Woman Claims L’Oréal's Hair Straighteners Caused Her Cancer: Lawsuit

Photo: Getty Images

A Black woman is suing cosmetics company L’Oréal and four other hair relaxer manufacturers over claims that their products spurred her uterine cancer, CNN reports.

On Friday (October 21), civil rights attorney Ben Crump and others filed a lawsuit in Illinois on behalf of Jenny Mitchell, 32, alleging that her uterine cancer “was directly and proximately caused by her regular and prolonged exposure to phthalates and other endocrine disrupting chemicals found in Defendants’ hair care products.”

Mitchell's lawsuit follows a recent study that linked frequent chemical hair straightening to uterine cancer, especially for Black women who tend to use those types of products more than their white counterparts, according to researchers.

At Monday's (October 24) news conference announcing the suit, Mitchell recalled getting hair relaxers starting at around eight years old.

“As most young African-American girls, chemical relaxers, chemical straighteners were introduced to us at a young age,” Mitchell said. “Society has made it a norm to look a certain way, in order to feel a certain way. And I am the first voice of many voices to come that will stand, stand up to these companies, and say, ‘No more.’”

After decades of using chemical hair straighteners, Mitchell was diagnosed with uterine cancer on August 10, 2018 and had to undergo a total hysterectomy at Boone Hospital Center in Missouri the following month, per the suit. In the lawsuit, she claims to have no family history of cancer or uterine cancer.

“At that time, at the age of 28, my dreams of becoming a mother were gone,” Mitchell said Monday.

Mitchell is seeking compensation in excess of $75,000, according to the lawsuit.

“Black women have long been the victims of dangerous products specifically marketed to them,” Crump said in a news release. “Black hair has been and always will be beautiful, but Black women have been told they have to use these products to meet society’s standards. We will likely discover that Ms. Mitchell’s tragic case is one of countless cases in which companies aggressively misled black women to increase their profits.”

Get the latest news 24/7 on The Black Information Network. Listen now on the iHeartRadio app or click HERE to tune in live.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content