According to ‘NY Daily News’,two hundred people have joined a class-action lawsuit against hair care brand WEN by Chaz Dean and its parent company, Guthy-Renker, claiming the brand’s popular products contributed to their extreme hair loss.
The plaintiffs, mostly women, say it’s WEN’s cleansing conditioner, which claims to clean hair without the harshness of shampoo, that lead to “hair loss, dryness, breakage and other injuries and adverse effects,” according to the complaint.
Chaz Dean is a Hollywood hair stylist whose A-list clients have included Brooke Shields, Alyssa Milano and Christina Applegate. And while celebrities and beauty experts alike have long gushed over the cult favorite conditioner, a quick online search turns up dozens of complaints, too.
“My hair was coming out in clumps in my hands as I washed and rinsed it,” one reviewer wrote. “I would have a palm full of hair.”
“WITHIN A FEW DAYS MY HAIR WAS STARTING TO FALL OUT,” one customer wrote in July. “AT FIRST I DID NOT THINK IT WAS FROM THE PRODUCT. AFTER A WEEK OR SO IT SEEMED TO BE GETTING WORSE. I ACTUALLY WENT TO MY DOCTOR THINKING SOMETHING MEDICAL WAS GOING ON. HE DID A BLOOD TEST FOR ME.”
The complaint alleges that the conditioners “contain one or more active ingredients that act as a depilatory or caustic agent, causing a chemical reaction that damages the hair strands and/or follicle.”
Which ingredient that is, however, is still unclear. Some reports have raised concerns over hydroxycitronellal, a known allergen, but one widely used in cosmetics. Dermatologist Doris Day said she’s had patients complain about WEN products in the past, but said more testing is necessary to know exactly what it is, if anything, that’s causing the problem.
“What sets Wen apart is its cleansing conditioner, a single-step process that cleanses and conditions the hair simultaneously,” the product’s website says. “The cleansers include a perfect blend of special ingredients, including natural botanicals and herbs, and do not contain sodium laurel sulfate or harsh chemicals.”
Wen and Chaz Dean refute the allegations, telling PeopleStyle in a statement,
“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. We intend to vigorously contest the allegations made.”
Attorney Amy Davis, lead counsel for the victims, told The Daily Beast that the ‘sides are headed to mediation.
“The parties are attempting to settle their differences outside of court and we have agreed to refrain from any extrajudicial statements about the case in the meantime,” she told The Daily Beast.
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