TRESemmé Shampoo Lawsuit Filed Over Hair Loss, Adverse Scalp Reactions

Lawsuit alleges formaldehyde in TRESemme shampoo cause hair loss, burns, scalp irritation and other injuries

Unilever faces a new TRESemme’ shampoo lawsuit, alleging the manufacturer falsely advertises the products as safe, while concealing information that consumers may be exposing themselves to formaldehyde and other ingredients linked to reports of hair loss, scalp reactions and other injuries.

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Holly Schafer in the United States District Court District of New Jersey late last month, indicating she suffered scalp irritation, burns and hair loss from TRESemme’ shampoo products that contained undisclosed levels of  a dangerous ingredient called DMDM hydantoin (DMDM).

The lawsuit implicates all TRESemme’ shampoo products, which Schafer claims contain DMDM hydantoin as a cheap and unnecessarily dangerous preservative.

DMDM hydantoin is a chemical that releases formaldehyde which has been shown to cause cancer and other harmful reactions when applied to the skin including itchiness, red rashes on the skin brittle hair, loss of hair and even dermatitis.

TRESemme’ Shampoo Hair Loss Lawsuit

Schafer claims Unilever TRESemme’ shampoo products are marketed nationwide with false and misleading marketing and labeling claims, specifically touting on the product labeling the TREsemme’ products “deeply nourish”, “gently cleanse” and “repair hair”.  However, the lawsuit claims customers are being exposed to DMDM hydantoin ingredients, which may cause consumers to suffer hair loss, allergic reactions, or skin and scalp irritation.

While formaldehyde-releasers are common in shampoo and conditioner, to prevent microbes from growing in water-based products, the lawsuit claims there are safer alternatives than DMDM hydantoin.

Specifically, the lawsuit states the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified formaldehyde as a human carcinogen, and the National Toxicology Program of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) named formaldehyde as a known and definite carcinogen to humans.

Schafer claims she began using TRESemme’ shampoo products and began to experience hair loss, thinning hair, and scalp irritation during and after washing her hair. By 2021, Schafer claims she began losing abnormal amounts of her hair, with clumps of hair falling out after using TRESemme’ shampoo products, prompting her to stop using the products.

The lawsuit claims Unilever has failed to warn customers or provide adequate warning about the use of DMDM in its products, despite knowing about the side effects of DMDM and how the products have caused hair loss and scalp irritation risks to consumers for more than a decade.

The TRESemme’ shampoo lawsuit presents claims of manufacturing defects, design defects, failure to provide adequate warning and negligence against Unilever, requesting a jury trial to determine the award of both compensatory and punitive damages.

Hair Relaxer Formaldehyde Lawsuits

The lawsuit comes amid growing concerns about risks associated with chemicals in a number of widely used hair care products, following the publication of recent research that found undisclosed endocrine disrupting chemicals in hair relaxer may cause uterine cancer.

Learn More About

Hair Relaxer Lawsuits

Regular exposure to chemicals in hair relaxer may cause uterine cancer, ovarian cancer and other injuries. Women diagnosed with cancer may be eligible for settlement benefits.

Learn More About this Lawsuit See If You Qualify For A Settlement

In October, researchers published findings in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, which warned about the chemical hair relaxer cancer risks, finding that the rate of uterine cancer was nearly three times greater among women who frequently used hair relaxer chemicals, compared to women who never used the products.

The findings have ignited a series of hair relaxer uterine cancer lawsuits and ovarian cancer lawsuits to be filed by women across the U.S., claiming decades of using hair relaxers with undisclosed chemical ingredients have caused them to develop hormone sensitive cancers.

Given similar questions of fact and law raised in a growing number of complaints filed throughout the federal court system, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) recently determined that all hair relaxer and perm cancer lawsuits will be centralized before one judge for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings in the federal court system. However, if the parties fail to reach settlements to resolve large numbers of lcaims, each case may be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for a separate trial date in the future.


  • CindyMay 25, 2023 at 11:58 pm

    I use the TRESemme shampoo n conditioner for a year or so in the shower my hair has been falling out in clumps n I have scalp irritation now I know why.

  • ToniMay 16, 2023 at 8:52 pm

    I have been using Tresemme hair products since 2000. My hair was always so healthy with the products I used. I noticed throughout the years that my hair has been falling out and my sculp was getting irritated. I would of never guessed it was the product, cause I am allergic to sulfates of any kind.

  • KatieApril 18, 2023 at 6:47 am

    For a long while I’ve been concerned that my hair was thinning and I used TRESSemme for years. Clumps of my hair fall out in the shower.

  • AylaMarch 29, 2023 at 6:47 pm

    I have been using these products for years and I have developed alopecia . 😢

  • MelindaMarch 10, 2023 at 7:53 pm

    Yes i use tresemme I wonder why my hair was getting thinner

  • HeatherFebruary 22, 2023 at 12:08 am

    Now I understand why my hair has been falling out in clumps

  • SonjaFebruary 13, 2023 at 4:52 am

    My mother has had significant hair loss over the last year and she is a regular user of tre semme shampoo and conditioner. She has been devastated by her hair loss. This is horrible.

  • JFebruary 12, 2023 at 9:37 pm

    Used TRESemme for years, last year had skin cancer by my left ear. Nice to know after the fact. ,

  • PatriciaFebruary 11, 2023 at 6:58 pm

    I use the shampoo and conditioner for several months. I have losi hair and scalp irritationand also rash on my face

  • GaryFebruary 11, 2023 at 4:20 pm

    I have been using Tresemme for over 17 years shampoo and conditioner

  • GloriaFebruary 11, 2023 at 2:49 pm

    I have been using TRESemme revitalized color which states 0% DMDM. No problem s. Are they lies??

  • PamelaFebruary 11, 2023 at 1:20 pm

    I use the shampoo and my hair come out

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