Hair relaxers/straighteners use chemicals that “relax and straighten” the curls. Phthalates are chemical compounds found in these products. It is a known endocrine disrupting chemical, which interferes with the function of the endocrine system of the body.
The endocrine system is responsible for helping to maintain body homeostasis or balance. It regulates the nervous system, metabolism, and reproductive system. A slight disruption to this can cause serious health conditions. Further, one of the phthalates in the products (Di-2-ethylhexylphthalate or DEHP) is known to be a toxic artificial chemical that is known to cause serious health conditions.
These chemicals have been known to cause conditions such as:
- Uterine cancer
- Breast cancer
- Uterine fibroids
- Pre-term delivery
Research studies have reported adverse health risks caused by the phthalates in hair relaxer/straightener products.
Lawsuits have been filed by a growing number of women who used these hair straightener/relaxer products and subsequently developed severe health conditions, such as uterine cancer, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids. They argue that the chemicals in the products were responsible.
Defendants in these lawsuits include L’Oréal. However, other companies that sell hair straightener/relaxer products have been sued as well. Some of the brands sued include:
- Soft Sheen/Carson (including products like Dark & Lovely and Optimum)
- Dabur International
- Namaste (Olive Oil Girls)
- Strength of Nature Global (including products like Just for Me, Soft & Beautiful, and Motions)
- Godrej Consumer Products
- PDC Brands
- Parfums de Coeur