A man from Pudsey, England, is blaming a brand of hair gel for making him go bald.
Lee Hardy, 24, says he started using VO5 gel in January and began getting dry sores on his head soon afterward, reports the Daily Mail.
Hardy gave an account of his problems with the product:
After using the product for a few days, my head started to become dry and itchy. When I looked in the mirror, I was horrified and my hair was falling out in clumps. I have used the product in the past and didn't have any issues, but I bought a new pot in January and started using it again. I used the putty to spike my hair up in the centre, and that's the part of my scalp that has been directly affected. It was ok for a couple of days but then I noticed dry skin on my scalp, because I'm a builder I just thought it was just down to working in construction. But around five days later my hair started to fall out and I noticed a few lumps on my head. From there it just got worse and I've since shaved my head as I couldn't cover up the hair loss any longer and I am desperate to get to the bottom of it.
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When Hardy filed a complaint with VO5, he was offered a modest coupon which can be applied to further purchases VO5 products.
He was insulted by the response. "'Why would I need voucher for hair products when I have just lost my hair?" he asked.
After further complaining, Hardy claims Unilever, which owns the VO5 brand, offered him a cash settlement, which he turned down.
"I want to get to the bottom of this and find out exactly what was in the product," he said. "I need to know what has caused it in order to get the problem treated."
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So far, nothing has helped reverse the problem. "I went to my doctor who gave me a moisturizing shampoo but that didn't help. I have since been prescribed another moisturizer to treat any infection and help to reduce the stinging."
Results of an allergy test were negative, he added.
"As we have not had any other complaints about our product, we would welcome the opportunity to investigate further," said a spokesperson for Unilever. "As a company the safety and quality of our products is our top priority and we have been in touch with Lee to arrange for the return of the product so that we can continue our investigation and test the product in question."
Unilever bought VO5 and other brands from the Alberto Culver corporation in 2011 for $3.7 billion, reported The Telegraph at the time.