LIt’s always big news when one of the world’s leading cosmetic houses is exposed for selling a harmful product. The emerging story about L’Oréal’s SoftSheen-Carson No-Lye Relaxer is no exception.
Earlier in the year Chaz Dean’s Studio came under fire when it was reported 200 women had taken a class action suit alleging “severe and possible permanent damage” to their hair. The L’Oréal problem has the potential to become a much bigger story and could cost the company hundreds of millions.
Michelle Obama’s stylist recommends the product…
The product in question is a hair relaxer, aimed at African American women, which L’Oréal state will produce “fuller, silkier hair” and has previously been endorsed by a number of celebrities, including Michelle Obama’s stylist.
The Class suit, which was filed in a Californian Court on 14th September claims that the product is responsible for “disturbing and distressing injuries including hair loss and breakage as well as scalp irritation and burns”.
Just a quick check of the Amazon reviews is enough to see that customers are reporting hair breakage, hair loss and even burnt scalps after using the product.
Up to 100,000 plaintiffs claiming hair loss
Although L’Oréal has chosen to remain silent at this stage the cost for the company could be huge, both in dollar terms and band reputation. According to Ben Meiselas, a celebrity lawyer who had previously represented Michael Jackson, the plaintiffs have already reached 100,000 although this is yet to be confirmed.
He also indicated a willingness to reach an out of court settlement, placing the onus on L’Oréal to avoid a trial by coming to the table and reaching a settlement.
It’s still early days and will certainly be worth keeping an eye on this story over the coming months. In the meantime it may pay to leave that bottle of No-Lye Relaxer on the bathroom shelf.