Hundreds of women who experienced baldness after using WEN Hair Care products have joined a class action lawsuit. The manufacturer is accused of downplaying complaints about severe hair loss to protect millions of dollars in sales
UPDATE: $25 Million Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Proposed
August 15, 2016 — Consumers who went bald after using WEN Cleansing Conditioner could be eligible for up to $20,000 as part of a proposed $25 million class action lawsuit settlement. Anyone who bought WEN could also receive a $25 cash refund. Click here to read more.
FDA Investigates WEN Hair Loss
July 2016 — The FDA is investigating reports of hair loss, hair breakage, balding, itching, and rash associated with the use of WEN Cleansing Conditioner by Chaz Dean. The agency has received 127 adverse event reports. Another 21,000 complaints have been sent to Chaz Dean and Guthy-Renker. Click here to read more.
Women Claim WEN Shampoo Caused Hair Loss
A Florida woman who experienced severe hair loss after using WEN says she plans on joining a class action lawsuit along with hundreds of other women:
“I’m going bald, there’s nothing I can do about it. Every day for me is a bad hair day. I can’t get away from it. … This company robbed us of our self-esteem. I don’t even know if my hair will ever grow back. I don’t trust any product now. I don’t even want to wash my hair.”
What is causing the problem?
No one knows for sure why some women are experiencing hair loss after using WEN Hair Care products. Most of the ingredients are widely used in the hair care industry. One ingredient, hydroxycitronellal, is banned in the European Union because it is toxic to the immune system.
WEN Cleansing Conditioner Lawsuit
Many complaints involve WEN Cleansing Conditioner, a “5-in-1” product that claims to replace shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler and leave-in conditioner. An attorney in Texas who filed a class action explained to CBS DFW:
“It contains virtually no cleanser. It’s like using lotion to wash your hair, so instead of removing the product, when you rinse it off, it just becomes impacted in your hair follicle.”
The victims also include children. An 11 year-old girl from Colorado who experienced long-term hair loss after using WEN Conditioner has joined the class action lawsuit. She is now home-schooled and said she was “scared that I had cancer or something.”
A class action lawsuit (PDF) has been filed against the manufacturers of WEN Hair Care products by over 200 women in 40 different states. They claim to have suffered “significant hair loss to the point of visible bald spots.”
The lawsuit was filed by Amy Friedman, a nurse who bought WEN Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner for $29.95 in January 2014. Within two weeks, she lost “substantial and abnormal” amounts of hair.
The hair loss continued for three weeks after she stopped using the product, resulting in loss of up to one-third of her hair. The lawsuit claims the manufacturer has known about the problems for years as a result of customer complaints, but continues to actively conceal the dangers.
The manufacturer is accused of secretly conducting safety studies after receiving complaints of hair loss. The company still refuses to release the results of those studies, according to documents filed in a federal class action in Los Angeles.
Side Effects Linked to WEN
- Severe hair loss
- Thinning hair
- Hair discoloration
- Visible bald spots
- Hair breakage
- Scalp irritation
What Are WEN Hair Care Products?
WEN Hair Care products are sold by celebrity stylist Chaz Dean on informercials during the day and late at night. They are marketed as “natural” blends of herbs and botanicals, free of harsh chemicals.
The manufacturer claims the products are “gentle enough to use every day” and encourages customers to use large amounts of the product, claiming “You can never use too much! The more you use, the better the results!”
The campaign has been wildly successful for Guthy-Renker, the California-based infomercial company that sells WEN. In 2010, the company made over $100 in only its second year of selling WEN, according to Forbes.