When a girl’s hair started falling out in clumps, she quickly realized something was wrong and soon traced the problem back to a trip to Walmart. Police were notified and a warning was issued to hopefully prevent others from suffering the same fate.
Ashley Rose Robinson, a 21-year-old Wisconsin woman, was horrified when her normal Sunday night routine took a turn for the worst. She got in the shower, washed her hair, and began to condition her long locks, only to have them begin falling out in her hands. As Ashley realized her hair was suddenly coming out in clumps and her scalp started to burn, she screamed.
“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,” Ashley recalled. In stunned disbelief, Ashley took pictures of the aftermath, CBS Local reported. Not knowing what was going on and with her scalp red and irritated, she rushed to the emergency room, where doctors diagnosed her with chemical burns.
It didn’t take long for Ashley Rose Robinson and her mother Taffy Jo Timm to realize what must have happened. “We were at the doctor’s office and they said it smelled like Nair. It had a very distinct smell to it,” Ashley explained, referring to a hair removal product that’s sold over the counter. “Somebody had to have tampered with it,” Ashley added, reflecting on a bottle of conditioner she had recently purchased from her local Walmart.
Just days prior to the ordeal, Ashley had bought the bottle of Pantene Pro-V Sheer Volume conditioner that she used for the first time that fateful Sunday night from the only Walmart in New Richmond, Wisconsin. Realizing someone must have maliciously tainted the hair care product with Nair, Ashley and her mom knew they had to warn others, and they took to social media to do it. Using the images they had captured, Taffy Jo told other New Richmond shoppers to beware in a post that garnered a lot of attention.
The incident was traumatizing for Ashley, who cried endlessly, devastated by the damage. “This is raw and has hit me like no other. My hair was finally the way I loved it to be and now it’s gone,” she wrote on Facebook following the incident, according to Inside Edition. “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.” Left with bald patches all over her head and the remaining hair too brittle to hold extensions, Ashley had no choice but to shave her head.
Meanwhile, the New Richmond Police went to work, investigating the incident with the help of the Walmart location in question. The store handed over their surveillance footage to investigators so they could weed through it and hopefully find evidence that will lead them to the person responsible for tampering with the 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.
But, Walmart claims they already reviewed the surveillance footage and saw 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,” the company alleged in a statement but added, “We will work with authorities to prosecute if there is proven evidence of tampering.”
According to Chief Yehlik, however, the department has every reason to believe the victim in this situation, and they are taking the case very seriously. Because product tampering is a felony in Wisconsin, the culprit could face some hefty consequences if caught and convicted. “It could be a substantial fine and include jail time,” Yehlik revealed.
As for Ashley Rose Robinson, she is comforted knowing her hair will grow back, but she says she wants to look out for others and hopes that sharing her story will serve as a warning. “I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” Ashley said. “I’m not going to buy any products unsealed because of this,” she added. “I can’t trust anything anymore.”
The thought that we could unknowingly buy a bottle of conditioner with a hair removal product mixed inside is troublesome, to say the least. Sadly, it seems this is the world in which we now live, where people take pleasure in tainting products others are going to buy. Let this serve as a reminder to check our purchases carefully before we become the victim of some soulless degenerate who has the audacity to prey upon unsuspecting and innocent strangers.