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FDA Receives Complaints for WEN Hair Conditioner

Aug 5, 2016

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a safety alert stating that it has received reports of hair loss, hair breakage, balding, itching, and rash associated with the use of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products. The agency indicated that it was investigating the reports, and advises consumers to stop using the products and see a dermatologist or other health care provider if they experience a reaction. Any reactions should also be reported to the FDA, the alert indicated.

The FDA noted that it has not determined the cause of the reactions. According to the alert, the agency received 127 adverse event reports as of July 7, 2016. The alert also points out that this is the "largest number of reports ever associated with any cosmetic hair cleansing product, including cleansing conditioners." Additionally, the agency is looking into over 21,000 complaints submitted directly to Chaz Dean, Inc. and Guthy Renker LLC. The FDA became aware of these complaints during inspections of manufacturing and distribution facilities.

The WEN cleansing conditioner line was created by celebrity stylist Chaz Dean, who issued the following statement:

The Wen by Chaz Dean family cares deeply about everyone's hair health. We encourage people who inquire about any hair issues to seek qualified medical assistance because it is a complex topic. WEN® by Chaz Dean is safe, and millions of bottles have been sold over the last 16 years. We have consistently cooperated with the FDA and will continue to do so. We love our brand and our customers.

Through this experience, we have learned that there is an immediate need for more education about hair health and common hair concerns in the industry, unrelated to Wen. There is no evidence that WEN products cause hair loss and the ingredients and formulations meet or exceed safety and quality standards set by the cosmetics industry. We stand behind them.

The FDA has asked the company to provide any data that might help shed light on the cause of the adverse reactions. The agency has also asked physicians and other health care providers to notify patients of these reports, and submit any reactions to the FDA.

Meanwhile, a class action lawsuit was filed over the products in 2015. The FDA issued its recent alert due to the record high number of complaints. In fact, one customer told WFAA in 2015, "As I was shampooing my hair with it, I was noticing handfuls of hair."

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