Three more women are suing L’Oreal over claims that the chemicals in hair straighteners offered by the company gave them recurring cancers and tumors. The first lawsuit was filed in October 2022 by Jennifer Mitchell in Missouri. She became the first woman to sue L’Oreal after being diagnosed with uterine cancer.
Lawsuits were filed by Rhonda Terrell, Bernadette Gordon, and Rugieyatu Bhonopha after being diagnosed with uterine and breast tumors. The trio shared they have been using L’Oreal products for many years. Hair products like chemical straighteners contain several chemical like phthalates and parabens, which may release formaldehyde when heated.
It is said that long amounts of exposure to this chemical can raise a person’s risk of developing cancer, according to cancer.gov. Since being diagnosed, these women have had to undergo numerous surgeries, including a mastectomy and a hysterectomy to save their bodies from the cancer spreading. It’s one thing to use straighteners knowing the risk it may have on your body, but L’oreal is adamant that their products are safe and not linked to these diagnoses.
“Our products are subject to a rigorous scientific evaluation of their safety by experts who also ensure that we follow strictly all regulations in every market in which we operate,” says L’Oreal in a statement to Houston News KPRC.
Black women are known to use chemical hair straighteners to loosen their naturally tight curls and make the hair bone straight. Others use products to keep their hair in line with White beauty standards regarding workplace hair policies and styles that appear most appealing.