Monat hair care executives try to turn tide as company faces fourth class action lawsuit

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - MONAT, which is short for Modern Nature, claims they are number one.  

"We know that we are the number one hair care brand," said co-founder Rayner Urdaneta in a Facebook live video. "We're selling more than any other brand that you can think of."

They've commissioned independent clinical testing and report hundreds of thousands of happy customers.  

"People who sit at their door waiting for their MONAT products each and every month," said company President Stuart MacMillan on Facebook.

But Co-Founders Rayner and Luis Urdanta say their success has made them a target for critics who are jealous.

"And that's kind of why we're here today," MacMillan explained in the video. "That's why we want to fight back."

MONAT has refused our repeated requests for on-camera interviews with corporate executives.  

We interviewed a spokesman over the phone for our stories, and after they aired, MONAT posted a nearly hour-long Facebook live video to their multi-level marketing sales force.

"I kinda took a peek at the latest story that came out and honestly, it's hard for us not to get upset," MacMillan said.

Four class action lawsuits have been filed since February. The most recent on March 13 in Oklahoma. And a fifth is brewing in Canada.  

The suits allege "False and deceptive advertising, concealment of true risks and side effects and intimidation of critics."  

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In court records, in Facebook groups with thousands of members and in on-camera interviews, consumers across the country report balding, scalp sores and substantial hair loss after using MONAT.

The FDA is also assessing nearly 200 adverse event reports.

Said MacMillan, "We're okay if our product doesn't work for you. Because frankly not all products work for everybody. And you know what? There may be times when there is something in our product that you might have an allergic reaction to. And we're fine with that too. But what we won't stand for is people bullying our field, maligning our products."

They've sued several stylists and accused us of being biased because of Las Vegas stylist Toni Miller.

"The only hair transformation that I am seeing with my clients is hair loss," Miller said.

Miller's daughter works at 13 Action News. MONAT sued Miller for defamation three and a half weeks after we first spoke with her and began our investigation.   

"You never wanted to say you were having a bad reaction to MONAT because of what would happen. People jump on you," said former Market Partner Erin Ostby.

She stopped selling MONAT after her hair began falling out. She's seen first-hand the online backlash and victim blaming and shaming.  

After our story, MONAT prompted its market partners to flood social media.

"#MONAThaircare, because the positive posts, you just keep flooding the zone," MacMillan said.

As the video ends, MacMillan says, "We're throwing out a public invitation in the spirit of transparency that if any reporter wants to hear the MONAT story, we invite them here to Miami. We'll pay their airfare and their hotel. So if you know any reporters that want to do a story, we'll do it. Come on down!

13 Action News would like to note that it's a serious ethics violation for a journalist to accept a company-sponsored trip.  

When we said we'd pay our own way to Florida, they said the invitation did not extend to us.  

Related stories:

Women claim Monat hair products cause balding, scalp sores

Complaints, class action lawsuits pile up against hair care company Monat

Monat hair care company accused of using strong-arm legal tactics to silence critics

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