A woman has been left feeling “scared” and “anxious” after she says her hair fell out in clumps after using products she believes had been tampered with.
Ashley Rose bought Pantene Pro-V Sheer Volume shampoo and conditioner from a Walmart branch in New Richmond, Wis. last week. She used them for the first time on Sunday, and posted on Facebook about the experience — sharing a photo of the hair that fell out, and describing what happened after she was done washing and conditioning.
“I took my hair out of the towel and it smelt terrible, got back in the shower used my other shampoo and rubbed that in, as I took my hands out of my hair it was covered in hair and just kept on falling out,” her post reads. “Trip to the ER to make sure I didn’t get any chemical burns thankfully in some spots it was just red and irritated but looked okay. My hair is still falling out and I know will continue to. I can’t trust anything anymore.”
According to the post, Ashley took a trip to the emergency room to make sure she didn’t get any chemical burns from the spurious product, and wrote that she “thankfully” only had irritation and redness in some spots.
People immediately began commenting, and many speculated about how this happened.
“Do you think it was the actual shampoo or do you think someone put something in it (once it was on the shelf)? That was my first thought,” one person questioned. “I read something about people using mouthwash and spitting it back in and doing other gross things like that. It worries me now days.”
Another commented “Omg…I would definitely call the maker of Pantene. This could be an improper mix of the chemicals they use.”
A spokesperson for Pantene tells Yahoo Lifestyle the following: “We are aware and concerned by this post, however the consumer involved hasn’t directly contacted us yet, so at this time we have limited information. We have reached out to gain more information because the safety of our products is our top priority. We will share more information as we learn more about this unusual experience.”
According to a GoFundMe fundraiser launched on Tuesday, Ashley and her loved ones believe the conditioner was tampered with and that “someone put some sort of chemical depilatory cream inside of it, such as Nair or Veet.”
They added that the defect had to be from either the Walmart branch or manufacturing because Ashley lives alone and there’s “no way” someone could have tampered with the conditioner after she bought it. In addition to this, the description reads that she filed a police report and hopes to access Walmart surveillance footage to find out whether someone messed with the bottle in the store.
Craig Yehlik, chief of police at New Richmond Police Department, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that a report has been filed and they are closely following the case. Yehlik adds that product tampering can be a felony offense in Wisconsin. A spokesperson for Walmart also tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the police contacted the store to investigate the matter.
“Right now, we’re looking into it and working with the police to gather surveillance footage to see what happened,” the spokesperson says. “Obviously, we take these allegations seriously, and we’ve also made the supplier aware of what’s going on, as well.”
In another Facebook post shared on Monday, Ashley explained that she only shared her experience to spread awareness and make sure it didn’t happen to other people.
“My only intentions for sharing is to prevent it from happening to anyone else,” the woman wrote. “Check your bottles where ever you get them, nothing can be trusted anymore...”
Though she “courageously” shared photos of the damage, Ashley wrote that she was crying as she typed out her post.
“This is raw and has hit me like no other,” the post reads. “My heart hurts terribly I don’t even have any words to say to anyone as I just can’t get anything out but that it hurts and has been scary.”
In a third post, she adds that she’s still upset, and getting back to “this new phase of life” is not going to be easy for her.
“Anxiety attacks more than ever this evening. I’m scared. I don’t wanna go in public,” she wrote. “Tomorrow I go back to work and I’m very anxious, my emotions never been so high. I love my job and people but I’m scared.”
Ashley is now searching for ways to come to terms with her sudden hair loss. According to her GoFundMe, she went to a hair stylist, hoping to salvage what she had left and get extensions, but wrote, “Unfortunately, it was determined that the extensions would likely put too much tension on the remaining hair and cause it to fall out.”
So instead, she shaved her head, and is raising money to purchase wigs, “which can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.”
This isn’t the first time a Walmart store has been under fire for tampering. A video of a woman licking ice cream and returning the tub to a Walmart freezer went viral and led to outrage on social media. More recently, a woman turned herself in after surveillance cameras caught her peeing on potatoes at a local Walmart.
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