Many of these products don’t even contain keratin.
Many popular shampoos and conditioners now advertise that their products contain the benefits of keratin. Though keratin is the protein that hair is made from, there aren’t any science-backed benefits to adding it to hair products, despite what advertisers say.
In addition to false advertising, many of these products don’t even contain keratin. As a result, consumers are filing complaints against cosmetics companies.
ClassAction.com Attorneys File Lawsuit Against Matrix, L’Oreal
On January 26, 2017, ClassAction.com attorneys filed a class action lawsuit in New York against Matrix and L’Oreal for false advertising. The lawsuit—led by plaintiffs Brandi Price of New York, and Christine Chadwick of California—targets Matrix Biolage Keratindose Pro-Keratin + Silk Shampoo, Pro-Keratin + Silk Conditioner, and Pro-Keratin Renewal Spray.
The complaint accuses Matrix and L’Oreal of false advertising, alleging that the products fail to contain keratin and therefore cannot provide their promised benefits.
Keratin is a protein that is found in hair and nails. Nearly 91% of hair is made from keratin, in addition to minerals, vitamins, and water.
Because it is the main component of hair, it’s recently become a buzzword for hair products. Keratin-enriched shampoos, conditioners, etc. will strengthen your hair, they argue, because you are restoring its natural element.
Damaged hair isn’t a result of keratin deficiency, though, but rather damaged cuticles. Hair cuticles are the outermost protective layer of hair follicles, made up of protein scales (similar to a roof). When cuticles are damaged, scales may fall off or become raised. This creates openings in the cuticle, making the hair cortex vulnerable to split ends and other forms of damage. When cuticles are healthy, hair is shiny and smooth.
You Can’t Repair Damaged Hair, Experts Say
When evaluating any hair product, it is important to note that hair is already dead matter and cannot repair itself. Once the hair cortex is damaged, the only way to repair it is by cutting it.
Hair products can help seal the cuticle to prevent damage. When this is achieved, damaged hair appears shiny, smooth, and healthy, but only temporarily. It’s essentially a Band-Aid until the hair is cut.
Hairstylist Josh Rosebrook wrote on his blog, “You can use oils, conditioners, or hydrolyzed proteins to disguise the issues temporarily but it’s akin to using make-up; products improve the appearance but they will wash out and you are back to the original problem.”
Most “restorative” claims on hair products are therefore misleading, including those pertaining to keratin.
Cosmetics Industry May Exploit Weak Regulations
Though hair products can’t fully restore damaged hair, that doesn’t stop cosmetic companies from advertising that keratin can. Pantene goes so far as to claim that their Advanced + Keratin Repair products will “repair two years of damage in just two minutes.”
In an article for the website Spry Living, Avi Elkayam, hairdresser and CEO of Runway Tools, confessed, “I’m not totally convinced that keratin shampoos by themselves really do anything.”
Currently, the FDA does not review or test the ingredients of cosmetic products, making it no surprise that misleading claims dominate the industry.
Keratin wonder products are a symptom of very little regulation in the cosmetics industry. Federal regulations for cosmetics haven’t been updated in 75 years. Currently, the FDA does not review or test the ingredients of cosmetic products, allowing misleading claims to dominate the industry.
“I’m not totally convinced that keratin shampoos by themselves really do anything.”
In 2015, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Personal Care Products Safety Act to address this oversight. If passed, the bill would require the FDA to develop and implement cosmetic manufacturing standards, along with other safety standards.
The Hair Industry’s “Protein Craze”
As the main protein in hair, keratin is part of the larger “protein craze” dominating hair products of late. Because hair health and shine rests on a balance between protein and moisture, cosmetics companies warn consumers of protein deficiency, pushing all sorts of protein shakes, capsules, etc. that they claim improve hair health and growth.
“Too much protein can cause breakage.”
None of these products has scientifically been proven to benefit hair health, and most dermatologists and cosmeticians are skeptical about the benefits of supplements.
In fact, some stylists warn of “protein overload” in hair, which can damage and break hair follicles, and leave hair feeling dry—an effect of an imbalance of moisture and protein in hair follicles.
“Most people need moisture, not protein and they do not know it. Too much protein can cause breakage,” says hair stylist Josh Rosebrook.
Many Keratin Products Do Not Contain Keratin
In addition to not delivering the results promised on the bottles, many keratin hair products don’t actually contain keratin. Some products, like OGX Brazilian Keratin Repair shampoo, contain proteins like Hydrolyzed Keratin. But many products don’t, despite misleading phrases like “keratin repair” and “pro-keratin” in their names.
Products that are allegedly guilty of falsely advertising keratin ingredients include:
- Pantene Pro-V Expert Collection Advanced Keratin Repair Conditioner
- Pantene Pro-V Expert Collection Advanced Keratin Repair Split End Fuser Hair Product
- Pantene Pro-V Expert Collection Advanced Keratin Repair Shampoo
- Pantene Pro-V Expert Collection Advanced+ Keratin Repair Keragloss Oil Mist
- Biolage KeratinDose Pro-Keratin Renewal Spray
- Biolage KeratinDose Shampoo for Overprocessed Hair
- Biolage KeratinDose Conditioner for Overprocessed Hair
- Matrix® Biolage KeratinDose Shampoo
- Matrix® Biolage KeratinDose Conditioner
Essentially, these products are over-promising the benefits of an ingredient they don’t actually contain.
ClassAction.com Will Fight for You
If you suffered losses due to false advertising, you may be entitled to compensation. ClassAction.com’s attorneys have recovered more than $5 billion for over 200,000 clients. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case review.