GLAMOUR (GLAMOUR.COM) – The Class-Action Settlement Against Wen Hair Care Is Officially Moving Forward by Deanna Pai
Even if you’ve never used Wen Hair Care in your life, you’ve probably seen the infomercials—and, by now, heard rumblings about the recent class-action lawsuit filed last December. Users of the brand’s scented cleansing conditioners (the hero product of the line, designed—as the name implies—to cleanse and condition in a single step) reported adverse side effects like hair loss, scalp rashes, irritation, and hair breakage. As of July, which is when the FDA stepped in, the number of consumer complaints clocked in at 127. Since then, over 200 more have poured in. And that only counts those that have been registered with the FDA; during the department’s recent inspection of the brand’s facilities, they found that Wen itself received over 21,000 complaints.
Now, a federal judge in Los Angeles has approved a settlement to the tune of $26.3 million against Chaz Dean, celebrity hairstylist and the founder of Wen, as well as the brand’s marketing company, Gunthy Renker. If the suit is settled, about 6 million people may be eligible for payments of up to $20,000.
But what about this particular cleansing conditioner formula could be causing these side effects? “From what we understand about the product…it contains virtually no cleanser,” says prosecuting attorney Amy Davis in an interview with CBS. “It’s like using lotion to wash your hair.” This makes it harder to rinse out, which leads to build-up that can clog your hair follicles, halting hair growth and eventually causing hair loss.
Wen, meanwhile, has released this statement on the matter: “Wen by Chaz Dean is safe and we continue to provide our hundreds of thousands of customers with the Wen by Chaz Dean products that they know and love. Since the process of litigation is time consuming and costly, we made a business decision to pursue a settlement and put this behind us so that we can focus on delivering quality products.”
If you already use—and love—Wen and haven’t had any adverse reactions, this doesn’t mean you should quit it altogether. After all, a quick glance at reviews on Sephora and Amazon show that the majority of consumer responses are positive. Just be aware that this is a major concern and worth taking into consideration when buying a cleansing conditioner. And if you do notice anything weird happening on your scalp, stop using it ASAP (obviously), consult a dermatologist, and report it to the FDA.
For more on the Wen Hair Care lawsuit, see here.