Chemical hair straighteners and relaxer products are common cosmetics in the United States. African American women were the primary demographic frequently using hair relaxers and were subsequently the targeted audience in marketing campaigns. This continued use of hair relaxers comes from a long history of societal beauty standards favoring long, straight hair. Certain studies performed in the preceding years claim up to 75% of African American women regularly use hair relaxers to meet these societal standards.
These women and popular products are now involved in a mass tort litigation alleging that the chemicals used in the straightening process are responsible for severe injuries such as uterine and several ovarian cancers. Victims are taking on the manufacturers who failed to warn consumers about these risks and the toxic chemicals in their products.