6 women sue Hollywood stylist over hair loss

08:47 PM | 2 Apr, 2015
6 women sue Hollywood stylist over hair loss
DALLAS — Six women are suing a Hollywood hairstylist in federal court, alleging that one of his popular WEN products causes some women to lose clumps of hair.

Cindy Peterson said she first used WEN Cleansing Conditioner, developed by stylist Chaz Dean, in October, and some of her hair still hasn't grown back.

"As I was shampooing my hair with it, I was noticing handfuls of hair" coming out, she said. "Because my hair was so thick, I didn't notice it right away."

Look on WEN's website and you'll see an endorsement from actress Brooke Shields: "WEN dramatically changed the appearance of my hair. I haven't seen this type of shine, volume and texture since I was a young model." Late-night TV commercials last year featured actress Alyssa Milano pitching its praises.

But some women say they've gotten bald spots.

"I did lose about a third of my hair, which is dramatic," Peterson said. "I still am a long way from where my hair should be. I don't know if it's coming back."

Dallas lawyer Amy Davis sued Dean and Guthy-Renker, the direct marketing firm that sells WEN products, on March 17, accusing them of negligence, false advertising and breach of warranty, among other complaints.

"They feel like people are looking at them, wondering what's caused their hair loss," she said. "So women who used to enjoy time with family and friends out and about in social settings, ... they've become house-bound."

Davis said her legal team has hired a chemist to evaluate the ingredients of the product because they are still uncertain what causes some customers to lose their hair.

Dean and his marketers have been the targets of lawsuits previously, both for its product and its marketing.

In August,the company was accused in federal court of contacting the plaintiff's cellphone in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. It was dismissed last month, potentially because it was settled.

In July, plaintiff Amy Friedman alleged in federal court that her use of WEN Cleansing Conditioner Sweet Almond Mint caused her to lose a quarter to a third of her hair, and she continued to lose hair for three weeks after she stopped application of the product.

Guthy-Renker said it is aware of Peterson's lawsuit though its lawyers have yet to respond to it in court.

"We take great pride in the quality of WEN and take the appropriate steps to ensure every WEN product we sell meets our high standards," said Sarah Elison, public relations manager for Guthy | Renker, said in a statement. "We want all our customers to have positive experiences with a question to contact us."