WEN Conducts Clinical Trial After Lawsuit and Says Products Have Always Been Safe

**UPDATE December 28, 2017

Although WEN settled its class-action lawsuit last year—women claimed its line of cleansing conditioners caused hair loss and other hair problems—brand founder Chaz Dean wants consumers to know his products are safe and always have been.

"To see what was being said in the press and in the lawsuits about a brand I poured my heart and soul into for over 20 years really hurt me to my core," says Dean. "WEN has been my everything for so long; I was torn apart. My first question to my team was how do we help these people? I've spent my life helping people and working to give my clients beautiful, healthy hair. I understand that hair loss is a very emotional issue for anyone suffering from it, so no matter what the outcome was going to be of the allegations, there were a lot of people involved who needed support and deserved answers. Knowing how intricate the hair loss category is, the best first step for us was to test the products."

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To prove his products were safe, Dean worked with WEN's retail partner Guthy Renker to conduct a six-week human safety test in which the cleansing conditioners in question were tested against a nationally recognized competitor brand of shampoo and the results were comparable. According to Dean, this clinical study revealed that WEN did not have any increased occurrence of hair loss than with a mass-market shampoo and conditioner. None of the subjects showed hair loss or negative reactions as a result of using WEN products.

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WEN also consulted with toxicologists and dermatologists, including New York dermatologist Anthony Rossi, MD, who says the products are safe and the hair loss experienced by the women in the lawsuit could have been caused by a variety of factors. 

"There are many different types of hair loss that can occur," says Dr. Rossi. "According to the International Society for Hair Restoration Surgeons (ISHRS), a total of 21 million women in the United States are suffering from some form of hair loss. Approximately 40 percent of women by age 50 show signs of hair loss, and less than 45 percent of women actually reach the age of 80 with a full head of hair. Additionally, multiple physiologic or iatrogenic causes can contribute to hair loss, including high-stress life events, weight loss/gain (rapid or excessive), certain medications or medication changes, post-pregnancy, post-surgery, anemia, hormonal changes such as menopause, and certain illnesses such as lupus, diabetes, thyroid disease, etc."

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So for those of you who abandoned your WEN products last year as a result of the lawsuit, you may want to give them a second chance. Yes, the number of consumer complaints was high, and it may be tough to see past that, but many women still use and love the brand's cleansing conditioners and have never experienced any issues. Whether you're a long-time fan or you have yet to try the products, here's how Dean says the cleansing conditioners should be used:

"Make sure you review the instructions provided on our labels to ensure you are using the appropriate amount of product for your hair length and texture. I always recommend that you cleanse your hair twice, splitting the amount of product that you will be using in half instead of doing it all at once. First, rinse your hair with water and pump half of the recommended amount into your palm. Massage the product into your hair thoroughly. Rinse and repeat once again. Make sure you rinse the product completely! Lastly, if desired, apply a small amount of the conditioner to the mid-shaft and ends of your hair as a leave-in conditioner."

**UPDATE November 1, 2016

A Southern California federal judge just ruled in a preliminary hearing that the proposed $26.25 million settlement has been approved. This is not good news for WEN (translation: more than six million people could be awarded up to $20,000 in individual settlements, according to CBS Los Angeles). The next step in this case is that it will be reviewed by a U.S. District Court Judge, and if she approves it, the settlements mentioned above become reality.

Attorney Amy Davis gave a statement on behalf of the plaintiff to CBS Los Angeles: "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."

WEN provided the following statement, according to CBS: “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.” 

In the midst of this court case, the FDA is continuing its investigation into the products as well. Stay tuned to NewBeauty.com for more updates!

**UPDATE August 16, 2016

According to The New York Times, Guthy-Renker has agreed to a $26.25 million settlement, but it hasn't been approved by a federal judge. If approved, the company would pay $25 to anyone who's purchased a bottle of the cleansing conditioner since it was launched and up to $20,000 to those who claimed hair loss or other injury. 

The FDA is still looking into the matter, but has yet to take any action and the products are still available for purchase. 

**Originally Published July 21, 2016

Bad news for WEN lovers: The hair-loss saga isn't over. According to a statement released by the FDA, there have been 127 reports filed by consumers regarding hair loss, hair breakage, balding, itching, and rash associated with the use of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products. 

Throughout the duration of the investigation, the FDA urges consumers to be aware of any reactions they may experience in association with the use of the products, and if they do experience a reaction, to stop using the product and consult with a dermatologist or other health care provider. You can also report your reaction to the FDA for further investigation.

