Lawsuit Investigation: Formaldehyde in Keratin Shampoo, Hair Products (2023)

At A Glance

This Alert Affects:
Anyone who purchased a hair product listed on this page and experienced hair loss or scalp irritation after use.

What’s Going On?
Attorneys working with are investigating whether class action lawsuits can be filed against the makers of shampoo and hair products containing DMDM hydantoin or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).

What’s the Problem with These Ingredients?
DMDM hydantoin works by releasing small amounts of formaldehyde and may cause harmful side effects, such as hair loss and scalp irritation, in some users. Sodium lauryl sulfate, an ingredient used in shampoos to trap dirt, has also been linked to skin irritation.

(Video) TRESemme LAWSUIT (DMDM hydantoin): Dermatologist Reacts| Dr Dray

Which Haircare Products Are Under Investigation?
The list of products currently under investigation is as follows: OGX Ever Straightening Plus Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo; Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy Keratin Color Care Shampoo; It’s A 10 Miracle Shampoo Plus Keratin; Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer; TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde Shampoo; Finesse 2-in-1 Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner; Got2b Phenomenal 2-in-1 Thickening Shampoo; Maui Moisture Color Protection + Sea Minerals Conditioner; and a number of Nexxus, Aussie, Mane 'n Tail, and Dove haircare products.

How a Class Action Can Help
A class action could help people get back some of the money they spent on the hair products. It could also force the manufacturers to be more upfront about the possible side effects of sodium lauryl sulfate, DMDM hydantoin and formaldehyde.

Attorneys working with would like to speak to anyone who purchased certain haircare products and experienced hair loss and/or scalp irritation.

They’re investigating whether class action lawsuits can be filed in light of claims that the products contain either DMDM hydantoin, a preservative that can release formaldehyde upon contact with water, or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).

Which Products Are Under Investigation?

Attorneys working with are looking into the following products for their use of DMDM hydantoin or sodium lauryl sulfate.

(Video) Formaldehyde found in popular hair products

If you experienced hair loss, scalp irritation or other side effects after using one of the products listed below, help this investigation by filling out the form on this page and sharing your story. You may be able to help get a class action lawsuit started.

DMDM Hydantoin List

  • OGX Ever Straightening Plus Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo
  • Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy Keratin Color Care Shampoo
  • It’s A 10 Miracle Shampoo Plus Keratin
  • Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer
  • Aussie Miracle Curls Crème Pudding
  • Aussie Instant Freeze Gel
  • Aussie Headstrong Volume Mousse
  • Aussie Headstrong Volume Gel
  • Aussie Miracle Coils Shaping Jelly
  • Aussie Instant Freeze Mousse
  • Aussie Miracle Curls Mousse
  • Aussie Miracle Coils Leave-in Stretching Cream
  • Dove Anti-Dandruff Shampoo - Dryness & Itch Relief
  • Dove Anti-Dandruff Shampoo - Soothing Moisture
  • Dove Anti-Dandruff Shampoo - Coconut & Hydration
  • Dove Men+Care Anti-Dandruff Fortifying Shampoo & Conditioner - Dandruff Defense
  • Dove Men+Care Anti-Dandruff Fortifying Shampoo & Conditioner - Dryness & Itch Relief
  • TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde Shampoo
  • Finesse 2-in-1 Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Got2b Phenomenal 2-in-1 Thickening Shampoo
  • Maui Moisture Color Protection + Sea Minerals Conditioner
  • Nexxus Clean & Pure Nourishing Detox Shampoo
  • Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo
  • Nexxus Therappe Ultimate Moisture Shampoo
  • Nexxus Diametress Weightless Volume Shampoo
  • Nexxus Hydra-Light Weightless Moisture Shampoo

Attorneys working with are also looking into a number of Mane 'n Tail haircare products.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate List

  • Aussie Miracle Detox Shampoo
  • Aussie Miracle Clean Shampoo
  • Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo
  • Aussie Miracle Clean 2N1 Shampoo
  • Aussie Miracle Smooth Shampoo
  • Aussie Miracle Moist 2N1 Shampoo
  • Aussie Total Miracle 7N1 Shampoo
  • Aussie Beat the Brass Purple Shampoo
  • Aussie Miracle Curls Shampoo
  • Aussie Miracle Volume Shampoo
  • Aussie Miracle Mend Shampoo
  • Aussie Miracle Waves Anti-Frizz Hemp Shampoo
  • TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde Shampoo
(Video) Worst Shampoos For Hair I TRESemme Lawsuit (DMDM hydantoin) I OGX Lawsuit I #hairfall #hairgrowth

DMDM Hydantoin in Haircare Products: Is It Safe?

