A Series of Broken Promises: Johnson and Johnson faced another OGX Lawsuit

Smooth, Revive, And Nourish

Just a few words are enough to convince you to buy a new shampoo or haircare range. However, you must research or consult a dermatologist whenever you want to switch your current hair products. The ever-loving OGX shampoo and conditioners named under Johnson & Johnson brand have come under hair loss lawsuits again. A shampoo class-action lawsuit alleged that the company’s products have been causing considerable hair loss.

The OGX hair care products are sold at famous retailers across the country including Ulta, Target, Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens. The OGX lawsuit contains the names of most hair oils, shampoos, and conditioners from the company as a result of hair loss and scalp reactions.

The OGX lawsuit alleges that the hair products from Johnson & Johnson actually contain harmful chemicals and the combination of such ingredients in the hair products causes significant hair damage. Plaintiff Larissa Whipple, an Illinois plaintiff alleges the company in a shampoo class-action lawsuit, that company has violated the state and federal consumer laws.

OGX Lawsuit alleging Hair Loss

In a shampoo class-action lawsuit, plaintiff Larissa Whipple claimed that the company has violated the state and federal laws by false representation of the alleged products. She said that she bought the well-named J&J’s OGX shampoo and conditioner as they would smooth, soften, repair, and nourish my dead hair. The company should be held liable to use a combination of ingredients that can cause potential hair loss and scalp irritation even though it is properly applied.

The OGX lawsuit says that DMDM hydantoin is used in water-based hair care products including shampoos, conditioners, and oils to enhance their shelf lives for as long as over a decade. The DMDM hydantoin antimicrobial preservative in the J&J products causes avoidable risks because natural yet safer alternatives are there that are applicable. It is said to be a formaldehyde donor, which particularly means that it releases formaldehyde in smaller amounts overtime to keep the product fresh and stay well for a longer time.

Formaldehyde donors are preservatives and chemical compounds that generally are used to keep personal care products safe and effective. They release a small amount of formaldehyde making sure that the amount remains low. There are a number of skin and hair care products that are formulated using formaldehyde preservatives. But the preservative used in the OGX products is associated with scalp allergies, hair loss, rashes, and most of all cancer. The Department of Health and human services acknowledged saying that formaldehyde is a cancer-causing agent. 

The shampoo class-action lawsuit claims that the company failed to inform the consumers about the potential side-effects of the ingredient and cover the possible damages behind the false advertisement.

The lawsuit further says:

Johnson & Johnson have claimed several positive misrepresentations about the OGX hair care products saying that they nourish deeply, repair hair, and gently cleanse the scalp. However, the formula contains the combination of ingredients that made hundreds of plaintiffs file shampoo lawsuits for hair loss and other considerable hair damages and scalp irritation’.

On the flip side, Johnson & Johnson affirmatively denied the presence of any formula that can cause serious hair reactions. Saying the ingredients selected are highly monitored and carefully added to their products. The company also stated that the new products launched by the company including OGX shampoo and conditioners do not contain formaldehyde or DMDM hydantoin. Furthermore, the company said that they never have ever launched any hair care product that contains allergen chemicals.

In a statement, the company officials also stated that:

We carefully select ingredients to ensure the safety and performance of our products. It is possible that the existing products may contain DMDM hydantoin in small amounts, which is usually added to prevent the products from mold’.

Back in 2012, Johnson and Johnson proclaimed that they will remove the suspected ingredients from their products by 2015. The Illinois lawsuit stated that it’s a broken promise.

Products that are listed in the OGX lawsuit include:

  • OGX Biotin + Collagen Shampoo and conditioner
  • OGX Anti-Breakage Keratin Oil Shampoo and conditioner
  • OGX Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo and Conditioner
  • OGX Marula Oil conditioner
  • OGX Detox + Pomegranate & Ginger Shampoo and conditioner
  • Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo and Conditioner
  • OGX Extra Strength Hydrate & Repair
  • OGX Nicole Guerriero Midnight Kisses Shampoo
  • OGX Nicole Guerriero Mistletoe Wishes Shampoo
  • OGX Ever Straightening and Brazilian Keratin Therapy Conditioner
  • OGX Kandee Johnson Sparkling Cider Conditioner
  • OGX Hydrate + Defrizz and Kukui Oil Conditioner
  • OGX Kandee Johnson Sparkling Cider Shampoo
  • OGX Quenching + Coconut Curls Conditioner
  • OGX Ever Straightening and Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo
  • OGX Kandee Johnson Candy Gumdrop Shampoo
  • OGX Kandee Johnson Frosted Sugar Cookie Conditioner

