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Wisconsin Woman Loses Hair After Using Conditioner, Police Investigate Possible Product Tampering

NEW RICHMOND, Wis. (WCCO) – A daily shower turned into a scary situation for 21-year-old Ashley Robinson of New Richmond, Wisconsin.

On Sunday night, Robinson began losing her hair in the shower after using her conditioner.

"My hair just started falling out in clumps on the floor, and it just kept coming out and coming out and coming out and I screamed," Robinson said.

Robinson posted pictures of the hair that fell out on Facebook, and they got thousands of shares. The hair loss left bald patches on her head. She ultimately decided to shave it.

Hair Loss
(credit: Ashley Robinson)

Robinson also said her scalp began burning. Ashley went to the emergency room Sunday night, where doctors diagnosed her with chemical burns.

"We were at the doctor's office and they said it smelled like Nair. It had a very distinct smell to it," Robinson said.

Nair is a hair removal product anyone can buy over the counter.

"Somebody had to have tampered with it," Robinson said.

Robinson purchased the bottle of conditioner a few days prior to the hair loss incident from the only Walmart in New Richmond. New Richmond Police say they are working with the Walmart location as part of their investigation. The store handed over their surveillance footage to police, who are weeding through it to see if anyone tampered with that bottle.

"We're still looking into when they most recently stocked those shelves and how much of that product has been purchased recently," New Richmond Police Chief Craig Yehlik said.

Chief Yehlik says they are investigating this as product tampering for now. Yehlik says they have every reason to believe the victim in this situation. Product tampering in Wisconsin is a felony.

"It could be a substantial fine and include jail time," Yehlik said.

Robinson hopes sharing her story will serve as a warning to others.

"I don't want this to happen to anyone else," Robinson said. "I'm not going to buy any products unsealed because of this."

For now, Ashley shows off her shaved head proudly – comforted knowing it will grow back.

Pantene made the conditioner. WCCO reached out to Procter & Gamble. They said they're aware of the incident and they're working with Robinson.

In a statement, Walmart says surveillance footage indicates no evidence of tampering.

"We take claims like this seriously. As soon as we were made aware of the issue, we inspected all product in our store, reviewed surveillance footage and found no evidence of tampering. We've attempted to reach out to the customer to discuss this further and have received no response. We will work with authorities to prosecute if there is proven evidence of tampering."

Her two friends created a GoFundMe account to raise money for Ashley to buy a wig and cover medical expenses.

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