January 11, 2016 — The manufacturer of WEN hair-care products may have secretly conducted safety studies after receiving reports of consumers who experienced severe hair loss, a class action claims.
More than 17,000 people who used WEN have complained to the manufacturer, Guthy-Renker LLC. The company is facing a class action lawsuit involving a group of 200 women who were injured.
Now, a report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) says court documents indicate that Guthy-Renker has been “quietly conducting numerous safety studies” but decided not to disclose the results of the studies publicly.
The EWG discovered the existence of the safety studies based on documents filed in a class action lawsuit against Guthy-Renker in federal court in Los Angeles. According to the group:
“What did those studies conclude? We at EWG want to know—and so do the many people who say they were injured. … But the woefully weak and outdated federal law that governs the personal care products industry does not require companies like Guthy-Renker to inform the FDA about customer complaints or their own health and safety studies.”
It is still not clear why WEN is being linked to so many reports of hair loss. Allure talked to a few dermatologists who said none of the ingredients listed on he bottle were anything suspicious.
Attorneys say the problem might be that WEN Cleansing Conditioner, a “5-in-1” product, contains virtually no cleanser — so its like using lotion to wash your hair. Over time, the product could become impacted in the hair follicle.
Ingredients in cosmetics are not regulated by the FDA. Last year, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Ca.) introduced the “Personal Care Products Safety Act.” The law proposed requiring cosmetics manufacturers to tell the FDA what ingredients are in their products. The law would also give the FDA authority to prohibit sales of a cosmetic if they believe it could cause serious health problems.