A federal judge in Los Angeles has given preliminary approval to a $26.3 million settlement for a class-action lawsuit against celebrity stylist Chaz Dean and marketer Guthy-Renker over Wen hair care products. That ruling means some six million people may be eligible for an award of up to $20,000. The judge must still give final approval of the settlement. The lawsuit alleged Dean’s line of Wen shampoos and conditioners caused hair loss and scalp irritation. Amy Davis, a lawyer for the class Plaintiffs, made this observation:
From what we understand about the product and how it causes hair loss is it contains virtually no cleanser. It’s like using lotion to wash your hair. So instead of removing the product when you rinse it off, it just becomes impacted in your hair follicle.
In an attempt to justify their position in view of the settlement, Wen released this statement:
Wen by Chaz Dean is safe and we continue to provide our hundreds of thousands of customers with the Wen by Chaz Dean products that they know and love. Since the process of litigation is time consuming and costly, we made a business decision to pursue a settlement and put this behind us so that we can focus on delivering quality products.
However, the problems may not be over for the company. I understand the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still investigating. The FDA said it received 127 consumer complaints, which is the largest number of reports ever associated with any cosmetic hair cleansing product. That number is in addition to the 21,000 complaints reported directly to Chaz Dean and the marketing company, according to the FDA.