LaPagent Holton is a 41-year-old registered nurse from Texas who sought help from a hair straightener lawyer after developing cancer.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Holton has used chemical hair straighteners and hair relaxers since she was just 12. These products and others like them have been linked to cancer by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, in studies published in 2019 and 2022.
When Holton and her husband decided to have a child, she consulted a gynecologist, who found fibroids and polyps in her uterus before diagnosing her with endometrial cancer, which begins in the lining of the uterus.
Holton’s oncologist recommended she have a hysterectomy. She sought a second opinion because she wanted to be a mother, and her next oncologist was able to reverse her cancer using high doses of hormones.
Holton is now in remission and was able to give birth to a son, Israel, who is headed to pre-K this fall.
“They told me that had I not gotten him out, he would have died,” Holton told the Chicago Tribune. “I had low amniotic fluid and the intrauterine growth restriction, he wasn’t growing. My uterus was basically falling apart.”
It Was Time to Take Legal Action
Holton recently saw an ad from an Illinois law firm and reached out. She is now one of hundreds of similarly injured women suing dozens of manufacturers of hair straighteners, hair relaxers, and other products.
Their complaint argues the following:
Plaintiffs’ use of toxic chemical straightening products designed or manufactured by the defendants was a direct result of defendants’ wrongful marketing practices. Defendants systematically misrepresented and continue to misrepresent the significant health impacts of hair relaxer use, all while targeting women of color and taking advantage of centuries of racial discrimination and cultural coercion which emphasized—both socially and professionally—the necessity of maintaining straight hair.
Common Types of Hair Straightening
Performed either at home or in the salon, there are three common types of hair straightening procedures:
- Hair relaxation
- Keratin/Brazilian straightening
- Japanese heat straightening (also known as thermal reconditioning)
Toxins in Hair Straighteners, Hair Relaxers, and Similar Products
Hair straightening often involves products that can contain the following toxins:
- Sodium Hydroxide (lye)
- Ethanolamine Thioglycolate (thioglycoloic acid)
- And more
Hair Straighteners Are Tied to Multiple Forms of Cancer
In 2019, a study by the NIH found that women who regularly use or are exposed to chemical hair straighteners are 30% more likely to develop breast cancer.
Three years later, another NIH study found that women who use these products are twice as likely to develop uterine cancer as those who do not.
Other Health Problems
Chemical hair straighteners don’t just cause cancer. According to a report by the California Environmental Protection Agency, exposure can lead to a wide range of other conditions:
- Endocrine disruption
- Respiratory problems
- Developmental and reproductive toxicity
- Skin problems
- Early menstruation
- Hormone imbalances
Chemical Hair Straightening Is Big Business
Dominated by global behemoths like Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal, and Unilever, worldwide sales of hair straighteners and hair relaxers topped $760 million in 2021. These companies are reluctant to pull such profitable products off store shelves.
Have You Been Harmed by Chemical Hair Straighteners?
If you or a loved one has experienced a health problem you believe was caused by exposure to chemical hair straighteners, it is important to seek legal help.
At the Roach Law Firm, an experienced hair straightener lawyer will handle your case and help you get the compensation you deserve. They can help you gather evidence, such as medical records and expert testimony, and negotiate with the manufacturer or insurance company on your behalf.
Time is often of the essence in these types of cases, so it is important to act quickly to protect your rights and recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.