Tresemme Class Action Lawsuit

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Written By Rocky Horton

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A TRESemmé class action lawsuit has been filed against Conopco Inc., the makers of the popular line of keratin products. Multiple plaintiffs have claimed that chemical additives in TRESemmé products are dangerous and caused painful symptoms.

Though the lawsuit was dismissed in December 2022, a federal judge in New York refused to throw out the case, leading many potential plaintiffs to wonder if they could get a piece of the TRESemmé class action lawsuit.

Continue reading for case history and an update on the TRESemmé class action lawsuit, including the claims being made, the current status of the case, the chemicals being questioned, and the process for how to file a TRESemmé lawsuit if you believe you are eligible for compensation.

Who Makes Tresemme?

TRESemmé is a line of cosmetic products produced by Conopco Inc. under the name Unilever Home & Personal Care USA. They’re a New York-based company that has been in operation since 1880, though the Unilever branding is only a few decades old.

There have been cases against Unilever/Conopco in the past, including a $1.3 million lawsuit in 2010 over high-volatility organic compounds in Axe body spray. Axe is just one of the over 1,000 Unilever brand names, which are not all cosmetic brands. However, a few of their cosmetic product lines include:

  • Caress
  • Degree
  • Dove
  • Simple
  • SheaMoisture
  • Suave
  • TRESemmé

With a company this large, it should come as no surprise that their revenue is high – $63.293 billion in 2022. There have been many lawsuits involving Unilever products in the last few decades, with TRESemmé simply being the most recent.

Is There a Lawsuit Against Tresemme?

The class action lawsuit against Unilever was filed in 2021 over its Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion products, then again against TRESemmé in 2022. The current TRESemmé lawsuit is against their Keratin shampoos, which may have a defective manufacturing process that exposes users to potentially harmful chemicals.

The most recent complaint was filed in New Jersey, alleging that Keratin shampoos caused an allergic reaction due to the potentially harmful ingredient, DMDM hydantoin. However, this is not the only chemical additive that has caused TRESemmé to fall under fire.

Another complaint was filed last November alleging that TRESemmé dry shampoo products contain benzene, a known carcinogen. This included not only TRESemmé spray shampoos but also those under the Suave, Dove, TIGI, and Nexxus labels, which are all Unilever brand names.

Tresemme Lawsuit Claims

The TRESemmé class action lawsuit alleges false advertising against Unilever due to their products’ potential to cause allergic reactions and other adverse effects. The use of words like “nourishes” and “gentle” has been fuel for the lawsuit, which alleges that the negative effects experienced by some consumers constitute false advertising.

This is not the only claim, however, as the dangerous chemicals bring the design of the TRESemmé products into question. The lawsuit also claims that the inclusion of DMDM hydantoin is not necessary in light of alternative preservatives that have proven to be safer. Since the Suave Infusion Shampoo was recalled in 2012, Unilever has known about the presence of DMDM in their products, the case claims.

The third claim being made in the TRESemmé lawsuit is that Unilever failed to warn consumers about potential side effects from being exposed to this preservative, as well as to formaldehyde and benzene, which are known carcinogens. Symptoms claimed by plaintiffs in the TRESemmé class action lawsuit include things as small as hair loss, brittle hair, dry scalp, or scalp irritation, and as serious as cancer.

Tresemme Lawsuit Ingredients

The inclusion of the ingredient DMDM hydantoin in TRESemmé shampoo products is the main contention made by the class action case. This chemical compound acts as a preservative used to extend the shelf life of the product as well as prevent bacteria from growing in it.

However, DMDM hydantoin is listed by the FDA as a common allergen in cosmetic products. This causes many of the hallmark symptoms of the case, including scalp irritation and brittle hair. However, DMDM is also known to draw out formaldehyde from water, causing it to concentrate on the user’s scalp. Contact with formaldehyde can potentially lead to major hair loss or even cancers, including myeloid leukemia.

Additionally, the case against dry shampoo alleges that those TRESemmé products contain the industrial chemical, benzene, which has been linked to cancers, many of which are fatal. These include AML, acute lymphocytic leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, aplastic anemia, and more.

The TRESemmé class action lawsuit claims that not only are these compounds dangerous but they are also unnecessary inclusions when natural preservatives such as Vitamin E oil and grapefruit seed extract could do the same job without the adverse effects.

DMDM Hydantoin

DMDM hydantoin is an antimicrobial preservative. It is commonly used in cosmetic products, including shampoo, conditioners, cleansers, moisturizers, and makeup.

Normally, the formaldehyde released by DMDM hydantoin is negligible, though the TRESemmé class action lawsuit claims that regular use of their products exposes the user to more than intended.


