After a summer in the sun, Jessica Auriana said she felt like her hair was dry and brittle.
Looking for refreshment, the 44-year-old said she turned to her hairdresser, who suggested the Olaplex hair care line as a possible solution to her problems.
Auriana said she bought a shampoo, conditioner and clarifying shampoo from the brand and used the products for two months, claiming she had hair loss.
“I think I probably lost 20% of my hair at that point,” Auriana told “Good Morning America.” “I’m outside daily… I started to feel the wind and air on my scalp in places I’ve never felt before.”
Auriana is now part of a lawsuit against Olaplex, a hair care line popular with influencers and some celebrities that promises to “repair damaged and compromised hair by repairing from the inside out”, giving users “healthy, beautiful, shiny, touchable hair” . according to marketing materials on the company’s website and social media.
Olaplex products are widely available in beauty stores and online.
In the lawsuit, filed Feb. 9 in California, Auriana and more than two dozen women across the country claim they’ve left hair in worse shape than it was before using Olaplex products.
They allege in the lawsuit that Olaplex hair products they used, in some cases, left bald spots, allergic reactions, open sores, and hair that was “dry, brittle, frizzy, and dull.” A prosecutor claims in the lawsuit that the treatments made her hair look “as if it had been cut with a weed swatter.”
Collectively, the plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of $75,000.
Rachel Bentley, co-lawyer in the lawsuit, said the monetary damages are “for the injuries suffered by our clients.”
She told “GMA,” “We are seeking damages to deter Olaplex from engaging in further wrongful conduct.”
Olaplex has not recalled any of its products.
The company has denied the claims in the lawsuit, telling “GMA” in a statement, “Olaplex products do not cause hair loss or breakage. Olaplex products are safe and effective, as millions of our customers are happy to attest.”
The company also stated that it was “exceeding industry beauty standards” by publishing test results from “independent third-party labs” on its website.
“We have full confidence and belief in the safety and efficacy of our products,” the company continued. “There are a wide variety of reasons for hair breakage or hair loss, as medical and scientific experts have publicly stated, including lifestyle, various medical conditions and medications, the after-effects of COVID, skin conditions and more. Anyone experiencing persistent hair breakage should consult their stylist and dermatologist to best understand their unique hair and skin needs.”
“Complaints such as those referenced in this article are unfortunately a fact of life in our industry and have been filed against other brands in the category for years,” said Olaplex. “We are prepared to vigorously defend our company, brand and products against these baseless allegations.”
Experts say consumers should consult their stylists or a dermatologist if they experience hair loss to determine the cause.
The attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit say consumers should do their “due diligence” when it comes to choosing beauty products.
“Do your research,” Amy Davis, co-plaintiff’s attorney. told “GMA.” “Do your due diligence and make sure you protect yourself as a consumer when you buy beauty products.”