We trust the products we use will not only be effective as advertised, but safe. Unfortunately, that trust is sometimes abused because product manufacturers and retailers do not always take care to ensure that what they put on the market won’t cause harm.
That is what hundreds of claimants are alleging in a lawsuit against the maker of an increasingly popular and heavily-advertised line of salon products under the brand name “WEN.”
The hair care products are sold on infomercials by a celebrity stylist who boasts clients like Brooke Shields and Alyssa Milano. In federal court, some 200 plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit allege the products caused severe damage to their scalps, including bald spots and clumps of hair falling out. There are also allegations of scalp irritation, burns and rashes.
According to The Daily Beast, one plaintiff alleges that within two weeks of using the hair care product, purchased for $30 in 2014, she started to lose excessive amounts of hair, which continued for weeks even after she stopped using the product. She lost roughly a third of the hair on her head and has been forced to shell out a great deal of money on vitamins in an attempt to regrow the hair, as well as extensions to help mask the damage.
The lawsuit alleges that while 200 plaintiffs are named so far, an estimated tens of thousands could yet be named.
Hundreds of negative reviews are posted on various retail feedback boards, including Amazon.com. One of those alleges “boils” on her scalp and face as a result of using the products. Others allege their hair “fell out in chunks.” Another stated that she was constantly having to explain that her loss of hair was not the result of undergoing chemotherapy cancer treatments. One went so far as to say the hair care line, “destroyed my life.”
These allegations counter the assertion by the celebrity stylist that he values a lifestyle and philosophy that upholds a holistic, organic approach to personal care. He reportedly created the formula by mixing the products in his own kitchen sink.
The product, described in ads as “gentle,” urges users to pile it on, adding, “You can never use too much!” It has exploded in popularity in recent years, raking in $100 million in just its second year in production.
However, the lawsuit alleges the ingredients in the product are caustic, resulting in a chemical reaction to human hair. There is also a listed ingredient called hydroxycitronella, which is legal for use in U.S. products, but is banned in the European Union because it has been identified as a toxin for human immune systems.
Expert chemists for the plaintiff are currently performing tests on the products. So far, those researchers opine the product doesn’t contain any actual cleanser, impacting and damaging the hair follicle. Regrowth of hair in women can be a complicated and difficult process.
Plaintiffs allege defendants failed to warn consumers about potential health risks. In addition, defendants allegedly blocked adverse online reviews, and when users posted negative comments about the product onto the company’s Facebook page, the administrator erased those comments and blocked those users.
Defendants have vigorously denied the allegations, vowing to fight the claims in court.
Although hair loss in and of itself is not among the most serious personal injuries our Greenville law firm handles, we do understand the profound impact it can have on those affected, particularly when there is also injury to the scalp that makes the hair difficult to regrow, effectively causing disfigurement, pain and suffering and mental anguish.
Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
200 Women Sue WEN Hair Care, Dec. 11, 2015, By Catherine Townsend, The Daily Beast
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