Some say that TikTok's luxurious Olaplex product ruined their hair. Dermatologists question these complaints
Sarah Horrell Richardson struggled with dry and damaged hair after spending a lifetime curling, straightening and coloring it before her dance competitions. So she was excited to try Olaplex, the famous TikTok brand said to be able to re-strengthen damaged hair.
But within days of using Olaplex's Bond Smoother in January 2022, she said her hair started breaking. She says she saw her hair all over the house and on her clothes. This situation only after six uses.
She is not the only one. There is now an online group where more than 1,000 members testify about their hair loss and damage after using the product. The Facebook group is called "Olaplex Hair Loss/Hair Damage".
These people's complaints contradict the hundreds of ads and endorsements that celebrities have made for the brand.
Olaplex launched in September 2021.
Insider interviewed 10 former Olaplex users who voiced their concerns. Their ages ranged from 26 to 63, from countries across the US and the UK.
Olaplex claims its products are third-party tested, and a dermatologist said hair loss from topical treatments was relatively uncommon unless an ingredient caused an allergic reaction. Olaplex has offered product refunds for up to 12 months for dissatisfied customers.
“We believe in the safety and efficacy of our products, which have been thoroughly tested in-house and by independent third-party laboratories. We are confident in the evidence showing that Olapex products are effective, as millions of customers can happily attest," said an Olaplex representative.
What do dermatologists say?
"First, shampoos and topical treatments are usually not the cause of hair loss, unless they contain allergenic ingredients," Dr. Kazlouskaya told Insider.
Genetics and stress are the two main causes of hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia is not preventable, but medications such as minoxidil and finasteride can slow hair loss.
Scientists recently attributed temporary hair loss to COVID-19. The pandemic caused a 25% increase in anxiety and depression worldwide. Stress is a consequence of the pandemic. Hair loss is a symptom of stress.
Why are lawsuits alleging hair damage rare?
Lawyers are usually paid a percentage based on the amount the plaintiff earns from the defendant. Such damages are usually in small amounts of money so that the issues raised in this case are group and not individual.