Who is the Dark & Lovely Lawsuit against?
The Dark & Lovely hair relaxer lawsuit is being pursued against the manufacturer L’Oréal S.A. and its wholly owned subsidiary Softsheen-Carson, for failing to warn that endocrine disrupting chemicals found in the hair relaxer products could cause cancer cell growth in female reproductive organs.
L’Oreal and SoftSheen-Carson failed to warn about Dark & Lovely cancer risk
L’Oreal had a legal responsibility to make consumers aware of any known Dark & Lovely risks before marketing the hair relaxer product.
Specifically, they had an obligation to properly research the long-term side effects and inform customers about the potential hair relaxer cancer risks that might come from exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals included in the formulations. This would have allowed women to make an informed decision about whether or not to use the chemical hair straightener.
L’Oreal and SoftSheen-Carson have invested millions of dollars in advertising their Dark & Lovely brand to African American women, promoting it as a safe to use hair relaxer treatment. This included paid endorsements from prominent black celebrities such as:
- Mary J. Blige
- Kelly Rowland
- Nia Long
- Nonhle Thema
- and Bria Murphy
All of this was done while failing to warn consumers of the serious and potentially life-threatening side effects of Dark & Lovely hair relaxer.
Which Dark & Lovely products are included in the Dark & Lovely Lawsuit?
The Dark & Lovely lawsuit includes all types of hair relaxer or chemical straightening products under the Dark & Lovely® or Dark & Lovely Blowout® brand name.
Is There a Lawsuit for other SoftSheen Carson products?
In addition to the Dark & Lovely lawsuit, Yes, yes, we are also currently investigating other hair relaxer cancer lawsuits for women who suffered injuries from any type of hair relaxer, including other SoftSheen Carson at-home perm and chemical hair straighteners such as:
- Optimum Salon hair relaxer
- Ultra Precise hair relaxer
- Ultra Sheen hair relaxer
- Frizz Free hair relaxer
- Bantu hair relaxer
History of Dark & Lovely Hair Relaxer
The Dark & Lovely haircare brand launched in 1972, as part of Carson Products, a market leader for black haircare products. Carson Products created the first at-home hair perm product called Dark & Lovely in 1978. Dark & Lovely would go on to become the most recognized brand of hair relaxer, still to this day.
In 1998, L’Oreal USA acquired Carson Products and all of its haircare brands (including Dark & Lovely) to merge with another hair relaxer company they had acquired months prior called Soft Sheen Inc. The newly-formed subsidiary was dubbed SoftSheen-Carson, and it has become the leading manufacturer of hair relaxer and hair perm products widely used by Black women throughout the United States.
The merger was almost blocked when the Department of Justice filed an antitrust complaint against L’Oreal claiming that the SoftSheen Carson merger would give L’Oreal control of over 50 percent of the retail sales of women’s hair relaxer kits, and 3 of the top 5 selling hair relaxer brands.
L’Oreal is now one of the largest companies in the world, generating over $35 billion in annual revenue. However, it now appears that L’Oreal, SoftSheen-Carson and its other subsidiaries placed a desire for profits before the health and safety of Black women for decades.
Does Dark and Lovely hair relaxer cause cancer?
Hair relaxers like Dark & Lovely contain a number of different endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which have been linked to the disruption of the natural hormone production in the female reproductive system. It is now known that this may lead to the development of several different types of hormone sensitive cancers from Dark & Lovely.
A growing body of medical research and independent studies have been published over the past decade, which establish strong links between the frequent use of hair relaxers such as Dark & Lovely and cancer, including uterine cancer and ovarian cancer.
Dark & Lovely Uterine Cancer Risks
An October 2022 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute was one of the first studies to establish a clear link between hair relaxer and uterine cancer, including endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma.
Specifically, the Sister Study found that women who used hair relaxer products like Dark & Lovely 4 times per year or less faced a 54% increased risk of uterine cancer, while those reporting use more than 4 times per year faced a 156% increased risk of uterine cancer.
As a result of L’Oreal’s failure to warn users about this risk, financial compensation and settlements may be available through a Dark & Lovely uterine cancer lawsuit for women who used regularly used the hair relaxer and were diagnosed with:
- Uterine Cancer
- Uterine Sarcoma
- Endometrial Cancer
- Other Uterus Cancer
Dark & Lovely Ovarian Cancer Risks
According to the findings of a study published in the medical journal Carcinogenesis in September 2021, researchers from the National Institute of Health found a positive association between frequent use of straighteners like Dark & Lovely and ovarian cancer.
