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Relax, Because You're Worth It

Recently, a class action lawsuit was filed against L’Oreal on behalf of one of their hair relaxer products. L’Oréal S.A. is a French cosmetics company headquartered in Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine with a registered office in Paris. L’Oréal is one of the largest cosmetic companies in the United States and sells products for men and women throughout the United States.

In June 2016, one of the numerous plaintiffs purchased Soft-Sheen-Carson Optimum Amla Legend No-Mix, No-Lye Relaxer from Sonya Beauty Supply in Missouri, and applied the product diligently, under the companies on-the-box instructions. Almost immediately after, however, the she claimed that her scalp became irritated, while shortly thereafter, her hair began to fall out in patches; forcing the plaintiff to buy hair extensions to cover up the damage.

Additionally, when another plaintiff used the product as intended (and instructed by defendants), it left her with bald spots, as well as burns and then scabs on her scalp. After using the Amla Relaxer, the plaintiff was forced to wear a wig for the first time in her life to cover her injuries. To date, she continues to struggle with thin, unhealthy, and damaged hair as a result of her use of the Product.

The advertising for the Relaxer touts that it is “enriched with purified Amla extract that rejuvenates hair and undoes 2 years of damage in 2 weeks.” The defendants further claim that Amla Oil is so “special and different from other oil extracts like Olive Oil or Argan Oil is that this super fruit is rich in vitamin C, proteins, minerals and anti-oxidants, which nourishes and revitalizes the scalp and hair fiber.” The packaging even states that the product “refills to reveal visibly fuller, silkier, hair.”

L’Oreal states specifically that the Relaxer is “No-Lye” because most relaxer products include lye, which is a harsh and abrasive chemical that can cause irritation
to hair and skin.

The company failed to disclose, however, that their product contains chemicals that are as dangerous as lye. The relaxer’s packaging states that it contains lithium hydroxide, which causes irritation to both hair and skin, but fails to disclose the dangers of lithium hydroxide. This means that L’Oreal failed to disclose to Ms. Finch and all other consumers that the relaxer causes hair damage, and even hair loss, to many consumers who apply it as directed.

The complaint states that the product in question can be found at a number of national retailers, including Walmart and CVS, under the SoftSheen-Carson brand, created in 2000 when L’Oreal merged the nation’s formerly largest African-American-owned beauty products company, Soft Sheen Products Inc., and another market leader, Carson Products, both of which the cosmetics giant acquired in the late ’90s.

At Consider The Consumer we believe that there are many who have been affected by this. If you have been, please contact us and we will instruct you through your future actions.

To access a full copy of the complaint, click here!

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