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This news comes roughly six months after initial reports of severe damage and significant hair loss as a result of using the products were filed by 200 women in a class-action lawsuit against the brand. In a statement provided to NBC News in December 2015, WEN, Guthy-Renker and Chaz Dean refuted these claims and said there was no scientific evidence to support them.

According to the FDA's statement, experts have not yet been able to pinpoint what is in the sulfate-free cleansing conditioners that could be causing such damage, but they're now calling on WEN to provide any data that might help them better understand the reports of hair loss associated with the use of the products.

We received the following statement from Chaz Dean Inc.: “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 by Chaz Dean 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.​”

42 Comments
  • Sherry
    Posted on

    It is ridiculous to blame one hair care product for hair loss. Dying your hair causes hair loss people. I was using WEN for several years until it was pulled off the shelves because of this lawsuit. I then used the usual products that are popular in the market sold almost anywhere, thus my hair started to fall out. I didn't want to wash my hair for fear more would come out. I was pulling clumps of hair out with every wash using the common product in almost any store that carries hair products. Now that WEN is back on the shelf and on my first use my hair did not come out in clumps for the first time in a long time. My hair is silky, and needs minimal work to make it beautiful. Its even growing again. I would recommend maintaining your original formula, as I see now there are alcohols and parfume and the product does not need either. The more natural the better.

  • Jackie Sanders
    Posted on

    Have used for 5 yrs. A year ago, it started to thin bad. Hardly have any bangs left, cause I have rows and rows of hair missing. No, I am not in the law suit.

  • Heather
    Posted on

    I ordered Wen off Amazon a few years ago or so. I remember going on a date and washing and styling my hair as usual the first time I used Wen. I shed so badly on my date, my hair was everywhere, in the food, on the table, on me, on him... it was embarassing and I never experienced that prior. I continued to use Wen for a couple weeks, but the shedding persisted and my hair was actually very frizzy and dry. So, I switched back to Devacare, which works great. Anyhow, when I first read the reviews by women claiming their hair was falling out, I didn't believe them. I have worked in the cosmetics and beauty industry for over a decade and am used to hearing exagerations and what not, but after using Wen, I have never experienced my hair shedding in that manner, ever. And I am accustomed to a no Poo type of cleanser. They are not lying, something is up with that product!

  • Lea
    Posted on

    I have used Wen products for about 12 years. I started using it because my hair was falling out and I could figure out why. Immediately when I started using Wen it stopped and started growing back thick. I loved my hair, it was soft and the curl was back and it looked healthy. Then I notice about 3 + years ago the product changed, and so did my hair. I heard since the lawsuit issue they made them change the formula. I don't know if I noticed the change before or after the lawsuit issues. But it is a different formula than when I first started using it. I wish I could get my hands on the original formula I bought back in 2005. Anyone know where I might find it?

  • Elena Bowe
    Posted on

    I have used for years, I have fine thin hair, due to age and medication, Wen products have never caused me any problems only complements when my hair is washed and styled. Don’t be afraid to use these wonderful products. My heart goes out to to Chez Dean and the stress they must have endured, maybe those who claim to be affected need to examine their diet and lifestyle.

  • Janice
    Posted on

    When I first used it I loved it, back in 2011. My hair was never so thick, long, shiny and curly, and I was very happy with it for about 4 years. Then, my hair began to fall out and got very dry, frizzy and thin. I think they changed the formula. It's impossible that the product that made my hair so conditioned with the first use was the same product that was drying it out. I would love to get my hands on the original formula of Wen.

  • Kelly
    Posted on

    I have been using Wen for eight years and love it. It sounds like an allergic reaction for the people with hair loss. It is always best to do a small test area when trying new products.

  • ana
    Posted on

    His products have been the best hair products I have ever used. Now I wish I pay triple only to find the original products I had bought and used for a year or so.

  • Kathy
    Posted on

    To be honest, I 100% stand by this product. I'm almost 40 years old and for the first time in my life my hair is touching my waist. I've had the same hair expert since I was 12 years old and he instantly noticed the difference in my Wen hair. It was stronger, thicker, longer and looked really healthy. I've been using it daily for about 4-5 years now and I even trust using it on my 2 year old son, as his hair is incredible because of it. I've never lost faith in you or your product Chaz and I never will. THANK YOU WEN!!!!!

  • katherine shrewsbury
    Posted on

    I just ordered Wen from QVC. Several years ago, I was VERY sick & had several surgeries and many medications. As a result, my hair was severely damaged. Wen brought my hair back. It was a miracle for me. As years went by, I started picking up products at the store & drifted away from ordering. I hope I'm as happy with it this time. When I used it, I was able to go a day or two between washes and my hair still looked great. I think if there were a real problem with Wen, QVC would not continue to carry it. The liability would be too great. Also, if there were a problem, the FDA would pull it from the market. Products proven to be harmful cannot continue to be marketed in America. That tells me all I need to know where this lawsuit is concerned. Settling was strictly a business decision reached to make this go away so business could be conducted in peace.

