Tanya Norman, declared herself the victim of a product which caused her to lose her hair – and was not about to take it lying down. Discovering she was not alone triggered a lawsuit against the makers of her favourite hair product.
When businesswoman Tanya suddenly began to lose hair and develop bald spots she was devastated. “I started bawling. I couldn’t stop crying.” she told CBS. She had been using the WEN product for 6 months when the symptoms appeared, it prompted her to investigate and a search of the internet delivered shocking news. She was far from alone.
Fast forward to now and attorney Amy Davis is representing nearly 200 plaintiffs from all across the US in a mass action lawsuit against WEN by Chaz Dean Inc and marketer Guthy-Renker.
Chaz Dean is the man behind WEN.and the proud owner of a hair-care studio in Hollywood. He also has a
“Some of the men and women that we represented, looks like they had a weed whacker taken to their head,” Davis described. “Just hair breaking all over.”
Chaz Dean and the Hard Sell
Dean, who developed the WEN hair-product line, has a hair-care studio in Hollywood, and celebrities such as Brooke Shields, Angie Harmon and Alyssa Milano endorse WEN. The basis of the lawsuit is that these celebrity endorsements combined with the reputation of Chaz Dean as the stylist to the stars convinced buyers of its efficacy. The truth, they claim, is that analysis showed it to contain almost no cleansers, equivalent to washing your hair with lotion. Over time, the WEN that does not rinse off is compacted into the skin and in particular the hair follicles, trapping dirt and oil – so that the condition of the follicle deteriorates until finally it presents as a range of conditions including scalp irritation and hair loss.
Both Chaz Dean and Guthy-Renker declined to be interviewed by CBS but did release an official statement:
“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. 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 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 products. We intend to vigorously contest the allegations made against our products. And, we encourage any customer with any questions to contact us.”
The federal judge has issued a stay in the case, and the parties are proceeding to mediation.