straightener Lawsuits 

Image of woman who used a Hair Straightener

Hair Straightener Litigation: A Legal Overview

The product liability lawyers at Schlesinger Law Offices have been representing clients harmed by the use of chemical hair straighteners since the first suits were filed in late 2022.  As of April 1, 2024, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois is managing a hefty, nationwide caseload with 8,387 pending lawsuits and a total of 8,670 filed cases, reflecting the growing unease and legal scrutiny surrounding these dangerous hair care products. 

Scientific Evidence Linking Hair Straighteners to Cancer Risks

The core of these lawsuits lies in the link between hair straightening chemicals and severe health issues, most notably uterine cancer. Plaintiffs, who used these products regularly, have raised serious allegations against manufacturers and distributors. They accuse these entities of negligence for failing to warn consumers about the potential carcinogenic effects of the chemicals used in their hair straightening products. The news release by the National Institutes of Health cites a recent study led by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) that followed more than 30,000 women for 11 years and tracked the occurrences of uterine cancer.  This study found that the women who frequently used hair straighteners were 2.5 times more likely to develop uterine cancer.  Other studies have shown that the incidence of uterine cancer has been increasing in the United States.  The findings also show that aggressive types of these cancers are more prevalent in Black women. The controversies surrounding these products, particularly their targeted marketing towards women of color, have sparked broader discussions on racial discrimination and the ethical responsibilities of cosmetic manufacturers. 

Key Legal Milestones in Hair Straightener Lawsuits

In 2023, significant legal developments unfolded. U.S. District Judge Mary Rowland approved most claims against major companies like L’Oréal USA and Revlon, moving the litigation process forward. The court recognized that the scientific evidence supports the plaintiffs’ claims of design defects and a failure to warn. However, the court was stringent, dismissing some claims for failing to meet specific legal standards.    

The magnitude of this litigation was highlighted when nearly 4,000 new cases joined the multidistrict litigation (MDL) within just one month, demonstrating the legal community’s urgent call for accountability and the plaintiffs’ quest for justice. 

Legal actions, coupled with public and regulatory scrutiny, led to significant proposals like the FDA’s consideration of banning formaldehyde in hair products due to its adverse health implications. These legal and regulatory motions underscore the need for a critical reevaluation of the safety standards in the beauty product industry. 

How Schlesinger Law Offices Advocates for Victims

Amidst this legal storm, the rights and well-being of affected individuals remain paramount. For those who believe they have suffered health consequences due to these products, it is not too late to seek legal claims. Contact Schlesinger Law Offices for a free consultation to determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit.  Our experienced product liability lawyers are well equipped to advocate for victims, aiming to secure rightful compensation and the justice they deserve. We are committed to fighting against corporate negligence and have extensive experience in litigating product liability cases. The attorneys at Schlesinger Law Office are a formidable ally for those affected by the harmful effects of chemical hair straighteners. 

As this story continues to unfold and the legal battles intensify, these hair straightener lawsuits serve as a poignant reminder of the necessity for stringent safety evaluations and transparent consumer communication, ensuring that beauty does not come at the expense of consumer health. 


Q: Can I still file a lawsuit if I’ve been affected by chemical hair straighteners? A: Yes, if you believe you have suffered health issues such as cancer or other serious conditions after using chemical hair straighteners, it may not be too late to file a lawsuit. It’s important to act promptly due to the statute of limitations, which limits the time frame to bring a legal claim. Schedule a free consultation with an attorney from Schlesinger Law Offices to help you understand your legal rights and the steps required to pursue compensation and justice for your suffering. 

Q: What types of health issues are being linked to chemical hair straighteners in the lawsuits? A: The lawsuits primarily link chemical hair straighteners to an increased risk of several types of cancer, the most common being uterine cancer. Plaintiffs have also reported other serious health issues, such as uterine fibroids and endometriosis. Scientific studies have suggested a correlation between the chemicals found in hair straighteners and these health conditions, leading to the legal actions we are currently witnessing. 

Q: How are the plaintiffs proving that their health issues are related to the use of hair straighteners? A: In the ongoing litigation, plaintiffs are supporting their claims with both scientific research and personal medical histories. Scientific studies, like those published by scientists from the NIEHS, provide statistical data linking the use of chemical hair straighteners to increased risks of uterine cancer. Personal medical histories and expert testimonies are also used to establish a direct connection between the individual’s use of hair straightening products and subsequent health problems. The legal team at Schlesinger Law Offices will meticulously gather and present this evidence to substantiate your claims.