While DMDM hydantoin is generally considered safe at normal levels, concerns have surfaced regarding the formaldehyde-releasing action of the preservative. DMDM hydantoin works to prevent harmful mold and bacteria growth and extend the shelf life of certain haircare products by slowly releasing small amounts of formaldehyde, a probable human carcinogen, over time.

According to a lawsuit filed over certain TRESemmé keratin products, the nature of the ingredient may be causing and contributing to hair loss and scalp irritation in users.

According to the FDA, DMDM hydantoin is one of the most common allergens in cosmetic products and can trigger an immune system response that results in allergy symptoms such as itching and rashes. One studyhas indicatedthat irritation of the scalp can also lead to hair loss and hair brittleness.

Attorneys believe that consumers have not been properly warned about the side effects that may develop from use of products containing DMDM hydantoin and suspect that use of the preservative is unnecessary, as safer non-toxic alternatives exist.

(Video) Groups Sue FDA Over Formaldehyde in Hair-Straightening Treatments

Skin Irritation and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate is what’s known as a “surfactant” and, in shampoo products, works by trapping oil-based dirt and allowing it to be rinsed away by water.

Although neither the International Agency for Research on Cancernor the Environmental Protection Agency list SLS as a carcinogen, the chemical has been found to have the ability to penetrate the skin and cause irritation.

For instance, one study performed by researchers in Germany found that 42% of 1,600 individuals who received an SLS patch test developed an “irritant reaction.” It has also been reported that SLS is so likely to cause a skin reaction that it’s actually used as a positive control in dermatological tests.

(Video) OGX LAWSUIT ‼️❓I THREW MINES AWAY. Products that causes HAIR LOSS and CANCER‼️😱

Consumers Complain of Hair Loss, Other Side Effects

A number of complaints of hair loss and other side effects have been posted online by people who used the haircare products listed above. A sample of these complaints can be found below [sic throughout, emphasis ours].

I can't be positive it's the shampoo, but ever since I started using it's a 10 my scalp has become very itchy. I'm also shedding way more than usual. My hair dries some what clumpy, and is greasy right away. So I thought maybe I wasn't rinsing thoroughly enough? So I did extra rinsing and it didn't make a difference. My hair looks healthy, but it's not worth the other side effects. I've decided to stop using it. It smells good, but my scalp kind of burns afterwords too. I never leave bad reviews, but in case someone else is having this problem with the shampoo, you're not crazy!”
— disappointed, It’s a 10 Miracle Shampoo with Keratin user,
This shampoo makes my hair fall out in handfuls both in the shower and throughout the day. My hair gets a mushy, waxy feeling while using this, then is extremely tangled after it's rinsed out. Using conditioner afterward makes zero difference. It does make my hair look smoother once it dries.”
— Reo, It’s a 10 Miracle Shampoo with Keratin user,
I've only used it twice and cannot get past the smell...And on top of that I have welts and scabs on my head because I must be allergic…
— hairjunkie, Keratin Complex Color Care Shampoo user,
I feel like this is causing me to lose some hair.I never used to have issues with hair loss, and when I started using this I noticed that when I styled my hair with my hands, my sink would become covered in strands of hair.Not sure if it’s a coincidence, but I feel like it isn’t.”
— Jason B.,Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer user,
I have been using the OGX brand for years, so I'm quite disappointed…After and while using this shampoo, I've been losing a lot of hair, and my hair doesn't seem to be getting better. Will be switching to a different brand in hopes of repairing my damaged hair.”
— Leahhhhhh, OGX Ever Straightening Plus Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo user,
The shampoo seems to dry out my hair and really makes my scalp itch. I do not normally have sensitive skin, so I can only conclude that there's something in the formula that causes this reaction. I have stopped using the shampoo and am very disappointed.”
— EnglishRose, OGX Ever Straightening Plus Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo user,
I noticed my scalp was irritated after a few days. I just washed it out and my hair came out significantly more than it has ever had. Just my hands through my hair clumps were coming out from the scalp. I literally felt them pull.”
— Ca, Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo user,
I got it cause it smelled great. I had to stop using it my hair was falling out a lot!”
— lizo1991, Dove Soothing Moisture Anti-Dandruff shampoo user,
As a professional hair stylist, I cannot recommend this product to anyone. After rinsing, my hair was stringy, dry, and tangled. Not how I want my hair to feel after conditioning. I blow dried and was flake free but my hair was so stripped it was squeaking while I was combing. I believe I am allergic to an ingredient in this product as I am breaking out with redness and itchy skin everywhere this product came in contact with my skin.”
— Anonymous, Dove Dryness & Itch Relief Anti-Dandruff shampoo user,
DO NOT BUY!! This product weakens hair, tangles hair, and causes the user to lose hair. Absolute terrible product!!!”
— ThtDGood, Got2b Phenomenal 2-in-1 Thickening Shampoo user,
All I'm going to say is you need to research all of the ingredients on this label before you purchase. Specifically the last several ingredients. Very harmful. The brand is also owned by Johnson and Johnson. This conditioner caused sever irritation to my scalp and I've seen a lot of people say they have also had a bad experience with this brand.”
— Moonflower, Maui Moisture Color Protection + Sea Minerals Conditioner user,
While this product smells great and makes my hair feel soft, I’ve experienced severe hair loss since using it.”
— LMA123, Nexxus Therappe Ultimate Moisture Shampoo user,

