Thousands of men and women have come forward claiming the brand's products have caused hair loss and scalp issues
DevaCurl is running additional tests on its products after many longtime users claim that the formulas have caused extreme hair loss and damage.
The popular curl care brand released a statement to PEOPLE saying that the testing will be done with an “independent party” to ensure “product safety.”
“Over two decades ago, DevaCurl was born from conversations with our consumers and from our salons and stylists about what they wanted and needed to embrace their curls. As a result, our community has grown to include millions of Devas around the world who use our products every day,” DevaCurl said in the statement. “All of our formulas are subject to rigorous and thorough testing to ensure our products meet strict internal quality assurance standards and regulatory requirements before they reach the market.”
“We don’t speculate on why some people are attributing the challenges with their curls to our products, but they represent only a fraction of one percent of the millions of people who regularly enjoy DevaCurl products,” it continued. “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 concluded, “We are committed to providing our customers with all the information they need to continue to use DevaCurl with confidence. We’ll be posting updates on our website, and we encourage our consumers to share their experiences with us at email@example.com. We will go above and beyond to help anyone on their curl journey.”
DevaCurl also released a lengthy statement to its customers on its website that goes into further detail about its testing practices and procedures.
The additional testing come amid mounting complaints from customers, including Stephanie Mero — a stylist who goes by the social media handle “thecurlninja” — who claim the products are to blame for their severe hair loss, scalp issues and hair damage.
Mero had been a longtime proponent of the brand, using the products on her clients in her salon and recommending them to her followers on social media. However, last spring, she began to notice something was off with several of her clients’ hair — around the same time she had restocked on DevaCurl.
“The hair is fried. I have not seen damage like this from color, bleach, I haven’t seen damage like this from heat. This is different. The cuticle of the hair, it’s like it exploded,” Mero told ABC.
In one of her YouTube videos, Mero admits that when she first noticed her clients’ hair, she had no reason to believe it was caused by DevaCurl’s products, as she had been using the brand for years. But in an Instagram video posted in December, she explained that she saw 50 clients in her salon with damage that included “thinned out” hair at the top of their head and “extremely coarse” patches right above the ears.
“Really, for me to fully understand that it was the DevaCurl products causing the hair loss and damage, it had to happen to me,” she says in the YouTube video.
Mero recently shared an Instagram post with before-and-after photos of her own hair following her restock on the DevaCurl products.
“I can’t believe my hair is the same length today as it was in April 2018 (left) after my first Big Chop to grow my curls out for the first time after 13 years of straightening,” she shared. “On the right was 1 year later before I restocked my @devacurl products and my hair became ruined over the following 6 months until in October I finally had to cut it even SHORTER than the photo on the left.”
“So now, almost 2 full years later, I’m back at square 1 again. I did everything right. I stuck with the brand I trusted and used exclusively and it became toxic,” Mero wrote. “I feel robbed…but I would start over again every day if every time I did it meant another person would realize the cause of their hair loss, scalp issues and hair damage and discontinue using the products.”
After noticing that her own hair issues, Mero launched a Facebook group where thousands of other men and women have shared similar stories of hair loss, scalp issues and hair damage they claim is from DevaCurl’s products.
Others have also shared their experience on Twitter.
“DevaCurl products have literally sucked the life out of my curls,” one user wrote, including images of her hair before and after using the brand.
Now, Mero is encouraging her followers to report the brand to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in hopes that the products get recalled before others suffer the same fate.
“It should be a crime for cosmetic products to have adverse effects that hurt your self-esteem,” she wrote in an Instagram Story. “I do not feel like myself anymore. The FDA needs to crack down on doing their own testing before products go to market.”