Softsheen-Carson Optimum hair relaxer gets a 4.6 customer rating on Amazon.com, where its manufacturer’s marketing description claims it provides “salon results at home,” with “90 percent less [hair] breakage” achieved in “6 easy steps.”
About its manufacturer, the marketing copy states: “For over 110 years we have provided beauty to all consumers of African descent with innovative, tailor-made, superior products and services – specially designed for their needs.”
A warning label on the back of the product advises not to use Optimum if the consumer has a “sensitive, irritated or damaged scalp.”
One additional warning that’s not included: Frequent use of chemical hair relaxers has been linked to numerous serious illnesses, including cancer.
Optimum Hair Relaxer Cancer and Illness Risk
Scientific research has linked chemical hair relaxers to ovarian cancer and uterine cancer. These findings are particularly concerning for Black women, who use hair straightening products at a higher rate and more frequently than other consumers.
Hair relaxer products are linked to endometriosis through the prevalence of the chemical phthalate DEHP. Endometriosis is a condition caused by tissue that lines the uterus beginning to grow outside the uterus, according to the Mayo Clinic. The cause is unknown.
Uterine fibroids were linked to the frequent use of hair relaxer products in a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Uterine fibroids, also called leiomyomas or myomas, are growths that occur in the uterus and can, in rare cases, lead to cancer. Black women are three times as likely to develop uterine fibroids as their white counterparts.
A 2019 study by scientists with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) documented a link between the use of chemical hair straighteners and breast cancer. According to those findings, women who used hair relaxer products every two months or more frequently were 30 percent more likely to develop breast cancer during the course of the study. Though often linked to a family history of breast cancer, the Mayo Clinic describes the disease as “caused by a complex interaction of your genetic makeup and your environment.”
Most recently, a 2022 study found women who frequently use chemical hair relaxers were more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer. As stated in the report, “hazardous chemicals,” including those that are endocrine-interrupting and/or carcinogenic, could be responsible for the link to increased uterine cancer occurrence. These chemicals could include: parabens, Bispheonol A, formaldehyde, and metals.
Questions About an Optimum Hair Relaxer Lawsuit? Contact a Johnson//Becker Lawyer For a Free Case Review.
If you or a loved one developed ovarian or uterine cancer after using an Optimum hair relaxer product, you may want to speak with the lawyers at Johnson//Becker, PLLC. We are actively filing new Optimum hair relaxer lawsuits across the country, and you may be entitled to financial compensation.
We offer a Free Case Evaluation. Please contact us using the form below or by calling us at (800) 279-6386.
We would be honored to speak with you and respond promptly to every inquiry we receive.