Monat – The Good, The Bad, and What to Believe

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Monat GlobalMonat, The Good, The Bad, and What to believe

By:  Shea Lenniger, Contributing Writer
and: Richard Garner, Editor in Cheif | Trichologist | Hair Loss Educator for The Hair Society


The Hair Society, its writers, and staff are not endorsing any specific product in this article. Rather we are taking an objective look into the Good and the Bad of Monat as reported through the Internet, News Media outlets and other digital stories.

Whether it’s because of the multiple lawsuits, friends in the program, or perhaps the more positive reactions, you’ve most likely heard of the American-based hair care company Monat. Founded in 2014, Monat operates through a multi-level marketing scheme. Known as “market partners”, these sellers earn rank, revenue, and various bonuses from Monat by recruiting new members and by selling their products. Though they boast an impressive roster of products with treatments for all sorts of hair concerns, why are there so many lawsuits against them?

Monat’s vegan and cruelty-free products include shampoos, conditioners, serums, oils, masques, hair spray and more recently, pet products. Whether it’s for hydration, color enhancement, or styling purposes, Monat’s various product lines offer solutions for all types of hair concerns. The Renew shampoo is often the first product that new customers purchase. At $35 a bottle, this salt-and-sulfate free shampoo promises to help improve the strength and shine of the hair. For those looking for a nourishing oil, the Rejuvenique Oil Intensive is another popular choice. This oil treatment boasts “nourishment, anti-aging benefits, and long-lasting shine” with over 13 plant and essential oils, nutrients, and antioxidants.

With a large collection of products and the market partner program appeal, Monat saw tremendous success right away. By 2017, they had 300 million dollars in sales and projected 1 billion dollars in sales revenue for 2018. However, some were skeptical of the giant’s skyrocketing popularity and began questioning the integrity of what their products promised.

While it’s not unusual for companies to receive some complaints about their products, it’s not so typical to be hit with as many lawsuits as Monat has. Since 2017, a total of 15 lawsuits involving Monat have been initiated.

Monat Lawsuits Gavel
The class action lawsuits, of which are filed by both consumers and professional hair specialists, claimed the company’s various hair products had caused issues such as “significant hair loss”, “scalp injury” and “scalp irritation.” With such accusations coming from long-time experts in the hair care field, they’re should be a major cause for concern. A few claims even came from former Monat distributors who refused to stand by these products upon discovering their negative effects. Many of the lawsuits attacked the company for purporting to use “harsh chemicals” and “known human allergens” which may have caused these alleged reactions.

Monat has ardently denied that their products contain any sort of chemicals and instead responded that customers with negative reactions should discontinue use and consult a physician.

Vickie HarringtonOne case, in particular, involved the creation of a social media support group against Monat. Founded in 2017, by North Carolina woman Vickie Harrington created a Facebook group claiming that Monat’s products caused “balding, hair loss, and scalp damage.”

Harrington, who was a Monat market partner herself, had originally purchased various products from her neighbor, but soon saw negative effects from the treatments. When she expressed her concern over her major hair loss, Harrington’s neighbor assured her that it was just a part of the “detox” process. (It should be noted that Monat’s “Truth About Monat” website specifically states that “hair loss is not part of any Monat purifying or “detoxifying” process.”)

Within her Facebook group, she posted various photos and warnings to customers to discontinue use of their products. Other Monat users shared shocking photos of balding spots, huge clumps of hair that had fallen out, and sores on their scalps. On January 26th, Monat filed a federal lawsuit against her, claiming that she “defamed Monat by actively spreading harmful information regarding Monat’s products that she knew to be false.” The lawsuit explained that her Facebook post attacks had no “scientific or factual basis”.

A Monat representative stated that they believed her Facebook group was a “concerted effort by a Monat competitor disguised as a spontaneous social media uprising to smear the company” which Harrington denied (BuzzFeed). Monat’s president, Stuart MacMillian, even claimed that Harrington was probably connected to the company’s various hair care competitors and was friends with Mags Kavanaugh, a hairstylist who also spoke out about Monat’s products months before. The two reported that they, in fact, did not know each other and had never met. Nonetheless, the company then sued Harrington for defamation and libel, which she eventually agreed to pay to settle the claims against her. In addition to the aforementioned suit, Monat has also filed lawsuits against hair stylists Toni Miller and Kayla Baker.

Baker posted complaints to social media, mainly addressing the problematic ingredient red clover, which she claimed could cause scalp sores and balding. Due to its estrogenic activity, studies have shown that red clover can be dangerous for women with breast cancer, ovarian cancer or endometriosis and can increase the risk of bleeding. Despite these issues, Monat responded that the amount of red clover in their products was too insignificant to cause such damage and sued her for defamation as well.

Toni Miller took her accusations even further, claiming that Monat’s products can cause issues such as “miscarriages, harm to unborn babies, migraines, chemical burns, menstruation issues” and more. The company believed that her drastic claims negatively affected sales and shared that over 1,000 product orders had been canceled in the two months leading up to the lawsuit. Again, they did nothing to address a customer’s valid concerns, and instead, blamed her for their decrease in sales.