  • Babalonmoon
    Posted on

    I have used Wen for years and have never had any adverse reaction. Now I will say that I rinse it completely and with VERY warm water almost hot. and I rinse for 3 to 5 min at least! you MUST rinse ANY shampoo out of your hair or your hair will appear flaky and not shiny AND itchy- that's just common sense. I just find it incredulous that any shampoo with only natural ingredients can cause hair loss unless you are highly allergic and I would think one would know they had allergies jmo

  • Scott
    Posted on

    My friend just got charged with false claim on this stupid lawsuit. Luckily she was able to backup all her claims so they had to drop it but still that is crazy.

  • Carla
    Posted on

    I do not care about Chaz Dean’s feelings being hurt...after suffering with the itchy bleeding scalp and huge bald spots after using his product it is now two years and the bald areas are finally covered...but. My hair grows so slow now and I am finally able to put my hair up...worst pain ever and nothing helped for the longest time. Thousands spent going to doctors...grrrrrrr

  • Margaret
    Posted on

    I'm an older woman who has NEVER had a single problem with my scalp or hair. I have used WEN (recommended by my hair stylist) for about 8 months. About 4 month ago, I asked her if she thought WEN could be bad for me because my head had started to itch a little bit. She assured me it was safe. I have used it exactly according to the instructions. 5 days ago, I started to notice a lot of flaking along with more intense itching, so I searched the internet for information---only to find all this info about lawsuits and others having the same problems. I was...and still am...stunned that it is still on the market!! What on earth would have to happen for the authorities to get rid of this stuff?

  • Vicky Londres
    Posted on

    People don't know how to properly wash their hair. I have several friends with dry hair and they refuse to rinse off shampoos and creams completely. People usually don't follow instructions for anything. I've been using WEN for 4 years and my hair is in its best shape ever. You have to RINSE IT OFF COMPLETELY! No product should be left in your hair. And, as in any lawsuit, most of the people are in only for an easy buck, even if just pennies. You tried it and didn't like? Great, back off now. It would be very upsetting to have such a great product out of the market just because a few refuse to clean their heads in a proper manner.

  • Katrina
    Posted on

    I used wen for years before all of the drama of lawsuits started. For financial reasons I stopped buying wen right around that time, but NOT because of thr lawsuits. Since I stopped using wen I can not find anything to refresh my hair and look as gorgeous as wen. Maybe wen isn't the best for everyone, but it was the best for me, and I will try to buy it again once my finances allow me to!!!

  • Tressie H. Brooker
    Posted on

    After using Wen on my natural hair I lost all of my hair was lost, I mean, completely. My scalp was completely balled, I lost all of my natural hair. As of this date 2018, my hair has not grown back to it's natural length. I have not heard from The Wen Litigation. Please Let me know what the status of The Wen Litigation?

  • m law
    Posted on

    Give them another chance? Maybe so you can lose hair this time if you didn't before? Are you out of your minds? The product is the same, the cleansing conditioners are still causing hair loss, and not to an insignificant number. They admitted to close to 30,000 in court documents in 2015, and the FDA knows about 21,000+. (that's a big number considering they routinely avoid escalating victims to their adverse event department to keep the numbers low and hush it up) If the FDA had the authority over cosmetics, they would pull this product, but currently they do not have the legal authority to do so. In our personal experience, the product caused total hair loss on contact. 3+ years later and still not recovered.

  • Dr Alan Bauman - Hair Restoration Physician
    Posted on

    This is an awful situation, unfortunately. We have seen an extraordinary number of patients seeking advice regarding WEN and hair loss, scalp problems and shedding. Many women seeking evaluation for hair and scalp issues that occurred during or after the use of Chaz Dean WEN products have underlying conditions and risk factors for hair loss, but others do not. Regardless, patients say that our standardized measurements, tracking and microscopic photos were helpful in documenting their hair loss status and scalp reactions. Our advice at Bauman Medical is to seek out an ABHRS-certified, full-time Hair Restoration Physician BEFORE choosing a specialty treatment, shampoo, scalp product, etc. for hair thinning and hair loss. The good news is that much of the scalp and hair problems have been able to be reversed using effective treatments. Sincerely, Dr. Alan J. Bauman, M.D., A.B.H.R.S, F.I.S.H.R.S - Bauman Medical

