Relaxer products are notorious for containing lye – a caustic ingredient that can burn skin and damage hair. So hundreds of thousands of consumers took the bait when L’Oréal introduced its “NO-LYE” product known as SoftSheen-Carson Optimum Amla Legend No-Mix, No-Lye Relaxer.
L’Oréal’s relaxer is prominently labeled “NO-LYE” to target consumers seeking a gentler alternative. The Amla Legend line is promoted as a collection of nourishing products infused with Amla oil, a luxurious oil “derived from the Indian Amla superfruit known as the Gooseberry, a powerful antioxidant rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals.” L’Oréal markets the Amla Legend relaxer as a “Rejuvenating Ritual” which will provide “fuller, silkier hair” and “respect for hair fiber integrity.”
Large numbers of women big to differ. Dissatisfied customers from around the country have posted their grievances online. For example, when we at the Blog last checked, more than 70% of reviewers at Amazon.com gave L’Oréal’s Amla Legend relaxer the lowest possible rating of one star. Comments included:
I have never experienced burns like the burns from this product. [B]y the time I walked up the stairs to the bathroom it was unbearable. I pray my skin returns to normal and they should be sued.
Don’t use it! My 26 year old daughter is upstairs crying her eyes out because her hair is gone. And I (her mother) relaxed it for her. We followed directions she has been relaxing for years. We did not leave it on too long. She now has no hair on the sides or back of her head. Even with the scalp protector and vaseline around her edges No Hair and her scalp is burned badly I did notice a lot of hair loss during rinsing but never imagined this. Stay away from this product I didn’t know how to do no stars so I did one but for us it’s a big fat 0 stars.
PLEASE DO NOT BUY THIS RELAXER!!! THIS IS THE WORST RELAXER I HAVE EVER USED!!! IT CAUSED SEVERE DAMAGE TO MY HAIR AND I AM NOW DEALING WITH BALDING AND SHEDDING FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE!!! DO NOT USE OPTIMUM AMLA RELAXER IF YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR HAIR!!! I ALMOST NEVER POST REVIEWS BUT AFTER USING THIS PRODUCT I FEEL COMPELLED TO WARN OTHER WOMEN ABOUT THIS PRODUCT!!!
Similarly, a reviewer on the Sally Beauty Supply website had the following less-than-glowing report:
I rarely leave reviews for products, but this one was so bad that I feel like I should warn people about wasting their money on it. I have been using home perms for 25 years now and I can say that this is the worst perm that I have ever used. I initially liked it because it smelled so good and straightened my hair nicely, but the first time that I washed my hair after I’d used it, my hair went back to what it was right before I permed it, except worse! It was much less manageable than normal and stayed bushy and frizzy no matter what I did to it. This perm is not a good value for the money because it is more expensive than other perms but doesn’t work as well as any of them. And, when my sister used it, she said that it burned her head the whole time that she was applying it. . . .
Not surprisingly, a couple of class action lawsuits have been filed. So far, women from California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky and New York have alleged that L’Oréal violated various state laws, including consumer fraud laws.
The things L’Oréal said – and didn’t say – in the marketing of its Amla Oil Relaxer may be illegal under the laws of your state. If you have purchased this product, and particularly if your hair or skin has been damaged by this product, it might pay to talk with a lawyer. The attorneys here at Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel would be happy to take your call.