How Could a Class Action Lawsuit Help?

A class action lawsuit, if successful, could help consumers get back some of the money they spent on the shampoos and hair products listed above. It could also force the companies who make the products to be more upfront about the possible side effects of using shampoo and hair products that contain DMDM hydantoin and sodium lauryl sulfate.

Before commenting, please review our comment policy.


Does keratin shampoo have formaldehyde? ›

Keratin used in beauty treatments is usually from these the skin, hair, or nails or animals. While keratin is a natural protein, these products are made with several other added ingredients, including a chemical called formaldehyde. The American Cancer Society warns that formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.

What ingredient in shampoo makes your hair fall out? ›

Sulfates. Sulfates are chemicals with strong cleansing agents. The theory behind hair loss and sulfates is that ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate damage and irritate hair follicles. 4 Damage to the hair follicle may result in breakage, which can resemble or appear as hair loss.

Does formaldehyde in shampoo cause hair loss? ›

If regularly applied to the scalp, formaldehyde can cause trauma to the hair follicles and lead to hair loss.

Can keratin shampoo cause hair loss? ›

Yes, keratin treatments can cause hair fall. This is especially true for women who receive the keratin treatment more than once or twice per year. This is because keratin treatments involve a chemical process that can cause damage to the hair and scalp, leading to increased shedding of hair strands.

How do I know if formaldehyde is in my shampoo? ›

Unfortunately, you can't just turn your shampoo bottle around and look at its ingredients to try identifying them – there's no universal naming system. However, a formaldehyde-releaser will typically be one of the last ingredients on the label.

How do you know if a keratin shampoo is safe? ›

You should look for shampoos and conditioners that don't have sulfates and sodium chloride. These ingredients can strip away the keratin treatment and leave your hair feeling dry and brittle. Instead, look for products that are specifically designed for chemically-treated hair.

What is the best chemical free shampoo? ›

The Best Non-Toxic and Natural Shampoos and Conditioners
  • True Botanicals (best of the best winner)
  • Innersense Beauty.
  • BeautyCounter (second best winner)
  • Acure Organics.
  • Rahua.
  • Josh Rosebrook.
  • Dessert Essence (best budget-friendly winner)
  • Evolvh (color treated or curly hair)
Nov 5, 2021

What is the best shampoo to stop hair from falling out? ›

Final Verdict. Our best overall pick is Biolage Advanced Full Density Thickening Shampoo, which contains biotin, zinc, and a gluco-omega blend to strengthen hair while removing follicle-clogging impurities that can prevent new hair growth.

