March 10, 2016 — Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) is spearheading efforts to get answers for 17,000 people who reported severe hair loss from WEN hair-care products, specifically seeking details about secret safety tests.
Rep. Pallone, the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a letter (PDF) asking the FDA what it has done to address safety issues, such as:
- Significant hair loss
- Visible bald spots
- Hair breakage
- Scalp irritation
- Burning of the scalp and eyes
Rep. Pallone also sent a letter (PDF) to Guthy-Renker, the manufacturer of WEN. He requested a briefing to discuss safety issues and all documents related to the testing of WEN Cleansing Conditioner. In a press release, he wrote:
“Unfortunately, since popular cosmetics and personal care products are largely unregulated before they reach the marketplace, these products can contain harmful chemicals that have the potential to put consumers at risk.”
In February 2014, Guthy-Renker told the FDA they were investigating reports of hair loss from WEN. However, the results of those safety tests were never disclosed. Guthy-Renker is now facing a class action lawsuit involving hundreds of people who experienced hair loss and lawyers are demanding results of the safety tests.
Rep. Pallone is not the only lawmaker concerned about cosmetics. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have also recently proposed legislation that would require manufacturers to report the results of any safety studies, any “serious” adverse events, and ingredients in their products.