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According to allegations raised in a new class action lawsuit, side effects of Just for Men hair and beard dye may cause severe burns and allergic reactions, particularly among African American men.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Ronald Povich in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on January 25, seeking class action status to represent all consumers who purchased Just for Men in the state of Missouri.
“Just for Men” is a popular hair and beard dye marketed for removal of grey hair among men. However, a growing number of problems with Just for Men have been reported in recent years, involving severe allergic reactions that have resulted in hospitalization, scarring, infections and other complications.
Povice claims that men would not have purchased the hair dye if they were adequately informed about the risk of allergic reactions, and that the manufacturer, Combe Inc., violated state consumer protection laws.
“Defendants knew or should have known that Just For Men products create an unnecessary risk of burns, scarring, allergic reactions, anaphylactic shock, skin depigmentation, and other severe injuries with use including, but not limited to, prolonged and cumulative usage,” the lawsuit states. “In omitting, concealing, and inadequately providing critical safety information regarding the use of Just For Men in order to induce its purchase and use, Defendants engaged in and continue to engage in conduct likely to mislead consumers including Plaintiff and Class Members. This conduct is fraudulent, unfair, and unlawful.”
The complaint suggests that one particular ingredient in Just for Men hair dye, p-Phenylenediamine (PPD), has been linked to severe skin reactions, as well as acute and chronic injuries such as severe dermatitis, kidney failure, vitiligo, convulsions, comas and eczematoid contact dermatitis.
The claim also notes that PPD is known to more frequently cause reactions in African American men and populations of men with darker hair, who were not warned of the increased risk. Combe aggressively targeted African American consumers, despite knowing that they had five times the increased risk of an allergic reaction, according to the lawsuit.
“In fact, PPD is now known as one of, if not the most, common allergens in the African American population, even rivaling nickel which is the leading cause of Allergic Contact Dermatitis (‘ACD’) in the world,” the lawsuit states.
Just For Men Allergic Skin Reactions
Reports of Just for Men allergic reactions appear to have become an increasing problem in recent years, with ConsumerAffairs.com noting in 2012 that it had received a number of new complaints involving skin irritation, itching, blisters and chemical burns following Just for Men application.
Consumer Affairs has received more than 400 reports of burns or allergic reactions to “Just for Men” since the group first warned about the risk of allergic reactions in 2012.
Many of the men report using Just for Men dye for years without any issues, which some some suggest may raise questions about whether the manufacturer’s suggestion that users do a “patch test” on a small part of the body may be useless.
Additional Just For Men lawsuits are likely to be filed in the coming months, as a number of individuals throughout the U.S. have already contacted lawyers after suffering injuries that were reportedly caused by the hair and beard dye.