What medication may cause hair loss? ›

Hair loss is a relatively rare side effect, but a variety of medications may cause it: beta-blockers, blood thinners, antidepressants, cholesterol-lowering drugs, certain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and hormone-related drugs like thyroid meds, hormone replacement therapies or steroids.

What does the formaldehyde do to scalp? ›

Formaldehyde can cause allergic contact dermatitis with progressive severity after each re-exposure, with the clinical presentation of eczema on the scalp and adjacent regions and swelling on the face.

What is another name for formaldehyde in shampoo? ›

Products of concern might contain ingredients that are synonyms for formaldehyde or methylene glycol, such as formalin, methanal, methanediol, or formaldehyde monohydrate.

What ingredient in shampoo turns into formaldehyde? ›

Diazolidinyl urea releases the most formaldehyde of any FRP. Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate is found in shampoo, moisturizer, conditioner, and lotion.

Does keratin shampoo have side effects? ›

Because they contain ingredients that can result in the presence of formaldehyde, there are some possible side effects of keratin shampoos and treatments, including sore throat, nose bleeds and irritated eyes, according to the Harper's Bazaar article.

What happens if we use keratin shampoo? ›

When your hair is in a condition like that, keratin hair products will be of use to you. They fill up the holes and undo some of the damage. This makes your hair stronger again and the chance of future breakage is reduced. Moreover, hair that's rich in keratin usually is a lot smoother and free of frizz.

What are 4 everyday items that contain formaldehyde? ›

Where is formaldehyde found?
  • Pressed-wood products (plywood, particle board, paneling)
  • Foam insulation.
  • Wallpaper and paints.
  • Some synthetic fabrics (example: permanent press)
  • Some cosmetics and personal products.
Oct 3, 2022

How long does formaldehyde stay in your system? ›

The best data I've seen suggests formaldehyde takes about two years to off-gas back to normal levels.

What shampoos do not have formaldehyde in them? ›

11 Best Formaldehyde-Free Shampoos You Must Get Your Hands On In 2023
  • Vanicream Free And Clear Shampoo. ...
  • Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo – Lemongrass And Argan. ...
  • Alba Botanica More Moisture Shampoo – Coconut Milk. ...
  • KERAGEN Keratin + Collagen Formaldehyde-Free Treatment Shampoo. ...
  • Puracy Natural Shampoo – Citrus And Mint.
Feb 27, 2023

What shampoo not to use after keratin treatment? ›

Sodium lauryl sulphate and keratin treatment do not mix well together. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is a mild detergent that is used in many shampoo products in order to lather the hair. This ingredient is responsible for stripping out colour from hair and washes out keratin from treated hair.

How often should I wash my hair with keratin shampoo? ›

Once it has been three days since your treatment, try not to wash your hair daily. Following this keratin treatment after care step helps the treatment last as long as possible. Some people have hair that gets oily quicker than others, and as such will need to wash their hair every other day.

What ingredients should not be in shampoo for keratin treated hair? ›

Zero Sulfates and Sodium Chloride

Sulfates are harsh chemicals that can strip away the keratin treatment from your hair, leaving it dry, frizzy, and unmanageable. Sodium chloride is another common ingredient in shampoos and conditioners that can also strip away the keratin treatment.

What is the best shampoo in the world? ›

They are ordered by overall quality, not the specific needs of people with certain hair types or any specific hair issues.
  1. Blu Atlas Shampoo. ...
  2. Olaplex No. ...
  3. L'Oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo. ...
  4. Moroccan Oil Moisture Repair Shampoo. ...
  5. Garnier Fructis Damage Repairing Treat Shampoo.
Feb 4, 2023

Which shampoo is best for hair growth and thickness chemical free? ›

Best Overall - Dove Hair Therapy Breakage Repair Sulphate-Free Shampoo. With no sulphates, parabens, dyes, or harsh chemical-based cleansers like SLS/SLES for thicker-looking, strong, and long hair, Dove Hair Therapy Breakage Repair Sulphate-Free Shampoo is our top selection overall.

