Lawsuits in the Hair Care Industry

After the explosive news last week about the hair loss lawsuit in the works against Johnson & Johnson over their OGX Brand products, I had to go digging.

It seems like in the past 5 years I have heard about lawsuits in the hair care industry increasingly more regularly and I wanted to wrap my head around what was really happening out there.

Disclaimer: The amount of hair products with past, pending or upcoming lawsuits against them is seriously ridiculous.

Here are the major companies I have found that have already settled and paid out law suits for creating hair care products with ingredients known to cause intense scalp irritation and hair loss:

Sexy Hair (2012)
Tresseme Naturals (2016)
Wen (2017)
Monat Global (2020)

But that is not even the half of it. New lawsuits with over a dozen different hair care brands are currently being investigated who, despite being advertised as safe and healthy to use, have caused thousands of users across the globe to experience excessive hair loss and scalp irritation including:

Selsun Blue
Mane ‘n Tail

Many of these companies are being called out specifically for using ingredients like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and DMDM Hydantoin KNOWING they can cause hair loss and scalp irritation but choosing to incorporate them into their products anyway.

They do this because they’re cheap and they give quick and immediate results.

Most companies out there, not just in the hair care industry but in general who are choosing to use questionable ingredients like these, are doing so because they are affordable. It works out to be better for them, financially, to use whatever ingredients they can to increase their profit margin while the product is on sale, even if that means having to spend millions of dollars later in legal fees and settlements.

Think about that. It is more profitable for them to cause a health issue for us and spend millions of dollars on top of the line legal teams later, than it is to do to the right thing now.

If that doesn’t make you want to care just a little bit more about who you are buying your products from, I don’t know what will.

DMDM Hydantoin is one of the most common allergens in cosmetic products and can trigger an immune system response that results in allergy symptoms such as itching and rashes. (Read more about DMDM in THIS blog post.)

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate has been found to have the ability to penetrate the skin and cause irritation. One study found that 42% of 1,600 individuals exposed developed an “irritant reaction.” It has also been reported that it is so likely to cause a skin reaction that it’s actually used as a positive control in dermatological tests. It also may or may not be a carcinogen…the jury is still out of that one.

Other products currently under investigation include for containing DMDM Hydantoin and/or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate include:

Aussie Beat the Brass Purple Shampoo
Aussie Instant Freeze Gel
Aussie Instant Freeze Mousse
Aussie Headstrong Volume Mousse
Aussie Headstrong Volume Gel
Aussie Miracle Detox Shampoo
Aussie Miracle Clean Shampoo
Aussie Miracle Clean 2N1 Shampoo
Aussie Miracle Coils Leave-in Stretching Cream
Aussie Miracle Coils Shaping Jelly
Aussie Miracle Curls Crème Pudding
Aussie Miracle Curls Mousse
Aussie Miracle Curls Shampoo
Aussie Miracle Mend Shampoo
Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo
Aussie Miracle Moist 2N1 Shampoo
Aussie Miracle Smooth Shampoo
Aussie Miracle Volume Shampoo
Aussie Miracle Waves Anti-Frizz Hemp Shampoo
Aussie Total Miracle 7N1 Shampoo
Dove Anti-Dandruff Shampoo – Dryness & Itch Relief
Dove Anti-Dandruff Shampoo – Soothing Moisture
Dove Anti-Dandruff Shampoo – Coconut & Hydration
Dove Men+Care Anti-Dandruff Fortifying Shampoo & Conditioner – Dandruff Defense
Dove Men+Care Anti-Dandruff Fortifying Shampoo & Conditioner – Dryness & Itch Relief
Finesse 2-in-1 Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner
Got2b Phenomenal 2-in-1 Thickening Shampoo
It’s A 10 Miracle Shampoo Plus Keratin
Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy Keratin Color Care Shampoo
Maui Moisture Color Protection + Sea Minerals Conditioner
Nexxus Clean & Pure Nourishing Detox Shampoo
Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo
Nexxus Therappe Ultimate Moisture Shampoo
Nexxus Diametress Weightless Volume Shampoo
Nexxus Hydra-Light Weightless Moisture Shampoo
OGX Ever Straightening Plus Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo
Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer
TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde Shampoo

Hi Loves!

I’m Lo! I am a blogger, course creator, avid environmentalist and curly hair queen. My job is simple: to awaken your consciousness, help you step away from mass consumption and embrace a more simple and sustainable style of life.

Let’s create radical change!

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THIS is why good products seem expensive.

It’s not that real, natural products actually cost more, it’s that these crappy, petroleum derived ones are toxic and literally irritating our immune system day in and day out.

