Nutrafol Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Deceptive Marketing Scheme

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July 26, 2023

by Brian Eckert

You may have seen advertisements for Nutrafol hair growth products promising that they are “clinically proven” and “backed by science” to reverse hair loss. These marketing claims may have convinced you to pay upwards of $85 for just a one-month supply. If they did, and you live in California, New York, New Jersey, or Illinois, you may be eligible to join Milberg’s Nutrafol class action lawsuit.

Nutrafol Rakes in Millions on Back of Questionable Claims

“We believe hair health starts from within,” says Nutrafol on the company’s official site.

Founded in 2015 by Giorgos Tsetis, Nutrafol positions itself as an alternative to hair loss drugs like minoxidil and Propecia. Sold under several different formulations—including Nutrafol Women, Nutrafol Women’s Balance, Nutrafol Women’s Vegan, Nutrafol Postpartum, and Nutrafol Men—the products are supposedly based on a “scientifically rigorous approach to hair wellness research” and use “efficacious ingredients in clinically tested formulas.”

Nutrafol incentivizes a subscription service that sells for approximately $80 – $90 per month and includes a one-month supply plus doctor consultations. Single purchases are also available. In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Tsetis said the company’s subscription base accounts for around 90% of its products sold.

Throughout its advertising campaign, Defendant uses a common fraudulent scheme that deceives consumers into believing that the Products are proven clinically effective and that the ingredients are medical grade treatments for hormone imbalances characteristic of common hair loss diseases.

Ad spots feature Tsetis describing his “journey” with hair loss prevention and how traditional hair loss drugs allowed him to keep his hair but caused sexual side effects. This led him to seek a “healthier solution.” The result was Nutrafol—a patented hair supplement blend made of “medical grade botanicals.”

Nutrafol claims its products treat the hormone imbalances that are the “root cause” of most hair loss and touts clinical studies in support of its hair growth efficacy. These representations, while questionable, have been extremely successful. Nutrafol had estimated revenue of $175 million in 2021 and Unilever recently acquired a majority stake in the company.

A Unilever press release describes Nutrafol as “the #1 dermatologist-recommended hair growth supplement in the U.S.” that leverages its patented “Synergen Complex,” a blend of “medical-grade nutraceutical ingredients.”

Nutrafol Marketing Could Break Consumer Protection Laws

With around 115 million Americans experiencing hair health issues, Nutrafol’s potential customer base is vast. But in its quest for market share, Nutrafol may have broken federal and state laws prohibiting improper and misleading health claims, according to Milberg’s class action lawsuit.

By using this deceitful scheme to create a false aura of scientific and pharmaceutical legitimacy to sell the Products at a premium price, Defendant violates New York, California, New Jersey, and Illinois consumer protection law.

Specifically, the complaint accuses Nutrafol of violating the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), as well as New York, California, New Jersey, and Illinois state consumer protection laws, in the following ways:

  • Making false and misleading statements about the clinical effectiveness of its hair growth products;
  • Using unlawful implied disease claims regarding hormone imbalances and hair loss disease that have not been approved by the FDA; and
  • Falsely claiming its products support hormonal and metabolic health, when in fact some of the ingredients may harm health in the indicated dosage.

The lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit hail from California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois and seek to establish subclasses of members from these states. Filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the lawsuit could provide monetary damages and injunctive relief preventing Nutrafol from continuing its allegedly misleading marketing campaign.

Eligible class members affected by this litigation should receive a notice informing them of their rights and options, pending a court order certifying the classes.

Milberg: A National Leader in Class Action Lawsuits

Milberg’s Rachel L. Soffin and Nick Suciu filed the claim. Ms. Soffin has been named to leadership roles in many large class actions and obtained millions of dollars on behalf of consumers. Mr. Suciu is a class action attorney whose practice is focused on the dietary and sports supplements space.

Since 1965, Milberg has filed thousands of class action lawsuits, recovered billions of dollars for our clients, set groundbreaking legal precedents, and prompted meaningful changes in corporate practices.