What Cancers are Linked to Dark and Lovely Relaxers?

The long-term use of chemical hair straightener products, such as L’Oreal’s Dark & Lovely hair relaxer, has been linked to various forms of cancer, including uterine cancer. This is especially concerning for women of color who have been using these products for years to conform to societal beauty standards. Even female veterans have been impacted by this trend, as military service often requires individuals to adhere to specific grooming standards, which could involve the use of hair products. Unfortunately, the use of these products has resulted in people developing serious illnesses such as:

  • Endometriosis
  • Breast Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Uterine Cancer

In 2022, women across the U.S. began filing Dark and Lovely class-action lawsuits against L’Oreal for failing to disclose the risks associated with chemical hair straighteners. Learn more about Dark and Lovely’s connection to cancer and what to do if you are experiencing side effects of Dark and Lovely hair relaxers. 

Dark and Lovely Relaxer Chemical History

Dark and Lovely is a hair care brand that focuses on the unique needs of black women. It was introduced in 1972 by SoftSheen Products, a subsidiary of L’Oréal USA. The brand became well-known for its hair relaxers, which allowed women with tightly coiled or kinky hair to achieve straightened styles.

Dark and Lovely products are manufactured in various locations around the world that are owned and operated by L’Oréal, a global cosmetics company headquartered in France. L’Oréal has production facilities in different countries, including the United States, with its largest international unit based in New York City. 

It’s concerning to learn that hair relaxing products, like Dark & Lovely, contain chemicals that can harm our endocrine system and impact hormone production. Unfortunately, a study by NIH in October 2022 revealed a link between the use of these products and higher rates of uterine cancer. The study found that women who used these products at least four times per year had a 150% increased risk of developing uterine cancer. Moreover, long-term exposure to these chemicals has been associated with an elevated chance of breast cancer and other reproductive health conditions such as uterine fibroids and endometriosis. 

What Chemicals are Used in Dark and Lovely Relaxers?

The ingredients found in Dark and Lovely hair relaxers can vary depending on the specific product and time. However, most hair relaxers typically contain alkaline chemicals, like guanidine hydroxide or sodium hydroxide, which break down the chemical bonds in the hair to achieve straightening. If not used properly, these chemicals can be harsh and may cause scalp irritation or chemical burns. In addition to these chemicals, some relaxers may also include other ingredients, such as fragrances, phthalates, or parabens, which have been linked with potential health effects. Phthalates have been associated with endocrine disruption and reproductive problems, while parabens can act like estrogen in the body due to their estrogenic activity.

It’s important to note that the effects of these chemicals can vary depending on individual sensitivity, exposure duration, and concentration. Therefore, the impact of these chemicals may differ from person to person and Dark and Lovely hair relaxer may be safer for some than others. 

How to File a Dark and Lovely Lawsuit 

If you have been a victim of harm caused by Dark and Lovely products, you may be entitled to compensation through filing a class-action lawsuit for perms or participating in an individual settlement. Pursuing legal action can be a complex and overwhelming process, but our team of experienced attorneys and legal connections can provide guidance and support. We can help you navigate the legal system and work towards securing the justice and compensation you deserve through a Dark and Lovely settlement. Additionally, we understand the importance of finding appropriate medical treatment for victims and can assist in connecting you with the necessary resources.

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Che-Jung Chang, PhD and others, Use of Straighteners and Other Hair Products and Incident Uterine Cancer, JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Volume 114, Issue 12, December 2022, Pages 1636–1645, https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djac165