While the exact brands were not named in the study, researchers found those who were exposed to commonly used endocrine disrupting chemicals in hair relaxers more than 4 times per year doubled the risk of ovarian cancer.
Specifically, the study found a link between frequent use of hair relaxers like Dark & Lovely and non-serous ovarian cancers, which are much less common. Dark & Lovely ovarian cancer lawsuits allege that women may have avoided a diagnosis if known information about the risk had been disclosed.
Dark and Lovely hair relaxer ingredients contain cancer-causing chemicals
Chemical hair straighteners and relaxers are designed to break down bonds and proteins within the hair to achieve a flat and smooth texture. To do this, many of these products including Dark & Lovely use a variety of harsh industrial chemicals.
Dark & Lovely relaxer comes with up to 6 different products, each containing dozens of ingredients that may include;
- Phthalates (plasticizers)
- Sodium hydroxide (lye)
- Guanidine carbonate
- Diethanolamine (DEA)
- Succinic Acid
Each of the ingredients listed above have been well documented to cause either direct cancer-causing side effects, or have been found to disrupt the body’s endocrine system and promote cancer cell growth.
Despite a vast amount of literature on the potential side effects from Dark & Lovely hair straightening chemicals, the manufacturer failed to list these ingredients on their product labeling, leaving consumers without any knowledge of the potential long term health consequences.
Is Dark & Lovely Safe to Use?
The Environmental Working Group (EWG), which is a prominent consumer research group, released the results of a Dark & Lovely hair relaxer safety review in 2016. The group found Dark & Lovely’s Healthy-Gloss 5 Shea Moisture No-Lye Relaxer contained at least five endocrine disrupting chemicals that could cause reproductive organ cancers or reproductive organ toxicity, among other side effects.
Based on a safety evaluation ranging from 1-10, with ten being the most hazardous, Dark & Lovely’s hair relaxer formulation was given a 7 out of 10 hazard score.
Dark and Lovely Hair Relaxer Side Effects
If you have used hair relaxers such as Dark & Lovely you may already be familiar with several of the immediate side effects from these chemicals, which often causes;
- Hair loss
- Scalp burns
- Seborrheic dermatitis (or dandruff)
- Eye and throat irritation
However, the manufacturers failed to disclose other long term Dark and Lovely hair relaxer side effects, including information about how frequent use may increase the risk of hormone sensitive cancers and uterine fibroids.
Hair relaxers chemical burns are a known and accepted risk of Dark & Lovely, typically occurring when the top protective layer of your scalp is burned away.
However, when this natural barrier of protection is gone, the chemicals remaining in the hair are absorbed through your hair follicles and directly into the bloodstream. If the scalp is not given enough time to properly heal between treatments, it makes for even easier absorption of the chemicals. This may lead to more serious Dark and Lovely hair relaxer side effects, which users were never informed about.
L’Oreal, SoftSheen-Carson and other manufacturers of Dark & Lovely knew or should have known that once the hair relaxer chemicals enter the bloodstream, they can negatively alter hormones and how they interact with reproductive organs. This imbalance to the hormone receptors may be a catalyst for cancer cells to rapidly multiply and grow.
Dark & Lovely Uterine Fibroid Risk
Frequent use of hair relaxers such as Dark & Lovely have also been linked to an increased rate of African American women developing uterine fibroids, which can result in the need for:
- Other Invasive Surgery
A 2012 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology established a link between black women who frequently use hair relaxers and uterine fibroids occurrence. The increased risk was based on duration of use, frequency of use, and total number of scalp lesions and burns from hair relaxers.
How do I File a Dark & Lovely Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?
The first step to take in filing a hair relaxer lawsuit is to contact our product liability attorneys at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. to discuss the specific details of your case. Our lawyers are pursuing hair relaxer cancer lawsuits and hair relaxer uterine fibroid lawsuits for women who have used hair relaxer products and have been diagnosed with any of the following conditions;
- Uterine Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Uterine Fibroids (resulting in surgical removal)
Please note that we are no longer investigating cases for breast cancer and hair relaxer.
To find out if you or a loved one may be eligible to receive a Dark & Lovely settlement, call our office toll-free at 800-522-0102 or complete the form below to find out if you qualify.