Benzene can cause stomach irritation and dizziness in low doses. When consumed over time, it can cause many types of leukemia, even aplastic anemia, which is why the contamination of TRESemmé dry shampoo is a key factor of the second lawsuit.

Does Tresemme Make Your Hair Fall Out?

TRESemmé cosmetic products are not supposed to cause hair loss, but this was part of the initial set of claims against Unilever. In the case of Lipetz and Keener v. Unilever United States, Inc., the two women claimed that the presence of DMDM hydantoin caused dermatitis that led to significant hair loss.

Those who have asked, “Does TRESemmé shampoo cause hair loss?” have likely seen the evidence showing that the products have been tested to be safe. However, other factors such as storage time and storage temperature have been shown to increase the amount of formaldehyde in these products, which can increase the prevalence of its negative effects.

As the TRESemmé class action lawsuit claims, this exposure can lead to scalp irritation, inflammation, dermatitis, and hair loss.

Recall on Tresemme Shampoo

In 2022, Unilever issued a recall of dry shampoo aerosols manufactured before October 2021 due to their potential contamination with high amounts of benzene. This was not related to the current class action lawsuit against TRESemmé products for containing DMDM hydantoin.

The products listed in the recall, which was initiated voluntarily by Unilever after FDA studies, included not only TRESemmé Dry Shampoo but also aerosol shampoos under the Dove, Nexxus, Suave, Bed Head, and Rockaholic labels.

Consumers were advised to stop using the contaminated products as exposure to benzene can cause blood disorders, cancers, and other adverse effects. The FDA classifies benzene as a potentially cancer-causing compound, even when only the skin is exposed. The FDA imposes restrictions on how much benzene can exist in commercial products, which Unilever failed to meet after an evaluation of their dry shampoos.

How Much Can I Get from the Tresemme Class Action Lawsuit?

Many factors influence how much of the TRESemmé class action lawsuit you can get, including the severity of your injuries, the strength of your evidence, and your legal representation. However, the Unilever class-action lawsuit in 2014 settled for $10.2 million, so the latest case is also expected to generate high levels of compensation.

Though many plaintiffs will be claiming compensation for minor injuries, some may be able to claim that TRESemmé products led to a cancer diagnosis, which in past cases has resulted in settlements from $100,000 to $1.5 million or more.

How much you get from the case depends on the claims you make and the evidence you present. To qualify for compensation in the TRESemmé lawsuit, you must have receipts proving that you purchased the relevant products, medical reports detailing your diagnosis, and a claim submitted within the statute of limitations.

Since this process is complicated, you should speak with a qualified class action attorney to learn more about your eligibility, how to submit evidence for your case, and what statutes of limitations apply to you in the current case.

Who Qualifies for the Tresemme Class Action Lawsuit?

You must have suffered an injury while using relevant products to qualify for the TRESemmé class action lawsuit. The term is “burden of proof,” and in a class action, this rests with the plaintiff.

This means that you must be able to demonstrate that you suffered either injuries or monetary losses due to your use of TRESemmé products and that you used the product as it was intended. The class action trial will seek to prove that the products have a defect in their design or marketing and that this defect caused harm to consumers.

This requires evidence, including proof of purchase, medical reports, and proof of monetary costs related to the damages allegedly caused by the use of TRESemmé products.

How to File a Tresemme Lawsuit?

To file a TRESemmé lawsuit, you will need to join the class action lawsuit in your state by contacting the Settlement Administrator or the Class Counsel. Once the money is released as part of the settlement following the trial, you will need a Claim Form to become eligible for a share of the benefits.

Class action lawsuits have a notification process where those who apply are notified of their rights as well as their eligibility for involvement in the case. They will tell you how to make a claim if you have received a class action notice, which is a document that you should read and consider carefully.

Often, waiting for court approval can take a while, so it’s important to keep track of all expenses relevant to your TRESemmé use, including medications, tests, doctor’s visits, and any treatments you receive.

Using TRESemmé does not guarantee that you will get a settlement. This is why a personal injury attorney with experience in class action lawsuits or product liability cases is an asset in your case.


The TRESemmé lawsuit had an attempted dismissal in late 2022 but was upheld in New York earlier this year, making it possible for users to file a claim, though the settlement amount has not been announced. If you have experienced symptoms related to the TRESemmé class action lawsuit and have used the relevant products, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about your eligibility as well as the steps you should take to file your claim.

Rocky Horton

Rocky Horton


Rocky Horton is a health and safety expert from Chapel Hill, NC. He is the founder of AccidentAdvisor and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, and other publications. Learn more.