It was also seen in 2015 that J&J did remove the DMDM hydantoin from the current consumer products. But when Vogue international collaborated with the Johnson and Johnson haircare line, the company failed to maintain the product profile and the standards set by the consumer laws.

Johnson and Johnson is a well-known America-based multinational corporation that is famous for producing multiple consumer products, pharmaceutical items, and medical devices that mostly acquire the shelves of pharmacies and departmental stores. Many of them as being faulty faced class-action lawsuits.

Surprisingly, Johnson and Johnson is not the only one who is questioned for the use of faulty preservatives and targeted for the shampoo class-action lawsuit. In June 2021, a class-action lawsuit was filed against another famous name Unilever for the use of the same hazardous substances in the personal care products including the Suave hair care line, and for using the DMDM hydantoin preservative on a sought-after Tresemme haircare range. Another shampoo class-action lawsuit was filed against Mane ‘n Tail for the use of ingredients that created scalp irritation and other hair problems due to the presence of harmful chemicals.

These can be some of the main reasons why Whipple is asking the companies owning above 250 subsidiaries like Tylenol, Johnson’s, Unilever, and Neutrogena, why they have been adding preservatives in their products while there were other non-destructive and non-damaging alternative preservatives and ingredients, were available like sorbic acid, glyoxylic acid, rosemary extracts, grapefruit seed extracts, and Lavender oil.

The plaintiff in the OGX lawsuit also stated that the company has already reformulated the haircare product in many other countries but failed to do it in the US and firmly conceals the possible dangers of the haircare products from the consumers.

FDA has listed DMDM hydantoin as the preservative and chemical found to be the reason for causing hair loss and allergic reactions if they are used in consumer products. To be declared as a harmful ingredient, FDA needs a product declaration, but certain ingredients in the products are difficult to analyze. That is why they are listed as perfumes or fragrances and receive approval to be sold out at the departmental stores.

Joining the OGX Lawsuit

Currently, the lawsuit against the manufacturer is still in progress and hasn’t reached its verdict yet. Affected consumers do not need to do anything right now as the case is still under review. The lawsuit will take time to reach the point where the consumers and the families suffered from hair loss and the scalp reactions must file a claim.

In case, the claimed ingredient would be found the reason for the sufferings, then the affected families would be able to receive compensation date and instructions about what they need to do next.

In case you are using any product that contains formaldehyde preservatives, you should know how to diagnose and find treatment against the reaction so you can claim your suffering.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Formaldehyde diagnosis depends upon the signs and symptoms along with a patch test.  The patch test is done using 2% formalin in a water-based solution. Although, many studies have concluded that the true results of a patch test and a formaldehyde allergy are associated with each other for only 20%.

You may need to go through additional tests to confirm that you have a formaldehyde allergy in case you want to file a lawsuit alleging the product manufacturers.

The additional test confirms dermatitis which often causes by the formaldehyde reaction. Patch testing is mostly performed by adding 10% urea-formaldehyde in petrolatum, 10% melamine formaldehyde in petrolatum, 1% other kinds of formaldehyde resin in petrolatum to identify allergies caused by these compounds.

How to treat Formaldehyde Reactions?

If an individual is using a haircare or skincare product and having a reaction that causes irritated skin or scalp or rashes, he or she should stop using it immediately and seek medical help if needed. Signs of reactions may contain itchy and burning scalp, crusting all over the scalp, scaling, worsening or excessive dandruff, or drying and peeling scalp. An itchy or burning sensation can last up to several hours. Experts say that many times just switching the shampoo can end your suffering.

Treatment of formaldehyde allergies can be performed by the use of emollients in order to soothe inflammation and redness on the scalp or skin.  Additionally, topical corticosteroids can be applied to minimize the reaction on the infected area.

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