The company filed 4 defamation lawsuits in total against those who they believed were intentionally trying to harm their brand by spreading false information. In April 2018, a federal judge ruled in favor of Monat, allowing the company to protect themselves from attackers trying to damage the company’s reputation. This ruling does not preclude someone from sharing their own personal experience or recommendation, however, it does ensure that Monat has a legal remedy if the claims rise to the level of defamation or slander.

Monat also attempted to shift focus towards how these attacks affected market partners. If customers didn’t want to believe the company itself, maybe they’d be sympathetic towards those trying to make a living off selling the products. Britany Pillars, a Monat spokeswoman stated, “MONAT is being forced as a last resort to use litigation to stop online defamatory attacks on Market Partners like me and on our products. We’re the real victims of the falsehoods and online bullying that has come from attackers who are trying to hurt our company.”

South Florida BBBHowever, are the 900 complaints currently listed on South Florida’s Better Business Bureau really just online attackers out to get Monat? The hundreds of posts are filled with consumers trying to express their issues, negative side effects, poor customer service experiences, and overall dissatisfaction with Monat’s products. Despite lengthy and valid concerns, Monat representatives often respond with comments such as, “Although MONAT’s ingredients are naturally-based, safe, pure and sustainable, we understand that some may experience a reaction and should discontinue use. We also suggest that you ask your physician with any questions regarding any medical condition that a consumer may have.” In other words, these reactions are not Monat’s problem, they’re personal health issues that one should consult a doctor about.

Despite this immense backlash, the hair care giant continues to sell products and even launched in the UK in May of 2018. There are plenty of users who share amazing before and after photos of thicker hair after months of Monat use. The company also boasts multiple awards, including Bronze, Silver, and Gold Stevie Awards plus a 2018 “Making a Difference Award” from the Direct Sellers Association of Canada. Their products have appeared in various South Florida Magazines, Arizona Foothills Magazine, NBC, CBC, and have received praises from Arden Myrin, Jennifer Gould, Amelia Neo, and other big names. To be fair, many if not most magazines and news outlets permit paid advertorials, news stories that are in fact written by the paying company on their own behalf.

The multiple lawsuits and complaints against Monat can be extremely concerning and the company continuously reminds people that everyone reacts differently to certain ingredients. Monat could definitely show more concern over the dramatic side effects that some users experience, but instead, they have scared many customers into silence with their multiple defamation lawsuits. While some users may experience negative hair and scalp reactions, others may find that Monat solves their lifelong hair issues. Just because the products boast natural and organic ingredients doesn’t mean side effects aren’t possible. It’s extremely important to do proper research of listed ingredients before purchasing Monat or any product for that matter in order to prevent potential allergic reactions. Or, with the terrifying side effects reported. If you are truly concerend, then it may be best to steer clear of Monat until these issues are cleared up once and for all. We always urge our readers to use common sense and caution when researching any product. In the end, the decision is ultimately yours.

What is TrichologyWhen it comes to hair loss, there is a myriad of reasons, from genetic, hereditary, medical, dietary, and even stress, as for why one may be experiencing thinning hair or hair loss. There is no one size fits all solutions, and you really should consult with a Trichologist and or hair loss professional about your specific concerns and causes. Sometimes wet care lines are the solution, other times it may be low-level laser light therapy, stem cell therapy, even oral nutraceuticals or a combination of all the above. Remember, you would not go to an auto mechanic to have them bake you a cake, so logic would dictate that you would not rely on just a salesperson to diagnose and recommend a treatment protocol for hair loss.  When it comes to professional salon wet care lines, we suggest you consult with your licensed cosmetologist for their professional opinion on which salon product would best suit your specific hair care needs.




  1. This article is obviously one sided all this person did was point out why Monat isn’t good, honestly thank God the products have worked wonders for me and you should talk about the thousands of people who are still active and loving the company, instead of “900” reviews.

    • Thank you for your feedback. While we certainly do not prevent our readers from sharing their perspectives on any of our stories, we would like to point out that this article is in no way “one sided”. We balanced the story with factual remarks that distributed equally. The article is not intended to show an unfair bias in either direction. Monat is a controversial brand by many standards, and while it si certainly an extremely successful and popular MLM business model, it is not without its detractors, and for us to maintain our journalistic integrity we feel we must report both sides of the story and allow our readers to decide.

      • I’m sorry but I agree with JM. The majority of the article was not balanced and definitely one-sided and an apparent attempt to highlight a negative opinion of the company with every point made.

        • Ruby

          We respect your opinion, and we stand by our article as being balanced. After being in the business for as long as we have, we’ve come to learn that when you look for a specific narrative, you will generally find it. We conducted our research, and we feel balanced out the story with more than one perspective. It is a okay not to agree with one side, but the facts that were presented were facts, and our advise to anyone reading this article or any others, is to not just jump into any product or service, but to rather conduct some research themselves.

          • I can say I am unbiased. Ruby and JM- are you fans/users or sellers of Monat? Because I am not. I only just heard about Monat and was interested in learning more about it and came across this article. I am not seeing how this is one sided?

