NEW YORK – A class action lawsuit has been filed against Wen by Chaz Dean, and marketing company Guthy-Renker. Over 200 women are claiming the product causes severe and possibly permanent damage to hair, including significant hair loss to the point of visible bald spots, hair breakage, scalp irritation, and rash, the Daily Beast reported.
Wen was created by stylist Chaz Dean as a sulfate-free alternative to shampoo, but it also promises to “replace shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler and leave-in conditioner,” according to WEN hair care site.
A-list stars such as Brooke Shields, Alyssa Milano, and Angie Harmon are also seen on the site promoting the product. A bottle costs about $30.
Horror stories from customers have been circulating online for years, but now former customers are taking action.
“Started using in August…Hair looks great but have lost 60% of my hair,” a customer commented on WEN’s Facebook page.
“I can’t leave my house I’m depressed wen hair products is responsible for my hair loss I have been shampooing and conditioning my hair with their non-shampooing conditioner which blocked my pores and caused my hair to be basically washed with lotion,” another customer wrote.
Another customer wrote, “It looks as though I have a receding hairline and male pattern baldness.”
The class action lawsuit was filed on July 31, 2014 by a Florida woman by the name of Amy Friedman. Court documents said Friedman bought Wen in January of 2014 and her hair began failing out within two weeks. Although she discontinued use of the product, she claims her hair continued to fall out of three more weeks.
The class action lawsuit states that WEN advertisements are misleading and Guthy-Renker “reinforces its false statements” that have led women to buy the products thinking it would produce positive results.
Damage control is in full effect on the WEN Facebook page. A representative has replied to complaints saying, “We take our customers’ experiences with our products very seriously and our Corporate Escalation Team would like to learn more.”
There are some customers that continue to stand by the product. Some women have posted to Facebook to say they have seen positive results.
“WEN has changed my life, I have longer hair now that is manageable,” one user said on Facebook.
Another wrote, “Have used for four years. Love it. Get tons of compliments. Beautiful. Keep hearing this too. I do not believe it. Maybe people say that because they don’t want to pay the price for it. But for me it works awesome.”
A spokesperson from WEN said this to Buzzfeed News:
We take great pride in the quality of our products and believe every product meets our high standards. We want all of our customers to have positive experiences with our products, and we encourage any customer with any questions to contact us.
With well over 10 million WEN products shipped since 2008, our customers’ overwhelmingly positive response to Wen is a testament to the benefits it can deliver for its users. These benefits are reflected in consistently high rankings from independent consumer product sites as well.
Importantly, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever 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 care products. We intend to vigorously contest the allegations made against our products.