Wen or Lose? The FDA Issues an Alert Against a Popular Hair Product

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Eliana Lawrence class action lawsuit against Wen hair products
photo via YouTube screenshot

11-year old Eliana Lawrence from Denver used to have beautiful curly red hair that she cherished dearly, but things changed dramatically when she used a popular hair product.

She started losing clumps of hair after the treatment. Many people have had the same unfortunate experience, and now the Food and Drug Administration has decided to raise a warning about the product.

The treatment, which has been endorsed by a celebrity, is so popular that there are chances that you are probably keeping it in your bathroom!

Eliana decided to try the product just before she turned 10 years old, and she will never forget the disastrous encounter. The beauty treatment is hyped to be “all-natural” and “safe” but her experience has proven otherwise.

At first, however, she did not link her hair loss to the “wonderful” product. In fact, she thought that she had cancer, which has thankfully proven not to be the case. Her mother was understandably furious when she discovered what was happening.

Eliana Lawrence loses hair
Photo via YouTube screenshot

Miriam, Eliana’s mother, was scared stiff when almost a third of her daughter’s hair came off as she was combing it.

The girl started losing her hair after getting into contact with the product, and the mother suspected that the treatment contained harmful ingredients. The effect was so severe that it took only three uses of the product for all of Eliana’s locks to fall out.

Thousands of other consumers have also raised complaints about the same product. About 127 people have directly sent their complaints against the popular treatment to the FDA.

This is the highest number of complaints that the FDA has ever received against any cosmetic cleansing hair product. According to FOX31 Denver, the parent company has admitted to the FDA that it has received more than 21,000 complaints from affected consumers!

The FDA has responded by issuing an alert warning consumers that the product causes hair loss, rashes and even baldness.

A class-action lawsuit had been filed against the cleansing conditioner known as Wen by Chaz Dean.

However, the FDA is not in a position to recall the dangerous treatment or any other personal care product, as it has little control over the cosmetics industry, which is worth $62 billion. Public pressure forced the body to launch an investigation about the numerous claims of hair loss.

FDA Personal Care Safety Act
Photo via YouTube screenshot

Sadly, the FDA does not have the legal authority to issue a recall even if it proves beyond reasonable doubt that the product is responsible for Eliana’s hair loss.

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Companies in the cosmetics industry are not obligated to recall their products from the market even when they have been shown to be unsafe. The companies may only pull their products on a voluntary basis.

Need for Regulatory Changes

The Personal Care Safety Act is intended to update the existing FDA statutes that regulate skincare, makeup and other personal care products. It aims at giving the body legal authority to recall unsafe products.

Eliana wrote a moving letter to the elected officials in her state to persuade them to support the new legislation. Indeed, no one else should go through such a harrowing experience.

Wen Hair Care making some lose their hair
Photo via YouTube screenshot

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

There is still no law that protects innocent consumers who suffer from the use of personal care products. Looks can be deceiving, and many of the products may not be as natural and safe as they appear.

You should, therefore, take the time to find more information about the individual ingredients of the product that you want to use.

You can find their safety information at the Skin Deep® cosmetics database on the Environmental Working Group’s website.

NaturallySavvy.com offers four ways you can protect yourself from harmful cosmetics. The best tip is to buy cosmetics that have been certified and include the following seals and logos:

  • COSMOS. This is an internationally recognized certification for natural and/or organic cosmetics.
  • Leaping Bunny Program. This effort is run by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics. The presence of seal guarantees consumers that no animal testing was involved in any portion of the production of this cosmetic. The seal if recognized internationally.
  • Natrue. This seal provides consumers with the assurance that the cosmetics have not been tested on animals and do not contain petroleum-derived ingredients, silicone oils and derivatives, GMOs, synthetic colors or fragrances. Also, no irradiation was used.
  • NSF/ANSI 305. This regulatory seal lets you know that the product contains at least 70% certified organic ingredients by weight. Their statement is that “All products are made with organic ingredients. Safe, effective, certified, natural body care without synthetic fragrances, phthalates, harsh sulfates or parabens.”
  • USDA Organic Seal. This seal guarantees that the item contains agricultural ingredients that meet the USDA National Organic Program standards. Products with this seal can be in one of four categories: “100% organic,” “organic” (must contain at least 95% organic ingredients), “made with organic ingredients” (must contain at least 70% organic ingredients), or no claims (contains less than 70% organic ingredients).

Two years have passed since Eliana’s experience, but her hair is still struggling to grow. She still spots bald patches, and the re-grown hair is thinner.

Her experience was made worse by the taunts that she received from some bullies in school, and her resilience is commendable. She has had more than a “bad hair day.”

Watch Eliana and listen to her frightful experience in her own words

About Cary Byrd

eDrugSearch founder, Cary Byrd, has been called an “e-health innovator” by MarketIntellNow, interviewed by top pharmaceutical industry journalists, invited to Matthew Holt’s Health 2.0 Conference and a Consumer Report's health summit, and highlighted on numerous health blogs.

Eliana Lawrence Loses Hair from Wen hair product

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