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Plaintiffs claim hair loss in consumer fraud class action

A product intensively advertised by cable TV direct marketing ads and online is feeling the heat recently as the parties involved fight a class action claim filed in a federal court located in California. The case is joined in by 200 women from throughout the nation. The plaintiffs claim that the WEN hair care products have caused them severe damage, including bald spots, rashes and abnormal hair loss. The defendants in this consumer fraud class action include Chaz Dean, the celebrity hairstylist, and Guthy-Renker, the high-powered marketing distributor of the products.

The plaintiffs have related claims about nightmarish experiences with WEN products, both in legal filings and by publishing their stories online. These are not exotic products; instead, they appear to describe the destructive effects from using basic conditioner kits. The relentlessly successful marketing campaign style of Guthy-Renker has resulted in sales totaling hundreds of millions of dollars each year on WEN products.

That marketing style typically uses famous celebrities to tout the products. Some customers believe that the products sold and distributed by Guthy-Renker are qualitatively better than a similar line of WEN products sold online. The company, however, has defended its products and denies the existence of product defects. The company also stated that there is no scientific or factual basis for people to lose their hair by using WEN;  rather, the company asserts, there is a host of reasons why some people might start to lose their hair.

WEN also promised to “vigorously defend” the allegations made against the hair products. Meanwhile, counsel for the plaintiffs refused to give a specific comment, stating that the parties are slated to head into mediation to try and settle their differences outside of the court process. In mediation, a neutral former jurist hears from both sides and makes suggestions to try and help the parties move toward a common ground where a settlement may be reached. California regularly sees many consumer fraud class actions dealing with a wide variety of products that are filed and processed in the state and federal court systems.  

Source: New York Daily News, “200 women join class-action lawsuit claiming WEN hair care products developed by celeb stylist Chaz Dean ruined their hair“, Dan Good, Dec. 15, 2015

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