Sciolla Law Firm Files Consumer Class Action Suit Against Unilever for TRESemmé Products

TRESemmé keratin shampoo allegedly causes hair loss and other problems, according to a recent class action lawsuit.

Plaintiff Emily Castillo says Unilever misrepresents its TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Color Shampoo as safe and effective. In contrast with these representations, the TRESemmé hair products allegedly cause hair loss and scalp irritation.

Keratin is a type of protein found in the hair, skin and nails, according to Healthline. Because keratin is the building block of hair, many products include keratin ingredients with claims the protein can help improve the strength and appearance of hair. Professional keratin treatments are popular at salons, but keratin supplements and hair-care products can also be used at home.

Castillo says she purchased TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Color Shampoo believing the product could help improve her hair’s health and appearance. Allegedly, the products were advertised with statements that the product ingredients could “deeply nourish,” “gently cleanse” and “repair hair.”

The plaintiff claims the products do not accomplish these goals. Instead, they allegedly caused significant scalp irritation and hair loss.

According to the TRESemmé hair loss class action lawsuit, these adverse experiences can be linked to one concerning ingredient — DMDM hydantoin. DMDM hydantoin is reportedly used in Unilever products as a preservative and has been for more than a decade.

However, the chemical is also a formaldehyde donor that can leach formaldehyde when it comes into contact with water. Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen that can be absorbed in the skin where it can then cause cancer and other harmful reactions.

For the decade Unilever has used DMDM hydantoin in its products, the company has allegedly been aware of the scalp irritation and hair loss it can lead to when used as a preservative in hair products.

In fact, Unilever has already faced legal action over this ingredient in connection with its Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion products. That complaint triggered a recall of the products in 2012 and a 2016 settlement worth $10.2 million.

However, despite the litigation and recalls issued over the same problems in the past, Unilever allegedly continues to use the harmful ingredient in its TRESemmé keratin products.

A woman holds wet hair in her hands - hair loss

“Despite having public knowledge since at least 2012 that DMDM hydantoin, as a formaldehyde donor, can cause or contribute to hair loss and scalp irritation, Unilever continued to proudly include this ingredient as a preservative in its products, and even goes so far as to represent to the public that DMDM hydantoin is safe for use in its hair care products,” the TRESemmé hair loss class action lawsuit alleges.

Castillo argues that she and other consumers were not warned about the potential for scalp irritation and hair loss before purchasing the TRESemmé keratin shampoo.

Nowhere on the shampoo packaging or on Unilever’s website are consumers warned that using the TRESemmé keratin products could lead to catastrophic side effects, Castillo explains.

Unfortunately, Unilever has profited from these actions, according to the class action lawsuit. Without any warning of hair loss and scalp irritation, consumers like Castillo allegedly rely on representations that the TRESemmé shampoo products can help their hair look and feel better.

Based on the favorable representations and a lack of warning, Castillo and other buyers were reportedly deceived into purchasing the products and paying more for the shampoo than they otherwise would have had they known the truth. According to Castillo, this amounts to financial injury under consumer protection laws.

Several reviews online allegedly have shown Castillo’s experiences are not unique.

Based on numerous reviews detailing hair loss and scalp irritation, Castillo seeks to represent several Classes of similar situated consumers.

One proposed Class includes nationwide purchasers of TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Color Shampoo. Castillo also seeks to represent a Class of the same consumers from Illinois and a multistate Class of consumers from California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Washington.

On behalf of herself and the proposed Class, Castillo seeks several forms of monetary relief, including disgorgement, restitution, statutory damages, punitive damages, civil penalties, interest, court costs and attorneys’ fees.

Castillo also asks the court for injunctive relief preventing Unilever from continuing with its allegedly misleading advertisements and requiring the company to recall the products.

Did you experience hair loss after using TRESemmé shampoo or other products? Share your experiences in the comment section below.

Castillo and the proposed Class are represented by Jonathan Shub and Kevin Laukaitis of Shub Law Firm LLC; Andrew J. Sciolla of Sciolla Law Firm LLC; and Daniel K. Byson, Harper T. Segui and Caroline Ramsey Taylor of Whitfield Bryson LLP.

