SANTA MONICA, CA: Abernathy MacGregor is aiding Wen Hair Care with media relations after 200 people in 40 states filed a class-action lawsuit against the brand and owner Guthy-Renker.
Wen is owned by celebrity hairstylist Chaz Dean and endorsed by stars such as Alyssa Milano, Angie Harmon, and Brooke Shields. Aside from infomercial giant Guthy-Renker, Wen products are sold through www.chazdean.com, Sephora, and QVC.
The suit, filed in a California federal court by law firm Christiansen Davis, alleges that Wen’s hair care line – specifically its cleansing conditioner hair products – can cause severe and possibly permanent damage to hair, including "significant hair loss to the point of visible bald spots, hair breakage, scalp irritation, and rash."
The company’s website markets the products as being gentle and safe to use every day, but the suit says this is "misleading" advertising and alleges that the company failed to warn customers of the dangers. It also claims that Guthy-Renker removed negative online reviews about the products, and Wen blocked or erased comments about hair loss from its Facebook page.
The suit also alleges that Dean and Guthy-Renker denied receiving complaints when Wen users called for help.
On behalf of Wen, Abernathy MacGregor SVP Rosemary Wilson emailed PRWeek a statement explaining that the brand takes "great pride" in the quality of its products and believes every product meets its high standards. The statement went on to say that Wen wants all of its customers to have positive experiences with its products and encourages any customers with questions to contact the company.
"Importantly, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to support any claim that our hair care products caused anyone to lose their hair," said Wen in the statement. "There are many reasons why individuals may lose their hair, all unrelated to Wen hair care products. We will vigorously contest the allegations made against our products."
The company added that it has shipped more than 10 million Wen products since 2008, with "overwhelmingly positive" responses from customers. The benefits of Wen products are also reflected in the brand’s consistently high rankings from independent consumer product sites as well, the company said.
Wilson said there would be no further comment beyond the statement provided.
Complaints about the product are not new and have been building since at least last July when a class-action lawsuit was filed by a Florida woman. This was followed by a Dallas attorney announcing in March that she was representing six women who were also suing Dean over losing "handfuls of hair" allegedly due to Wen products. Hundreds more joined the suit last month.
Customers have also been flooding Wen’s social media pages with negative reviews complaining of hair loss after using its products.
Wen has not posted anything on its social media pages about the matter, but has been responding directly to customer complaints and directing them to contact the company’s corporate escalation team.
@debrascon 1/2: We want all our customers to have positive experiences with our products— Wen Hair Care (@WenHairCare) December 14, 2015