  • Jaclyn
    Posted on

    The truth is that,the company has the obligation to let consumers know that this product can cause hair fungus,hair loss and damage if not rinsed out properly,this product cannot be applied to the root of the hair in high concentration,it will over time leave a heavy build up that will clog the hair follicle,like any product would that is applied to hair excessively,you have to give your hair a break from any product,especially products that don't lather,you must shampoo hair out at least twice a week with a rich lathering shampoo.I personally was going to buy Wen but didn't on the advice of my hairdresser who knows the affect of this products when not used properly,I don't think it's the product,it's really about how you personally apply and remove the product,to let your hair breath in between uses,come on Wen I know this and I don't buy your product,why isn't it information that your clients have??? I'm so tired of buying products that cause damage,and that goes out to every company that makes beauty and hair products,

  • Lynn
    Posted on

    My daughter has used Wen for years. She recently started losing hair to the point of now having a bald spot in the very front of her head. She is a young, healthy, athletic person. She has always had thick, beautiful hair. Now she is thinning like a man in his 50s. All I want is someone to help her regrow this hair. I see all of these comments about refunds and law suits. How about someone providing real help to folks who have lost their hair. This is so sad and heart wrenching. Why hasn't the companies that sell this product reached out to their customers to warn them of the possible side effects?

  • Sandra Marsh
    Posted on

    I have used Wen products in the past and stopped using them because, I noticed a marked thinning in certain spots of my hair . Needless to say, I stopped using the products ! There has to be something in those products that is not right . I will never use them again .

  • Melinda
    Posted on

    I have used all of the Wen cleansers and products since it came out. My hair is healthy and shiny. You can not blame a problem of fungus, alopecia, stress, etc on a cleansing conditioner. I developed adult acne and folliculitis on my scalp which was caused by bacteria and this was treated with antibiotics and is now gone. Everybody losses about 100 hairs a day. It looks like these women are blaming their problems and getting a quick buck out of Chad Dean.

  • Janet
    Posted on

    I bought Wen online and at first it left my hair greasy and realized it took extra rinsing. This worked for a couple of months but I saw no improvement in my hair condition. After 3 months use of the pomegranate formula my hair started falling out. I now have half of my hair and have thrown out the product. Wen did give me a refund on the last order my my scalp continues to have a burning sensation after two weeks of no Wen. Scary stuff. And no, nothing else changed in my diet and I do not take any drugs.

  • Anonymous
    Posted on

    I have very fine hair and started using Wen many years ago. At first, I loved it, but after a year or so of using it, I stopped because my hair went thru some changes such as, it started breaking easily and falling off and Wen no longer made my hair manageable and shiny. At that time, I did not connect the falling of my hair to Wen. After a few years, and having healthy hair again, I was tempted by the informercial and special offers, to use Wen again and I stocked up on the products. This time, after using the Wen products for over a year, my scalp became very sensitive and itchy. I went to my doctor and she gave me a prescription for a shampoo to help with fungus. I used the whole bottle, and I got a little relieve from the itching at first, but the itching never went away, and and it would get worse. After a month or two, and with the itching getting worse, my hair started to fall off to the point that within a few months, I had only one third of my hair left . I stated using a wig as my hair looked so thing and damaged. I also went thru another bottle of the fungus shampoo (which did not help) as the itching was really bad again. I started going to different dermatologists plus I would asked any other doctors with whom I had appointments for other matters. No one could help me and my hair was getting thinner. I stopped coloring and blow drying my hair for four or five months, and started using an all natural African Black Soup to shampoo my hair. This helped a lot with the itching was somewhat under control and the falling stopped completely. My hair has started growing back, but I still have some of the scalp itching off and on. I just recently started coloring my hair with natural henna, but I am constantly afraid that my hair may start to fall again. My scalp is still sensitive to chemical on any hair products. I know, because the scalp itching gets worse when I do.

  • Kay Hollon
    Posted on

    My hair has never looked better or grown longer..........not sure why others are having problems

  • Amore
    Posted on

    There is nothing toxic in Wen, the complete opposite. I started using Wen back in 2010 at the same time I started receiving treatment for cancer. So when many people lose their hair while receiving Chemo, I had very minimal hairloss, no bald at all. People who CLAIM that Wen is the cause of their hair loss or hair problems...I DO NOT BELIEVE IT AT ALL!!!Fact of the matter is, their are so many things that can contribite to hair loss like a person's Diet, an underlying Medical condition, an allergy (which if this is the case, like anything else if you're allergic you STOP using or eating what's causing it). It seems ot's a lot easier for some people to SUE Chaz Dean & his Company then find out what the REAL cause is for their hair loss. SHAME ON YOU PEOPLE! Also, it's so obvious that some people are just hateful and/or jealous of Chaz Dean and his Success! Chaz is a great giy, a very caring individual and eould NEVER continue to sell a product if it were harmful and that's a FACT! Wen is AMAZING :) One last thing, the people who have claimed hairloss should of STOPPED using it! However, they continued using Wen because they know the truth, it's NOT Wen that's causing it. It's easier for them to blame Wen, than to address their underlying medical problems. <3 Wen ...Dislike, People who SUE!

