A popular hair company is experiencing severe backlash as several women claim its products made their hair fall out.
The drama started when popular YouTuber Ayesha Malik published a video to announce she had stopped using DevaCurl products.
DevaCurl is a New York-based company founded by Lorraine Massey and Denis DaSilva in 1994. It began as a product line in the Devachan salons and morphed into a legitimate movement. The company has a line of products dedicated to curly hair types including non-shampoo hair cleansers, conditioner and hair treatments. Women of all races use the line, including Black women with natural hair. German consumer goods company Henkel announced last November that it was purchasing DevaCurl from the previous owner, the asset management firm Ares.
In the video, Malik vehemently denounced the brand and begged her followers to avoid it. The influencer claimed she experienced frizzy hair, dandruff and a burning sensation on her scalp.
“If you’ve bought DevaCurl products because of me, I am sorry. And if you are currently using these products, stop immediately,” Malik said in the video. “I do not recommend them, not on your hair, not on your friends’ hair. Do not give these products to them. Do not donate them to a women’s shelter. I do not recommend these products on anyone’s hair.”
Other influencers began sharing their hair woes, and eventually stories about hair loss, texture changes and other difficulties flooded the internet.
Ashley Smith is one of the women whose hair suffered after using DevaCurl products. She began using the brand in spring 2019 at the behest of a friend. She used the products on and off until she got the coveted DevaCut. After her new ’do, she almost exclusively used DevaCurl products.
Smith noticed something was wrong last month when she noticed a patch of missing hair “a little smaller than the size of a quarter.”
“I panicked in the moment and eventually assumed I was deficient in vitamins due to my vegan diet,” she told Atlanta Black Star via email. “Shortly after, (about a month) I noticed that my hair had broken off pretty badly in certain places. I’m not sure exactly when the damage occurred. I do have pretty dense thick hair and it is hard to notice when damage is done unless it is a sizable amount. In this case, it is obvious my hair is damaged.”
She didn’t suspect DevaCurl until she saw social media posts from disgruntled customers. Smith stopped using the products. She isn’t happy about her hair, but she considers herself lucky compared to other stories she’s seen.
“Mine is minor compared to some,” she continued. “However, I don’t believe this many people are coincidentally going through the same thing. There is a common denominator here and it’s the DevaCurl products.”
In an emailed statement, Laurice Rawls, DevaCurl’s senior PR and influencer coordinator, told Atlanta Black Star the company’s merchandise is “subject to rigorous and thorough testing to ensure our products meet strict internal quality assurance standards and regulatory requirements before they reach the market.”
“As part of our ongoing commitment to product safety and the satisfaction of our Deva Community, we are conducting additional testing with an independent party,” the statement continued. “We are committed to providing our customers with all the information they need to continue to use DevaCurl with confidence.”
The company is currently facing a class action lawsuit, as reported by The New York Post. The suit features three plaintiffs, Ginger Dixon, Alanna Hall and Cristina Napolotano. They are seeking unspecified monetary damages.