In 2009, Los Angeles-based celebrity
Waverly Robinson of Davie didn’t get the softer, shinier, bouncier locks that Shields or the other A-list celebrities have raved about, but she agrees that Wen’s cleansing condition definitely “change[d] everything” for her hair. According to a lawsuit filed in Broward County in April, Robinson says Wen products caused balding, dryness, thinning, and an itchy scalp. Her claims mirror hundreds of others in an ongoing class-action suit.
“The products are the cause of widespread hair loss suffered by the Plaintiff,” the complaint states. “Simply put, no reasonable consumer would purchase a hair product, like the ones at issue, if they knew at the time of purchase that it would cause their hair to fall out.”
On Consumer Affairs’ site, a woman from Brandon, Florida, wrote in January: “I used this product, and I lost half of my hair and have huge bald spots.” A few weeks later, a woman in Loxahatchee wrote, “In less than a month, my hair was coming out in patches... I was bald for about 1.5 years before it grew in.” In February, a woman from Orlando reported, “Each time [I used Wen], I had clumps of hair falling out in my shower, all over my comb and brush... I had so much hair falling out that I got scared and started crying.”
In 2014, more than 200 people joined a California class-action lawsuit against Wen by Chaz Dean. They alleged that the cleansing conditioner, which costs as much as $32 for 16 ounces, leads to balding and rashes. The litigation is ongoing.
Robinson purchased the Wen cleansing conditioner from QVC and paid more than $100 for the hair-care package. Robinson’s suit — unlike the other class action against Wen — also goes after QVC, the billion-dollar TV infomercial channel that sells Wen and other products. The complaint accuses QVC of not disclosing the adverse effects.
A QVC spokesperson was unable to comment on the litigation. Wen spokesperson Joe Hixson tells New Times that Robinson’s suit is similar to the other. “It does not present solid evidence.
Robinson’s attorney, Josh Eggnatz, explains that the litigation is in its initial stages. His firm represents Robinson and other buyers in Florida. “Chaz Dean and QVC represent themselves as reputable companies, and consumers rely on the reputation and purchase from them. It’s the same reason people purchase the name brand and not the store brand,” Eggnatz tells New Times. “Certainly if our client had known that this product would cause her hair to thin and fall out, if it was disclosed on the label, then she would not have purchased it and wouldn’t have paid the price that she did.”
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.