            Great article, Hair Society! I now feel more equipped to make a more educated decision + what parts of the product/company I would like to further research. I always do lots of research before putting something on or inside my body. I don’t just buy because there’s buzz.

  2. I found this article informative. I heavily research everything I am thinking of putting into or on my body. I look at all opinions good/ bad/ugly and then research some more. That is where I found the name of the ingredient that was controversial and I will research that further. I also understand that every person has a different body chemistry than the next person and that what works for one person might not work for another. This was a good read in my research journey.

  3. I found your article to be VERY fair, and very helpful…. thank you.

    The biggest concern/ obstacle for me with Monat -and ALL multi level marketing products- is that I feel like the emphasis that drives sales isn’t necessarily the products themselves, but rather the money that the representatives can make. Over the years, I have been approached on so many different MLM opportunities, some of which I did in fact join. The one thing all these companies/opportunities had in common was the relentless talk track on how much money a person could make, always dangling a carrot about being able to quit your job and raking in lots of money, rather than focusing on the products that are supposed to be so revolutionary. And because of that, I think the representatives themselves can become blind to whether or not the products really do all they say. I wish it was more about product first, income second.

    Even now, I have friends who sell both Monat and Plexus. I have tried both and can’t say I’ve had amazing results from Monat; and I have found the Plexus products to be completely without merit. Yeah, I see the people who get sucked into these companies “drink the Kool-Aid” and no matter what you tell them they will simply not believe that their product isn’t the most awesome thing ever. Thus I approach any MLM product with great skepticism.

    I found your article because I just tried the Monat Clarifying Shampoo for the first time and ended up with quite an alarming clump of hair that fell out in my hand afterward!!!

    • can you imagine having post party hair loss then finding that your hair is coming out more than ever before?? I loved how my hair felt after I washed it but didn’t last long. And I was shedding quite a bit. With continued use tho, The shedding stopped and I can now wash twice a week! I use to have to wash every day! It’s all about continued use! Most people have trust issues and quit things when it gets hard. I kept going and I always will use this on myself and my child!

  4. I was in the VIP Program. I spend over 800.00 w/ Monat and went to cancel the program and they want to charge me to cancel, because I did not order my products with the Flex Shipment. I do not care for the shampoo/conditioner, but did like some of their other products, but I will no longer use Monat, due to this issue I’m having w/ them. For $25.00 cancellation charge they are losing $800.00 a yr from me.

    I signed up for regrowth. The product did not help me at all, and I believe made matters worse. I was trying to be nice about it, but they refused to not allow me to cancel wo charging me. Who wants to deal w/ companies like this when trying to cancel.

  5. You should have been explained to that when you sign up for VIP you are agreeing to 2 more purchases. So that’s why you were being Charges a cancelation fee , since you err canceling without making those 2 other purchases.

    • the problem is clearly it’s not at all said clearly … because IF.. she probably wouldn’t have entered..its a sneaky way of letting customers buy product, and entering the VIP. As this ‘helps’ the sales persons business. Do after you hear .. but you should have known, or the seller should have … the vast amounts of this type of complaint shows it’s happening, and it’s wrong … yes THEY should… again it’s more about getting business… then happy customers,
      IF I had a client who spent that kind of money and told me what happened common sense tells you, to not charge any fees and talk to the rep, explain how to do better.
      This subscription business is beyond me I have never seen a good working one, except the prescribing tretinoin who personalize it. It’s so much simpler and transparent to give discount in volume and or give discount if they order again..
      and yes this was not at all one sided, but monat people can’t deal with any negativity. And go on the attack. It’s fairly normal that people will like and dislike your product. Get over it, it’s bullying.

  6. Thank you for sharing his information. I was afraid it was just me losing hair with Monet and being told it was “part of the process.” Um, no. I’m glad it works for others. Have several friends who love it. It’s just not for me.

  7. Very unbiased and informative article, well written thank you! Definitely fair and not one sided. I have had hair loss since using this product and was treated like a criminal for bringing it to the market partners attention. I felt like I was attacked for explaining my experience. I then found thousands and thousands ads of others who shared the same experience as me, both with the product and the treatment by MPs and the company.

  8. Hello I Started using Monat as a VIP. I had a very itchy scalp and dandruff for years. I went to a dermatologist but nothing work. So when I used Monat the first 3 times I was not impress. But the itchiness and dandruff was actually gone. As I continue to use them the hair got better and better. So I decided to become a MP.
    This was my experience with the products. I also know there are other brands that are good out there like Derma change to give an example. I stick to what is working for my hair, and so anyone else should do what is best for them.
    I don’t do the MLM because I think it will make me rich. I do it for the discount, however I share my story and recommend to others. the same way I will recommend a restaurant or a salon.
    I have a great job and travel already so none of the things they offer is something that appeal to me. But are good perks for those that make of this a full time job.

    I think this article is simply sharing information that is already know to the public. I feel it was not completely unbiased, but it is what it is! In my opinion I don’t get married to anything as I think is good to try all brands and explore more so you can see what works for you best.


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