Judge Gives Initial Approval To $26M Settlement For Claims That WEN Products Caused Hair Loss

Image courtesy of Chaz Dean

In July, we heard that the Food and Drug Administration was investigating reports of hair loss, balding, itching, and rash associated with using celebrity stylist Chaz Dean’s hair care products, sold by a company called WEN. Now, a federal judge in Los Angeles has given preliminary approval to a $25 million settlement that resulted from a class-action lawsuit more than 200 customers filed against the company.

Under the terms of the settlement, anyone who bought a bottle of Dean’s cleansing conditioner could receive $25 (with a total reward payout caped at $5 million) and up to $20,000 to customers who experienced adverse reactions, New York Magazine’s The Cut reports.

First, however, the case will be reviewed by a U.S. District Court judge who will issue a final decision on the settlement.

“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,” an attorney for the plaintiffs told CBS Los Angeles.

WEN continues to stand behind the products, saying in a statement that they’re totally safe.

“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,” the company said. “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.”

The FDA is still investigating, after saying in July that it had received 127 complaints from consumers about the products, which is “the largest number of reports ever associated with any cosmetic hair cleansing product, including cleansing conditioners.”

The FDA is also looking into more than 21,000 complaints reported directly to Chaz Dean and Guthy Renker that it learned of during inspections of manufacturing and distribution facilities.

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