Popular hair product line Wen is thanking its fans amid claims that hundreds of people have lost their hair after using the company's products.
The company, which was founded by celebrity hairstylist Chaz Dean has been facing a firestorm of controversy following reports by BuzzFeed News and others that its products have been linked to hair loss.
More than 200 people have sued Wen and its parent company Guthy-Renker over claims these products lead to baldness and scalp irritation.
Since publishing a story on Dec. 14 on the lawsuit, BuzzFeed News has received hundreds of emails from people all over the country who claim they have lost hair.
Readers said that they had no idea what was causing their hair loss, and were shocked to realize it could be from using Wen.
Some readers said they have even gone through multiple medical tests because they feared the sudden hair loss was a symptom of a serious problem.
"I'm lucky I didn't get left with bald patches...only a sense of horror from pounds of shed hair and fear of an unidentified terminal illness," a reader named Wendy Kinsley told BuzzFeed News.
A spokesman for Wen told BuzzFeed News last month that there is "no scientific evidence whatsoever" for the claims, and the company has stuck by that message since the scandal broke.
In a statement on social media, Dean wrote that he wanted to "set the record straight" about the "rumors and allegations" about his product.
He continued in part:
I want you to know that in formulating and manufacturing Wen, we rely on quality processes to ensure that products shipped to your door are as safe and effective as the products I use in my salon.
I have dedicated my life to helping people look their best, and I feel the pain of anyone having problems with their hair, but I can say with confidence that I stand behind Wen as much today as the day I launched it.
The truth is, there are so many reasons people can have problems with their hair, but Wen is not one of them.
And in a post last week, the company claimed "more than 500" people posted support for its product in a 24-hour period.
Many people are flocking to the brand's Facebook page to show their support.
The parties involved in the lawsuit against Wen agreed on a framework for mediation on Dec. 1, but the suit is still ongoing, according to court records.
Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Stephanie McNeal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.