Hundreds have stepped forward and sued a renowned celebrity-endorsed hair care product for allegedly causing their locks to fall out and their scalp to become severely damaged.

More than 200 individuals, mostly women, from 40 states came together to file a class action suit against WEN Hair Care by Chaz Dean and its parent company Guthy-Renker, with allegations of its cleansing conditioner causing rashes, bald spots, irritation, hair breakage and hair discoloration.

The WEN products – touted as a sulfate-free shampoo alternative – were designed, manufactured and marketed by popular Hollywood hair stylist Chaz Dean and Guthy-Renker, also the company behind Proactiv acne treatment and other known beauty brands.

Promoted to work as a shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler and leave-in solution, WEN products enjoyed the endorsement of Brooke Shields and Alyssa Milano, among other celebrities.

The products contain "active ingredients (that) act as a depilatory and caustic agent, either by causing a chemical reaction that damages the hair strand and/or follicle," alleged the complainants, represented by the Christiansen Davis law firm.

In addition, the lawsuit, which pointed to “numerous harsh chemicals" in the formula, claimed that the manufacturer had knowledge of the complaints but refused to act, including removing the said items from store shelves.

Florida-based Amy Friedman, one of the plaintiffs, said she bought a $29.95 WEN Cleansing Conditioner Sweet Almond Mint basic kit and soon saw something wrong. Legal records stated: "Within two weeks of beginning use of her WEN Cleansing Conditioner, Plaintiff began losing substantial and abnormal amounts of hair.”

In a statement sent to a news agency, Chaz Dean and Guthy-Renker debunked the allegations. "There is no scientific evidence to support any claim that our hair care products caused anyone to lose their hair. There are many reasons why individuals may lose their hair, all unrelated to WEN hair products,” they said.

Christiansen Davis law firm partner Amy Davis said Tuesday that both parties are trying their hand at settlement and have agreed to refrain from issuing any further comment pending talks.

WEN reportedly earned $100 million in its second year from launch, with a top rating on to boot.

However, despite its current A+ rating on Better Business Bureau, it has closed more than 750 complaints from there in the past three years, including 270 in 2014. The complaints included hair loss issues.

Photo: Moyan Brenn | Flickr

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