Monat does a majority of its sales through whatâ€™s called â€œmultilevel marketing,â€ which means that you buy the product from one of their individual sales representatives instead of from a store.
This sales approach, combined with Monatâ€™s eco-friendly formulas, has made Monat a hit with many online influencers and younger consumers.
But not everyone loves Monat. Some who have used their shampoos and conditioners say that Monat products do the opposite of what they claim. They say that using the hair care line caused skin irritation, scalp flaking, and even hair loss and breakage.
Monat has been named in at least six lawsuits stemming from negative reviews of its hair care products. Monat denies that their formulas are unsafe when theyâ€™re used as instructed.
So, should you be concerned about using Monat products on your hair? Weâ€™ll cover everything you need to know before you invest in their hair care products.
Monat hair loss lawsuits
Class-action lawsuits against Monat began to appear in 2015. Each of these lawsuits alleged similar things: that Monat products led to scalp inflammation, burning, hair breakage, and bald spots.
Eventually, these class-action lawsuits were consolidated into one case, which was litigated in Florida, where Monat is based.
In 2018, the Florida attorney generalâ€™s office requested that Monat sign a voluntary agreement that would require the company to give refunds if a customer felt misled by the companyâ€™s claims. The agreement also states that Monat is no longer allowed to make certain claims in its advertising material.
The attorney generalâ€™s ruling takes no position on whether Monat did anything wrong. The lawsuit boiled down to whether Monat was participating in false advertising. It didnâ€™t address the science behind Monat products or whether they actually can cause hair damage for some people.
Which products were reportedly linked to hair loss
Reports about the Monat products causing hair loss have been mostly anecdotal.
To make things even more confusing, many who say they experienced hair loss due to Monat were using multiple Monat products when their symptoms first appeared.
Since Monat is supposed to stop hair loss, these customers increased the number of Monat products they were using when they noticed their hair falling out. Ultimately they decided that Monat was the cause and not the solution for their hair loss.
Since this appears to be a pretty common scenario, itâ€™s nearly impossible to know exactly which product (if any) triggered the hair loss, breakage, and skin irritation.
Products commonly cited in online consumer complaints include:
- Intense Repair Treatment Shampoo
- Intense Repair Treatment Leave-In Conditioner
- Rejuvenique Oil Intensive Treatment
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has investigated over 300 claims about Monat products. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) received hundreds of complaints about Monat products in a 3-day period in 2018, leading the BBB to disable reviews of the company on its website. Monat is currently not BBB-accredited.
Did Monat products actually cause hair loss?
To put it simply, we donâ€™t know whether Monat products caused hair loss for the consumers who filed class-action suits against the brand.
To clear the air around its brand, Monat conducted independent clinical trials to prove that their hair care products are safe. Since Monat funded these clinical trials, they canâ€™t really be considered unbiased. For what itâ€™s worth, Monatâ€™s studies found that their proprietary blend of botanical ingredients is safe and effective for everyday use.
Capixyl (which contains red clover extract) is an active ingredient in several Monat products. Thereâ€™s research that supports the use of red clover extract to promote hair growth. Thereâ€™s no research that indicates capixyl causes balding or hair breakage.
Procataline, a proprietary blend in some Monat products, supposedly works as an antioxidant to protect your hair from environmental damage. This herbal blend contains pea extract.
A 2020 study with only 10 volunteers indicated that pea sprout extract promoted hair growth when it was applied to the scalp. No negative side effects were reported from this study, but more research is clearly needed.
Based on available research, thereâ€™s no reason to conclude that Monat products cause hair loss. But that doesnâ€™t mean itâ€™s never happened or that the products donâ€™t trigger negative side effects for some people.
Are Monat products safe?
Monat products are probably safe for the majority of people who use them. There may be horror stories online as well as negative reviews, but there are also many satisfied customers who return to the business again and again.
The ideal consumer for Monat doesnâ€™t have sensitivities or allergies to Monat ingredients. Of course, itâ€™s possible you could have a sensitivity and not know until you use Monat and have a negative reaction.
If you have had an allergic reaction to botanical ingredients like essential oils, or if you have a sensitive scalp, you might want to skip Monat products. People who have eczema, dandruff, scalp psoriasis, or other inflammatory scalp conditions might want to steer clear.
The evidence we have for Monatâ€™s effectiveness is mostly provided by Monat, so itâ€™s hard to say how well the products actually work.
If you have an underlying health condition that puts you at a higher risk for hair loss, or if you have hair thatâ€™s been damaged by chemical treatments or bleaching, thatâ€™s not something that Monat can address.
The products are meant to add volume and shine to hair that looks thinner. Monat isnâ€™t a replacement for medical treatment of female pattern hair loss or alopecia areata.
Monat hair products are most likely safe for most people. But that doesnâ€™t mean theyâ€™re safe for you.
Itâ€™s possible to develop an allergic reaction to the ingredients, so be sure to do a spot test before using it. Stop using Monat products immediately if you experience any symptoms of allergy.
If you have an underlying health condition thatâ€™s causing hair loss, if your hair has been damaged by chemicals and dyes, or if youâ€™re genetically at a higher risk for bald spots, Monat might not provide the results that youâ€™re hoping for.
Speak with a dermatologist if youâ€™re experiencing sudden or severe hair loss.
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