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Lawsuit filed against Olaplex over allegations of negligence and false advertising leading to hair loss and damage

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Almost 30 women are suing hair care brand Olaplex over accusations of negligence and false advertising. The women claim that Olaplex’s products caused hair loss and dry, brittle hair as a result of containing allergens and irritants. Olaplex has marketed its products, which include shampoos, conditioners, and oils numbered 0 through 9, as being able to “restore damaged and compromised hair,” and create “healthy, beautiful, shiny, touchable hair,” with results “proven by science.” The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court Central District of California, alleges that these claims are false.

The complaint further states that multiple Olaplex products contain lilial, a chemical compound that is often used as a perfume in cosmetics, but was mandated by the European Union to be removed from products by March 2022 due to concerns over its effect on fertility. The lawsuit alleges that panthenol, a form of vitamin B5, can cause an allergic reaction that resulted in contact dermatitis for some women. Additionally, the products allegedly contain sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid, which together form benzene, a carcinogen. The non water-soluble ingredients in the products are also said to clog hair follicles, leading to seborrheic dermatitis, inflammation, and hair loss.

Plaintiffs argue that Sephora removed lilial from Olaplex’s ingredient list in June 2021, but Olaplex continued to sell its inventory containing lilial instead of recalling the products. The hair care brand has won beauty awards, and its products are sold on its website, as well as in Sephora and Ulta for prices ranging from $30 to $96.

The plaintiffs also allege that Olaplex used celebrities and influencers to market its products, but failed to disclose that they had been paid. The company claimed that its products had been tested, but had not publicized those tests. According to the complaint, Olaplex has been dismissive of its customers’ hair loss and attributed it to other potential causes.

The plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial, attorney’s fees, and monetary damages. Olaplex has not yet commented on the lawsuit.

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