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OOKISA Hair Thickening System - is it a scam?

Reviewed by Marta April 1, 2009 125 Comments

The lady at OOKISA's customer service was brisk and professional.

Me: I'd like to be given a Return Merchandise Authorization number.

CS lady: May I ask why you'd like to return the product.

Me: Well I applied on your website for a free trial and when the 'free' products arrived they were with instructions that told me I have to pay $89.95 if I don't return them within 14 days. Your terms and conditions aren't on your website, so I feel like this is a scam.

CS lady: We are not a scam company. The terms and conditions are on the website.

Me: Where?

CS lady: There is a terms and conditions tab at the bottom of the screen.

Now, bear in mind that when I sent off for my free trial of OOKISA Hair Thickening System I was looking hard for the terms and conditions. After all, its kinda my job to be thorough about these things. I didn't see anything and so decided to give it a go and see what would happen. I now see that, CS lady was, of course, right. The T&Cs are on the bottom left of the screen

that pops up when you hit the Free Trial tab. You can see them on the image above. There! In tiny gray print at the bottom left. Oh by the way, did I mention that I work on a computer screen that is at 24-inches larger than most. And still I missed it.

OK CS lady, you may not be a scam company but you are not forthcoming with vital information - such as, you will be charged $89.95 and $89.95 thereafter every single month unless you return the product within 14 days. Information that, in my opinion should be on the free trial sign in page and repeated again at check out.

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This phony free trial thing is practiced all too often by companies that advertise online. Read Kate's post and all the comments on Lift SP. This kind of marketing is dishonest and it does us and the products (which often aren't all that bad) a disservice.

Talking of products, OOKISA's Hair Thickening System is a shampoo, conditioner and serum and I've copied the ingredients in the conditioner below. The jewel in the crown is yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit that looks like a small and ugly grapefruit. I'm not sure what it does for hair, but Korean researchers claim it has more vitamin C than other citrus fruits and it also contains hesperidin, a flavonoid anti-inflammatory that appears to be able to tackle dark under-eye circles. There are some other useful botanicals. Water lily is soothing and reduces inflammation, green tea is an antioxidant, while peony seems to be widely accepted as a hair growth stimulant - it turns up in eyelash growth products, for example.

On the other hand, there are a lot of silicones (about which there is fairly strong evidence of toxicity), a surprising number of petroleum-derived C12-13 pareths that are known irritants and, although there are no parabens, there are the usual suspects in the preservative department.

I won't be reviewing this as I shall be returning it unused to OOKISA.

Related posts

UPDATE: OOKISA apologizes!

UPDATE: I get to review the kit for $19.95 with no obligation to reorder - read my review

Ingredients in OOKISA conditioner:

Water, cetearyl alcohol, isohexadecane, stearamidopropyl dimethylamine, behentrimonium methosulfate, glycerin, apigenin, citrus junos fruit extract (yuzu), oleanolic acid, biotinoyl tripeptide-1 camellia japonica leaf extract, aspalathus linearis stalk extract (red rooibus tea) panthenol, hydrolized vegetable protein PG-propyl silanetriol, pyrus malus (apple) fruit extract, serenoa serrulata fruit extract, white peony, steardimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolized wheat protein, linoleic acid, nymphaea alba (water lily) extract, hydrolized soy protein, hyaluronic acid, linoleic acid, sorbitol amodimethicone, triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil, jojoba seed oil, sodium PCA, tocopheryl acetate, polyquaternium-55, centrimonium chloride, acetamide MEA, polysilicone-19, tocopherol, C12-13 pareth-23, divinyldimethicone/dimethicone copolymer, C12-12 pareth-3, C11-15 pareth-7, laureth-9, sulfor, butylene, glycol, sodium phytate, trideceth-12, PPG-26-buteth-26,  PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, hydroxypropyl guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, caprylyl glycol, citric acid, phenoxyethanol, chlorphenesin, fragrance.

  • December 23, 2012

    by gabriel

    To avoid getting signed up for repeat shipments and other traps, I only order on-line from companies that accept PayPal.

  • October 21, 2011

    by LIZ

    It's a SCAM! I, too, missed the size 1 font at the bottom of the page that tells all. I am calling as soon as OOKISA opens and I am sending the "stuff" back. I will be polite, but firm when talking with their reps. I don't care if it works like a charm, I hate being deceived.

  • October 20, 2011

    by scam no more

    If it sounds too good to be true it usually is...I have found through personal experience that all these companies including, Stem Cell Therapy, Stri-vectin and ooksia are alike...once you get their free trial it is not usually FREE...they have your credit card number and they keep sending it to you if you don't cancel...that is how they make THEIR monies...Don't fall for this scam

  • October 7, 2011

    by Carolyn

    Do not get their Free Trial it is a scam. I didn't care for the product but decided not to send it back but to stop future orders. The order came anyway. I called explained what happened and was told that since I didn't return the original trial offer all orders were considered final. I told her that no where on the invoice of the second shipment did it say I couldn't return the shipment. All I needed to do was call customer service, get a RMA number and send it to the address provided. I was then told that it says "after the trial off all shipments are considered fianl". I still haven't found that statement anywhere. She did say that she cancelled my account and would not be receiving anymore shipments but there was nothing she could do about a return/refund on this shipment. Maybe it's time the BBB get involved with this since other people seem to be having the same problem. Obviously they are not being up front with the buying conditions.

  • September 23, 2011

    by lovemybubbles

    Thanks for this post! I almost fell for it and bought the product but something seemed a little "off" when checking out. So I read the fine print, stopped and did a little research. I own an internet website where we sell/ship shapewear. We pride ourselves on being 100% transparent because there are too many companies like these who try to trick the consumer into being charged monies at a later date. They can claim that they make the terms and conditions clear, but if they have to hide it behind a link, put it in tiny writing or otherwise obscure the deal, they are not being consumer friendly. The Doctors should know that they are using them to sell the product...that is the only reason I considered making the purchase.

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