Women often look at different ways to style their hair and enhance their look. One of the most common hair styling techniques is chemical hair straightening, which can change your look and boost your confidence. But since this process uses harsh and strong chemicals, is it safe? The answer is no, and it’s heartbreaking to know that women often develop cancer because of these chemicals.
A study conducted by the NIH (National Institutes of Health) supports this fact. The research associated with this study didn’t find any link to uterine cancer with other hair styling techniques, such as highlights, perms, or bleach.
The data included in the study comprises 33,497 U.S. women between the ages of 35 and 74 taking part in an NIEHS-led Sister Study. The purpose was to recognize risk factors linked to breast cancer and various other health issues. These women were followed for more than a decade, and 378 cases of uterine cancer were diagnosed.
Women who opted for hair-straightening products were more vulnerable to uterine cancer than others. In this article, we will discuss all that women need to know about chemical straightening products and how they can receive compensation for their losses.
Chemicals In Hair Straighteners That Lead to Cancer
Hair straightening products contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which increase the risk of uterine cancer. Even though the research conducted by NIH researchers in 2022 didn’t look into specific ingredients and brands in the products, they talked about many chemicals.
A few common ones include:
- Bisphenol A
Typically, heat activates chemicals in straightening solutions. As a hairstylist heats a solution, formaldehyde gets released in gas or air. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, formaldehyde is carcinogenic based on nasopharyngeal and leukemia studies.
The NIH conducted another study that evaluates probable links between hair products and different cancers, especially the ones that develop owing to a hormonal response. It comprises breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
Here, medical professionals said that there is a possibility that the ingredients present in hair relaxers can get absorbed through one’s scalp. Additionally, it might have a few estrogen-like properties in a woman’s body.
Parabens are a cluster of chemicals used in cosmetic products as preservatives, and they possess an increased endocrine-disruption capacity. It disrupts the reproductive system and hormones and raises cancer risk in a person.
Bisphenol A can react to estrogen receptors, which is what triggers the development of several kinds of cancers. Heavy metals like chromium, arsenic, and cadmium are known as group 1 carcinogens. Hence, exposure to these metals results in cell damage and various other bodily changes, which can lead to cancer.
Hence, women who have developed any health issues or any type of cancer after opting for chemical hair straightening can file a hair straightener cancer lawsuit to seek compensation for their sufferings.
Preventive Measures to Reduce Exposure Risk
One of the ideal ways to minimize your chemical exposure risk is to refrain from using them. Using a hair iron is a better alternative, but remember that overuse will only harm you.
Use serums to heat style your hair that don’t contain any harsh chemicals. You can see the effect lasting for a few days. You can also resort to natural recipes that make use of coconut milk, oil, and fruits to break down the curls in your hair.
Few salons promote keratin treatment as a safe alternative. Even though it’s better than chemical straightening, the treatment still has some chemicals. Hence, before you opt for it, check the ingredients used and make an informed decision.
What Should You Do If You Are Diagnosed with Cancer?
Considering the harmful chemicals contained in hair straighteners, women can develop cancer after a styling treatment. If you or anyone you know witnesses this predicament, it is best to opt for a treatment plan from a medical professional. Everything depends on the stage of cancer, health status, age, and treatment preference.
You need to decide whether you need radiation or hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, or surgery. Once it’s established that the cancer is a fallout of the chemical hair straightening process, you can seek legal help.
TorHoerman Law states that you need to preserve every piece of evidence and share it with your lawyer for them to assess and use the ones that will make your case stronger. You can share medical bills, medical documents, invoices for styling products, and details of your symptoms with the lawyer.
Working with a lawyer is essential to avoid any unnecessary hassles while pursuing your legal case. Furthermore, they will also guide you about the settlement payout so that you can have practical expectations.
To sum up, Alexandra White, head of NIEHS Environment and Cancer Epidemiology, shared that about 1.64% of women who don’t use hair straighteners have a chance to develop uterine cancer when they are 70. However, for women who use hair straighteners frequently, the risk is 4.05%. Hence, it’s best to seek alternatives that are safe and don’t pose any health risks.