The owner of a popular celebrity-endorsed hair product is being sued after more than 200 women claimed the product made their hair fall out in clumps.
Los Angeles-based hairstylist Chaz Dean developed a huge following after appearing on reality TV shows and styling celebrities such as Charlize Theron and Alanis Morissette. His hair product, Wen, a cleansing conditioner, was a huge success, raking in more than $100 million in its second year, the Daily Mail reported.
It has been publicly endorsed by celebrities such as Alyssa Milano and Brooke Shields.
In November, a class action lawsuit was filed against Wen and infomercial giant Guthy-Renker, which serves as Wen's marketing agency. According to court documents, a woman named Amy Friedman purchased the Wen Sweet Almond Mint basic kit in January 2014 for $29.95 and suffered some adverse side effects.
Friedman said her hair started falling out after two weeks of using the product. She stopped using Wen but ended up losing “one quarter to one third” of her hair.
The legal firm representing Friedman and the other plaintiffs claims “thousands or tens of thousands” of additional customers could sue the company for hair loss.
Several women have voiced their outrage about the product online, claiming it has caused baldness, rashes, scalp irritation, hair breakage and hair discoloration.
“I was a professional model with beautiful long natural hair,” wrote one customer on Pissed Consumer. “After using this product my scalp and face broke out in boils and my hair fell out in chunks. This shampoo destroyed my life.”
“I can't leave the house,” another woman wrote on Facebook, attaching a photo (shown below) of her massive bald spot on Wen’s timeline. “I'm depressed. Wen products are responsible for my hair loss.”
The lawsuit claims that “the WEN products at issue contain a caustic ingredient that causes a chemical reaction and damages hair and follicles” as well as “numerous harsh chemicals and known human allergens.”
The claim does not specify which ingredients could have caused these reactions.
Guthy-Renker issued the following statement regarding the matter:
“There is no scientific evidence 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 products. We intend to vigorously contest the allegations made against our products. And, we encourage any customer with any questions to contact us.”