Over 200 women (including some representing children) across the U.S. have joined a class-action lawsuit against Wen by Chaz Dean, a popular hair care line created by a celebrity stylist, accusing the company and its infomercial owner of knowingly selling products that cause hair loss.
BuzzFeed reports that the women “claim that they suffered hair and scalp damage, hair loss, rashes, scalp irritation, hair breakage, poor hair condition, and hair discoloration,” and included in the article a large number of social media posts by angry customers featuring bald spots and clumps of hair. Jesus.
According to BuzzFeed, one woman wrote to Consumer Affairs:
“There’s not a day I don’t cry and just keep praying the hair will eventually stop falling out. I am down to washing my hair just once every two weeks because washing it makes the hair loss worse.”
Wen, which counts Brooke Shields among its celebrity spokespeople, describes its product on the website as a “single-step process that cleanses and conditions the hair simultaneously.” It’s advertised as a natural product: “The cleansers include a perfect blend of special ingredients, including natural botanicals and herbs, and do not contain sodium laurel sulfate or harsh chemicals.”
Racked reports that infomercial owner Guthy-Renker blocked online comments and reviews that mentioned the hair loss. The lead council for the plaintiff had chemists test Wen products, and they reportedly found that it wasn’t actually “cleansing” anything: “What we understand about the product and how it causes hair loss is it contains virtually no cleanser,” Amy Davis told CBS. “It’s like using lotion to wash your hair, so instead of removing the product, when you rinse it off, it just becomes impacted in your hair follicle.”
In a statement provided to BuzzFeed, the company went ahead and cleared itself of any wrongdoing:
Importantly, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to support any claim that our hair care products caused anyone to lose their hair. There are many reasons why individuals may lose their hair, all unrelated to WEN hair care products. We intend to vigorously contest the allegations made against our products.
As of right now, the two parties are attempting to settle the matter outside of court. According to the Daily Beast, “The suit has been shocking for many customers due to the holistic lifestyle and organic philosophy that Dean espouses in his salon, infomercials, and on Instagram.”
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Image via Wen.