Olaplex sued, customers say products contain 'unsafe' ingredients

Olaplex sued, customers say products contain ‘unsafe’ ingredients

  • A group of customers sued Olaplex in California, claiming that its products caused “serious” hair problems.
  • They took issue with the brand’s message on social media that its products could revive “weakened hair”.
  • Insider has previously reported on Olaplex customers who have reported experiencing hair loss and getting refunds.

Olaplex was sued by a group of customers who alleged that its hair care products contained “dangerous” chemicals that could cause “serious injury”.

In a 61-page lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court for the Central District of California, a group of customers named their Olaplex products #0 through #9, claiming they had hair and scalp issues, including “bald spots”, “dry, brittle”. “hair and scalp problems like ‘burns’ and ‘open sores’ after use.

Customers claimed in the lawsuit that Olaplex products “contain or until recently contained” the allergenic ingredient lilial, and that they also include panthenol, as well as ingredients like sodium benzoate which they say could form the chemical benzene. In 2020, the European Union banned the use of lilial in hair products, and Olaplex has already said that it removed lilial from its products and released a new formulation.

The lawsuit, which was filed by more than two dozen customers, seeks at least $75,000 in damages.

Olaplex has denied the customers’ claims.

“OLAPLEX products do not cause hair loss or breakage,” a company spokesperson told Insider in a statement. “We fully trust and believe in the safety and efficacy of our products, which are thoroughly tested in-house and by independent third-party labs.”

The customers alleged that the types of ingredients they highlighted in the lawsuit made the products “unreasonably unsafe” and ineffective, according to the complaint.

“Far from repairing and protecting the hair from damage, the products instead left the complainants’ hair dry, brittle, frizzy and dull,” they wrote in the complaint. “The hair has split and broken making it look unkempt and like it’s been cut with weed killer.”

Insider has previously reported customers alleging that they suffered hair loss after using Olaplex products and reporting that some even received refunds.

Olaplex’s statement added that there are “a wide variety of reasons for hair breakage or loss”, calling the lawsuit allegations “baseless accusations”.

The customers in the new lawsuit also took aim at the brand’s ad campaigns that included Drew Barrymore and influencers, which they said obscured the products’ alleged potential to cause harm.

A network of celebrities, salon workers and influencers were hired to boost the product and given marketing materials, training or other information, to make “false or misleading statements”, according to the lawsuit.

Customers have also accused Olaplex of downplaying negative product reviews and not being upfront about the volume of complaints about them.

The new lawsuit alleged that if Olaplex had provided more information about these complaints, they could have avoided going from “doctor to doctor desperate for answers” to find out if another underlying health condition was the cause of their hair problems.

“The defendants dismissed their clients’ hair loss, instead describing the hair loss as normal and unavoidable and attributing the hair loss to a long list of other potential causes,” they wrote.

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