  • Marjorie
    Posted on

    I have used WEN for about 3 years, always purchased through QVC. I have fine hair that has never looked better. Everyone sheds hair and I don't feel that I lose any more hair than I did while using regular shampoo/conditioner. I lighten my hair and never use heat (blow dryer, curling iron, straightener, etc). It saves me a lot of time in the morning and all of the scents smell fantastic. I have too many bottles in my closet (close to every scent), in case it is pulled off the market!!

  • Marge
    Posted on

    I've used Wen for years with no problems. There will always be people who may have a reaction to ANYTHING....its just a shame that our society is such that we don't use common sense and tell ourselves, "something in this doesn't agree with me... I'd better stop using it." Instead, it's "IM GOING TO SUE!!!!!!!"

  • Janet
    Posted on

    I loved the smell of Wen and believed all the claims made by Chaz on QVC. I tried to use it for several months. My scalp got in terrible shape. The itching and flaking just kept getting worse. I noticed my hair, which is very thick, thinning around my face. I finally realized that it might be the shampoo and stopped using Wen. It took several months to clear up my scalp and my hair returned. I would tell anyone using Wen to stop immediately.

  • Faye
    Posted on

    I had to cut my hair short it got so thin I am a hairstylist and I have a full bottle that I will not use and don't want to give to anyone!

  • Sandy
    Posted on

    I have been using WEN for years and never had any problems with product. I wash my hair every other day and my hair is colored and highlighted. Most of the time since it is summer I let my hair air dry. I feel using the hairdryer too often does damage hair.

  • Helen Hughes
    Posted on

    I've used Wen for several years. Purchased from QVC. Never have I had a problem . Color lasts longer, more manageable and just a great product. If not on easy pay I can't afford. I've stocked up so i have at least 10 bottles. Every now and then my head itches. Not sure why. Maybe a combination of products. Sometimes when I'm hot and sweaty. Who knows. I have to admit this does scare me and not sure what to do.

  • Carrie
    Posted on

    I have fine hair. I have been using Wen exclusively for 2 years and my hair has never looked better! ^^ What 'toxic ingredients ' are you people talking about?!? There are more natural ingredients in Wen than I have ever seen in another hair product.

  • Sally
    Posted on

    I have been using it for years and love the way it makes my hair look. I have fine hair and have it highlighted, but I don't put any other ingredients on it. I have had no adverse reactions to Wen. I agree with another poster, that perhaps it is a combination of what they are also doing to their hair. Sorry for the women who have lost their hair and am very interested in finding out the cause of it.

  • wen girl
    Posted on

    I have been using Wen 10 plus years. I have never had an adverse effect. Perhaps it was the combination of hair care products and the combined usage that caused a reaction.

  • Marilyn Cichowski,CCRN.,RNC.,NRP.,ACLS.,BLS.,BSN.
    Posted on

    Wen shampoo was used by me a few years ago and I found it was one of the worst shampoos I had ever used. It made my hair, which is thick, thinner and just did not clean it properly. I stopped using it immediately and threw the bottle out in the garbage.

  • Valentina
    Posted on

    Yes it happened to me - when I tried to return the product I received nothing but grief ~ "your hair will not fall out " - umm yes it did - horrible company !

  • Barbara Fly
    Posted on

    I cannot imagine why anyone would lose hair with WEN...I have bought the product a few times but am not using it now because of my budget...but I love it. I lost my hair 2 years ago due to an illness and when it grew back it grew curly & frizzy. Wen helped me manage that. I also used it as a bodywash, shaving cream...etc. I love wen (not the price) but the product is really good. People lose their hair in life for a lot of reasons, better make sure what the culprit is before making a claim like that.

  • Zadidoll
    Posted on

    WEN sold on QVC is not the same WEN as sold by Guthy Renker. Ingredient lists are different between the two Sweet Almond versions.

  • Beth
    Posted on

    I have been using when for years and I love it. My hair is beautiful, thick, and manageable. Anyone can have a reaction to a product.

  • Lori
    Posted on

    I used the product too, awful! Major hair loss and itchy scalp!!! I quit after reading online all the toxic ingredients.

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