Curly Hair Product Line, DevaCurl, Faces Lawsuits For Causing Hair Loss

Dani Alexis Ryskamp, J.D.

Written by
— Updated on April 9, 2020

Curly Hair Product Line, DevaCurl, Faces Lawsuits For Causing Hair Loss

DevaCurl, a haircare line specifically for curly hair, faces a class-action lawsuit from users who claim the line’s products have caused more hair damage than hair care.

Since many DevaCurl users relied on several different products from the company’s haircare line, some admit that they don’t know precisely which DevaCurl product caused the damage they allege. It may be possible that each product is safe on its own, but that a combination of two or more DevaCurl products can cause the problems claimed in the class action lawsuit.

What is DevaCurl?

DevaCurl has gained a devout following since its debut in 2002. The product line includes many different products and formulations, including waterless and standard shampoos, conditioners, and styling products like mousse and gel.

In 2019, DevaCurl was featured on the TV show “Broad City”, further boosting its popularity among curly-haired users. Some have called the company central to the natural hair movement, which encourages people to embrace and work with their hair’s natural texture.

Claims in the DevaCurl Case

The customers involved in the lawsuit claim that DevaCurl’s products cause hair loss, damage, scalp itchiness and burning, curl relaxation, and dandruff when used over a long period of time.

Several of the class action plaintiffs describe losing significant amounts of hair, even though they were young and otherwise healthy. At least one mentioned that her doctors were baffled by her hair loss, and that it took her some time to connect the hair loss to her choice of hair products. Another described “red lesions and psoriasis” in an interview with NBC News, stating that the bumps on her scalp cause her physical pain. She also noted that her dandruff became so bad while using DevaCurl that she had to avoid wearing black clothing.

Litigation Filed in the DevaCurl Case

Deva Concepts, LLC currently faces at least three proposed class action lawsuits. To date, class actions have been filed in New York, California, and Florida.

To date, all of the class action lawsuits make the same basic allegations: That despite Deva Concepts’ promises that its “No-Poo” and “Low-Poo” hair cleansers, conditioners and other products were beneficial for hair, in fact they are far more dangerous than stated. The lawsuits also claim that Deva Concepts failed to disclose these dangers and, when informed of them, intentionally blamed other factors for users’ hair and scalp damage.

In addition to the class action lawsuit, complaints have been filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding DevaCurl.

While the FDA hasn’t commented on its investigation plans, an agency investigation of DevaCurl would be consistent with other steps the FDA has taken in response to hair care complaints in the past. For instance, in 2016, the FDA announced an investigation into WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products, after the agency received almost 2,000 complaints of symptoms similar to those reported by DevaCurl users. WEN settled a class action lawsuit for about $26 million.

What Experts May Be Asked to Testify?

DevaCurl has declined to comment on pending litigation. However, the company recently released a statement announcing that it would work with independent parties to conduct additional testing of its products.

A class action lawsuit is likely to focus heavily on whether one or more DevaCare products, alone or in combination, caused the symptoms that plaintiffs mention in their filing. As a result, experts like chemical engineers, who can testify to the effects various DevaCare product ingredients might have, will almost certainly make an appearance if these cases go to trial.

In addition, experts in cosmetology, dermatology, and hair care may also be asked to testify, particularly when it comes to discussing damages. For instance, a dermatologist may be asked to opine on the extent of the damage that presents as lesions, dandruff and other skin-related symptoms. A hair care expert may weigh in on the costs of rehabilitating damaged hair and the options available to those who say DevaCare products caused their own hair to fall out.

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