What is the best vitamin for thinning hair? ›

“Vitamins are essential for healthy hair growth and may help in preventing hair shedding and thinning,” says Michele Green, M.D., a cosmetic dermatologist in New York. “The best vitamins for hair growth include B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, biotin and iron.

What time of year do you lose most hair? ›

Seasonal shedding often occurs during the fall months, such as September and October, and at some point in the spring, like April and May. This timeline often coincides with the second half of the hair growth cycle, where more hairs are shed.

Which blood pressure meds cause hair loss? ›

Beta blockers are a class of medications that are used to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions.
Commonly used beta blockers that may cause hair loss include:
  • Propranolol (Inderal)
  • Atenolol (Tenormin)
  • Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
  • Timolol eye drops (Timoptic)
Apr 28, 2022

What is lacking for hair loss? ›

Only riboflavin, biotin, folate, and vitamin B12 deficiencies have been associated with hair loss.

How do I know if my keratin has formaldehyde? ›

5.1 Check the Label:

Here you will get all the names to save yourself from formaldehyde hair treatment. When a keratin treatment is formaldehyde-free or zero-formaldehyde, other than formaldehyde, it must not contain these ingredients that FDA classed as hazardous and carcinogenic: Methylene Glycol.

Can you get keratin without formaldehyde? ›

As you can see, there are plenty of formaldehyde-free keratin treatments that you can take advantage of. That way, you can protect your hair and get that gorgeous straight and silky look you're going for.

Is there a keratin treatment without formaldehyde? ›

KERAGEN - Brazilian Keratin Smoothing Treatment, Blowout Straightening System for Dry and Damaged Hair, Formaldehyde Free, 16 Oz - Eliminate Curls and Frizz, Fine to Medium Hair.

What is the safest keratin treatment? ›

If you're looking for a less-damaging, truly formaldehyde-free treatment, ask your salon if they use a treatment containing glyoxylic acid instead. They don't straighten hair as dramatically (they're more for boosting shine and fighting frizz), but they're also a lot safer.

What symptoms does formaldehyde cause? ›

Breathing formaldehyde fumes causes watery eyes and burning in the eyes, nose and throat. Other symptoms are skin irritation and rashes, nausea, coughing and chest tightness, an upset stomach and trouble breathing.

How long does it take for formaldehyde to go away? ›

The levels reduce over time. Most formaldehyde is released by 2 years [Park and Ikeda 2006].

Which is the safest hair treatment? ›

Cysteine treatment is known to be quite safe as compared to keratin. In fact, this can even be used when you are pregnant.

What are the side effects of formaldehyde keratin treatment? ›

Possible reactions that have been reported include eye problems or irritation, nervous system problems (for example, headaches and dizziness), respiratory tract problems (sore or scratchy throat, cough, wheezing), nausea, chest pain, vomiting, and rash.

Does Amazon keratin have formaldehyde? ›

Duration: Up to 2 months. This advanced formaldehyde-free protein therapy enriched with natural oils will instantly penetrates into the hair cortex to deeply renew broken fibres and leave hair healthy.

Does Dove shampoo contain formaldehyde? ›

Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Donors (DMDMH)

The independent Cosmetics Ingredient Review Expert Panel in the USA has concluded that the ingredient is safe for use. However, to rule out any concerns you may have, all Formaldehyde donors are being phased out of Dove products.

What ingredient ruins keratin treatment? ›

Sodium lauryl sulphate and keratin treatment do not mix well together. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is a mild detergent that is used in many shampoo products in order to lather the hair. This ingredient is responsible for stripping out colour from hair and washes out keratin from treated hair.

How can I make my hair smooth without keratin treatment? ›

Ways To Smoothen Hair

There are two ways you can smoothen your hair: chemical smoothing and regular hair styling. Chemical Smoothing: This method uses chemicals like formaldehyde, alkalines, etc. to treat your hair (1). It is a permanent treatment that lasts for at least 12-15 weeks.

What salon products contain formaldehyde? ›

"The worst offenders are nail polishes and nail polish removers," says Dr. Sarkar. Hair products in general, as well as baby shampoo and soap, also can contain formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasers, says Ava Shamban, M.D., a dermatologist.


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