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

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