The TRESemmé Keratin Hair Loss Class Action Lawsuit is Emily Castillo v. Unilever United States Inc., et al., Case No. 1:20-cv-06786, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.


  • Jennifer kieon

    Yes my daughter has extreme hair loss and I’ve had moderate, how do i file a claim? Please contact me

    January 3, 2021
  • Rebecca

    I have been experiencing hair loss. I asked my Dr. about it even and went through bloodwork and a referral to a specialist. I cant believe it was my shampoo! Unbelieveable and despicable that Unilever knowingly sold products causing problems like this. Sad

    January 4, 2021
  • Brandie Espinoza

    Hello I also have extreme hair loss and had to cut my hair short due to thinning and breakage. Please contact me.

    Kind regards,

    January 4, 2021

    For a whole year i have felt so self conscious because I was loosing so much hair, and just knowing that a brand i trusted knew that a chemical in Keratin shampoo caused hair loss and stayed quiet pisses me off!! Literally on both sides of my head you can see my scalp i have random short pieces of hair where hair just broke off . My hair was beautiful before. .. Now I just don’t care to go out i have let my self go since I lost so much hair.

    January 23, 2021
  • Linda

    I had a three inch round bald spot on back of head and also about a 4 inch x 3 inch area on top. Have noticed thinning in areas. I changed shampoos and now my hair is growing back and seems healthier all over since the change. It does something to your self esteem, its embarrassing and I hope that no one else ever experiences this.

    January 26, 2021
  • Christan L Manning

    I live in Illinois and am guessing this is a major reason for my hair loss. Can I get more information or instructions on being a part of this class action? Thanks so much.

    January 28, 2021
  • Cynthia Tomasini

    The same thing is happening to my daughter. Her hair is literally falling out in the shower I purchased the Sun Bum Curl & Waves shampoo and conditioner December 2020. Needless to say we will not be using this product any more (unfortunately I still have more of it on hand) I too would like to join the class action lawsuit.

    January 30, 2021
  • I had the same experience with the product except after using difficult productsituation for years I am still having hair loss

    January 30, 2021
  • Eliana Macias

    I have used these products for a long time and I have suffered severe hair loss and I constantly get blisters on my head. I would like to join you. It’s been a nightmare to have to cover up my hair.

    February 4, 2021
  • Michelle George

    I have a baggy I have been saving FULL of hair— now I know why. I’ve been using the TRESemmé keratin shampoo. I couldn’t figure out why my hair was falling out -I honestly thought I was lacking a vitamin or it caused by stress. I’m on thyroid medication—and I routinely have my levels tested.
    I would appreciate if I could speak to someone in your firm in regards to my situation.

    February 7, 2021
  • Deborah A. Draine

    Omg I have been loosing hair for a couple of years now. Did lab work, scalp biopsy all was negative. Been devastated , my hair was thick and long, I’ve lost half now with pictures to prove. I just hears from a customer about this shampoo. I was using this for the past two years. I’m finally relieved to know the reason for my hair loss but I am also disappointed in myself for trusting this shampoo. I am presently looking for an attorney in Rhode Island who will take my case.

    February 19, 2021
  • Stacey Castle

    Yes, I did but my 21 year old son on the spectrum has lost a lot. I thought it maybe from his medications, but the Doctor told us that is not a side affect. WOW! I want to do something about this. I am really upset. Glad I read this radical we will STOP using this and all products they sell. I am sick to my stomach. Who can we contact about this?

    April 1, 2021
  • Tracy Masterson

    Yes, I have lost significant hair as well. I would like to be added to your case. Please contact me how I can be involved.

    April 22, 2021
  • Elizabeth Ramsey

    I have been searching for an answer as to why my hair has been falling out, red burning scalp, pimples and lesions on my scalp. I just found my answer! I have been using these products for a month and have suffered immensely. Where do we go from here?

    June 22, 2021

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