Most of these synthetic ingredients provide no real value to our products, they do nothing good but line the pockets of the companies using them.

These companies are ripping us off and, trust me, we’re paying for it.

Maybe not at the store when we buy these products, which is why the good ones seem so far out of our price range, but once we factor in our blood sweat and tears from being ill and not knowing why. The time and energy spent at doctors offices and scouring the internet trying to figure out what’s wrong with us.

In health care. In emotional and physical pain. In time and money spend standing up for ourselves.

We are paying for it.

We can start to see that the problem is not with us. It’s with them, and then products they are selling to us so “cheaply”.

Let’s be clear about one thing. They are in it for the money and their goal is to keep us spending until we have nothing left.

I’ve been on the journey to finding safe products from brands that are truly making a difference for over a decade. You can trust that the ones I’ve chosen to highlight and support inside of my Product Finder will never contain DMDM or any other petrochemicals that I no longer use in my home.

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  1. Deb W says:

    Before I figured out what was going on with my scalp (burning, red, itching) and my hair loss, I did all the things you spoke about: hours of digging online, changing products, but changing to others that were just as bad, doctor visits that resulted in $400 worth of scalp oil and shampoo, so much stress and so much discomfort. Before the expensive dr prescribed products, above, a dr recommended I use the Selsun Blue dandruff shampoo. 🙁 I’ve used many of the ones you listed as having lawsuits and they were all the expensive ones. Since I switched to all-Innersense, my part-line is no longer red. It is now a normal, almost white, color. I still have some itching, but hope with time things will settle down. I also have to be careful of any moisturizing products, like conditioner, sitting on my scalp, as I get acne from that- even with Innersense. It’s a struggle and I’m now on an Autoimmune Protocol diet and have noticed positive changes with that, too. Thanks for keeping us informed. I always look forward to your posts.

    1. Logan says:

      What a chilling story Deb. I am so glad that you were able to find products that removed the triggers and helped you heal. I am so thankful for you. <3

  2. Marcie says:

    A lot of the products listed are higher-end and not cheap! However, two things I’ve noticed happening are the following:
    1. Read shampoo reviews at the majority of shampoos sold across different brands always have reviews from people stating hair loss occurred. I’ve even see hair loss reviews at as well.
    2. The sulfate-free trend (IMO only) is frustrating to me, at least what’s being offered. Most is just as bad as the old! It causes buildup for some, which can also lead to hair loss and clogged follicles.

    Ultimately, shampoos and products are very subjective and usually will involve a “trial and error” period for the consumer. Maybe if there weren’t SO many conglomerates with financial-driven gluttony, real products with real ingredients at realistic prices would offer us a plethora to select from- without worrying about harmful effects from literally soap!!

    1. Logan says:

      I definitely agree with what you are saying about sulfate free. What is difficult is that labels are incredibly hard to read, companies make them that way, so sulfate and silicone free are a great starting point but definitely not the last step I like to think of it as a stepping stone on the path to consciousness.

  3. I would be careful with the information you are putting out there. MONAT has never paid out on any lawsuits, so making false claims about a company like could lead to defamation lawsuits against you,

    1. Lisa says:

      I noticed that too. Monat has not settled or paid out to anyone.

  4. Alisha says:

    I have been using Nexxus Ultimate Moisture Shampoo for about 2 years now and loved what it did to my hair. 6 months ago I started having hair loss issues, nothing too excessive but enough for my hair stylist to notice, especially in my front hair line. We chalked it up to stress and poor eating habits. In the past few months I’ve noticed that my scalp is consistently itchy. I started thinking maybe my issue was more neurological since I have other nervous system issues. I am so grateful for this article, because I feel that you have given me the real answer I have been searching for. I will definitely be doing some research on the Shampoo to replace it because I am never putting that product in my hair again!

    1. Lisa says:

      My heart goes out to people who experience this, regardless of whether they suffer due to the product or any other irritant. (Hairspray is the worst!)

      I’ve tried numerous shampoo brands in my 50 years and thankfully I’ve never had this happen.

  5. Quentin J says:

    Does anyone ever go after the companies of the hair product, as an individual? I’ve been trying to reach out to a company about my situation with failed attempts. What should I do? The have a website to leave complaints, but hey wont reply.

    1. Lisa says:

      Quentin J,
      You may have to reach out to a class action lawyer. You’ll need a doctor to evaluate you to determine if the product indeed caused the issues. There’s just so many variables of why people lose hair or have itching.

      A vinegar rinse may help.

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