Do Hair Relaxers Cause Ovarian Cancer?
Medical research has found a significant link between regular use of hair relaxer and cancer risks, pointing to the toxic endocrine disrupting chemicals used in the formulations as the root cause of ovarian cancer among women regularly using the products. Some research suggests hair straightening chemical exposure doubles the risk of certain types of ovarian cancer.
What type of Ovarian Cancers do hair relaxers cause?
Chemical hair straighteners have the potential to cause a specific type of ovarian cancer known as epithelial ovarian carcinoma, which is the most common form of this disease and accounts for about 90% of all ovarian tumors.
The most common subtypes of epithelial ovarian cancer are;
- Clear cell ovarian carcinoma
- Mucinous carcinoma
- Endometrioid carcinoma
Epithelial ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cause of gynecological cancer worldwide and has a 5-year survival rate of about 50%.
Studies Link Relaxer and Ovarian Cancer Risk
A landmark study was released in late 2022, which established links between hair relaxer and uterine cancer. However, multiple peer reviewed medical journals have been published in prior years, finding chemicals used in hair relaxer increase the ovarian cancer risk.
Frequent hair relaxer use increases ovarian cancer risks
In September 2021, researchers highlighted the link between hair relaxer and ovarian cancer in a report published in the medical journal Carcinogenesis. The study involved a review of data on more than 40,000 women enrolled in the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Sister Study to determine whether hair relaxers increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
The study revealed women using hair relaxer more than four times per year were 2x more likely to develop ovarian cancer, when compared to those who never used the products.
The authors specifically identified that hair relaxer side effects increase the risk of non-serous ovarian tumors, which are a certain type of ovarian cancer that forms in the tissue covering the ovary (the ovarian surface epithelium).
While the study was not designed to identify the most at-risk women based on race or ethnicity, the authors warned African American women may be at the highest risk, stating;
Our novel findings suggest that frequent use of hair straighteners/relaxers or pressing products, which are primarily used by African American/Black women, and possibly permanent hair dye, may be associated with the occurrence of ovarian cancers.
How do hair relaxers cause Ovarian Cancer?
Hair relaxers have been confirmed to contain a class of predominately man-made industrial chemicals known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), or endocrine disruptors.
EDCs were given this name due to their ability to disrupt the body’s endocrine system function, which is a network of glands in the body that are responsible for:
- Producing hormones
- Regulating the release of hormones into the bloodstream
- Reproductive organ health
- Organ function
- Blood pressure
The female endocrine system includes the ovaries, which produces the necessary levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones for proper function of a woman’s reproductive health.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals can drastically change the levels of these hormones by blocking, activating or binding to the estrogen receptors in the ovaries. This disruption of estrogen levels has been found to cause ovarian cancer cells to begin splitting and growing at abnormal rates on the outer layer of the ovary.
Chemicals in hair relaxer linked to Ovarian Cancer
The connection between hair relaxer and ovarian cancer has been further substantiated in multiple other studies that establish endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) used in hair relaxers or perm kits disrupt the natural hormone balance in the body and amplify cancer cell growth.
While hair relaxers contain dozens of hormone disrupting chemicals, the two most researched EDC’s linked to ovarian cancers are Bisphenol A and Phthalates .
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Hair Relaxers
BPA is a chemical commonly found in hair relaxer products, which has been shown to promote ovarian cancer cell growth. A study published in the Journal of Reproduction and Development found BPA enhances ovarian epithelial cancer cell division and growth, and also accelerates the formation of ovarian cysts and tumors.
Phthalates in Hair Relaxers
Phthalates are man-made chemicals that are frequently used in hair relaxer formulations. A 2021 study published in the medical journal Science of Total Environment found Phthalates significantly promoted the growth of ovarian cancer cells and disruption of the body’s signaling pathways.
Which hair relaxer products may cause ovarian cancer?
Hair relaxer lawsuits are being filed against manufacturers of many popular hair straightening and perm products, which have been found to contain chemicals that may increase the risk of ovarian cancer including, but not limited to:
- Dark and Lovely
- Just for Me
- Soft & Beautiful
- ORS Olive Oil
- TCB Naturals
- African Pride
- Dream Kids Olive Oil Miracle
- Creme of Nature
- Optimum Salon Haircare
Is there a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit for Ovarian Cancer?
Yes. Our product liability lawyers are investigating cases for women who regularly used the hair relaxer and have been diagnosed with certain types of ovarian cancer.
How do I file a hair relaxer ovarian cancer lawsuit?
To file a hair relaxer ovarian cancer lawsuit you should contact our lawyers to discuss the specific details of your case to find out if you may qualify for a settlement. Our attorneys will explain your legal rights and handle filing your hair relaxer lawsuit for you.
Our lawyers are investigating lawsuits against hair relaxer manufacturers for individuals who frequently used the products and developed any of the following conditions;
- Uterine Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Uterine Fibroids (resulting in hysterectomy or myomectomy)
- Breast Cancer (previously investigated)
To find out if you or a loved one may be entitled to financial compensation through a hair relaxer lawsuit payout, call our office toll-free at 800-522-0102 or complete the form below.