- A group of customers sued Olaplex in California, claiming its products caused “serious” hair problems.
- They disputed the brand’s social media messaging that its products could revive “compromised hair.”
- Insider has previously reported on Olaplex customers who said they experienced hair loss and got refunds.
Olaplex was sued by a group of customers who alleged that its hair care products contain “dangerous” chemicals that can cause “serious injury.”
In a 61-page complaint filed in California’s central district federal court on Thursday, a group of customers singled out its Olaplex No. 0 to No. 9 products, saying they experienced hair and scalp problems including “bald spots,” “dry, brittle” hair, and scalp problems like “burning” and “open sores” after using them.
The customers claimed in the suit that Olaplex products “contain or have until recently contained” the allergy-causing ingredient lilial, and that they also include panthenol, as well as ingredients like sodium benzoate that they said could form the chemical benzene. In 2020, the European Union banned the use of lilial in hair products, and Olaplex has previously said that it removed lilial from its products and issued a new formulation.
The lawsuit, which was filed by over two dozen customers, is seeking at least $75,000 in damages.
Olaplex denied the customers’ allegations.
“OLAPLEX products do not cause hair loss or hair breakage,” a spokesperson for the company told Insider in a statement. “We have full confidence and believe in the safety and efficacy of our products, which are thoroughly tested in-house and by independent third-party laboratories.”
The customers alleged that the types of ingredients they highlighted in the suit had made the products “unreasonably dangerous” and ineffective, according to the complaint.
“Far from repairing and protecting hair from damage, the products have instead left plaintiffs’ hair dry, brittle, frizzy, and dull,” they wrote in the complaint. “The hair has split and broken, causing it to look unkept and as if it were cut with a weedwhacker.”
Insider has previously reported on customers alleging that they experienced hair loss after using Olaplex products and reported that some had even received refunds.
Olaplex’s statement added that there are “a wide variety of reasons for hair breakage or hair loss,” calling the allegations in the lawsuit, “baseless accusations.”
Customers, in the new lawsuit, also took aim at the brand’s advertising 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.
The customers also accused Olaplex of downplaying negative feedback about the products and not being forthright about the volume of complaints related to them.
The new lawsuit alleged that if Olaplex had provided more information about such complaints, they could have avoided going from “doctor to doctor desperate for answers” to learn if some other underlying health condition was the cause of their hair issues.
“Defendants have been dismissive of their customers’ hair loss, instead describing hair shedding as normal and unavoidable and attributing the hair loss to a long list of other potential causes,” they wrote.