When you step into a Walmart or Target, look around you. Notice the packaging on many of the products we buy on a regular basis. Suddenly, it's like one of those horror montages where images get scarier and scarier as you notice more of them. Toothpaste. Ice cream. Soap. Shampoo. Conditioner.
Too many products don't have protective seals or plastic coverings. So many of the things we buy every day could easily be tampered with without our knowledge. And we might never know until it's too late.
There's a new trend of people messing with products in stores and then returning them to the shelves as if nothing happened. This is a public health concern. And one poor young woman recently learned the hard way that her conditioner had been compromised.
When you buy a bottle of conditioner like this, it doesn't have any sort of protective seal.Taffy Jo Trimm and her daughter Ashley Rose recently bought this bottle of Pantene from a Walmart in New Richmond, Wisconsin. In a now-viral Facebook post, Taffy explains that the bottle must have been tampered with.
Someone must have mixed in Nair or some other hair removal product with the conditioner because, when Taffy's daughter Ashley used the conditioner, her hair started falling out. In clumps. How horrifying is that?
"Attention New Richmond Wisconsin Walmart shoppers," Taffy's Facebook post reads. "be aware of shampoo and conditioner you buy there as my daughter Ashley Rose bought some two days ago and someone mixed Nair in her conditioner bottle!!!! As I speak she is losing hair and crying!! Conditioner below this conditioner is supposed to be white. It is an ugly pink color."
The picture kind of says it all. Could you imagine thinking you're taking a normal shower, only to have all your hair immediately start to fall out in clumps? Poor Ashley Rose. How could someone do this?
Taffy explains that they told the police, who will be watching security camera footage to try to determine who did this and if any other bottles were tampered with.
In a Facebook post of her own, Ashley Rose shared pictures of her hair loss. "As I type this I'm crying," she wrote. "My hair was finally the way I loved it to be and now it's gone. These photos I'm sharing are personal to me but apparently needs to get out there...Pictures do not do it justive or show the 100 percent damage it has caused me. My heart hurts terribly...Check your bottles wherever you get them, nothing can be trusted anymore."
Taffy's post, which has been shared more than 73,000 times, has garnered thousands of comments of sympathy and support. "I'm so sorry to read this and praying for y'all," one commenter wrote. "A positive thing to celebrate is her eyes were not harmed. Scary stuff for sure!" Whoever tampered with this bottle of conditioner clearly did not think about the harm they were doing.
Ashley Rose wrote that she went to the E.R. to make sure she didn't have any chemical burns. What this person did could have had even worse consequences than it did. And the loss of her hair is no small deal.
"That's why I smell EVERYTHING because there's a difference between what shampoo and conditioner smell like versus Nair," wrote another commenter. "Wouldn't buy it if it smelled that bad and I sure wouldn't put it in my hair on my head!"
Maybe you could tell that something was wrong by the smell. Or maybe you would just think that Pantene changed their formula.
Taffy updated her post to say that Ashley Rose went to get a consultation for hair extensions and her hair was too brittle and still falling out, so they couldn't do anything. So they shaved her head. "Ashley is doing great!" Taffy wrote. "She just has to get used to all of this." They haven't heard from the police yet. They're still waiting for an update.
Unfortunately, people messing with products in stores is becoming a trend. It started with the girl who licked a tub of Blue Bell ice cream before putting it back on the shelf and walking away.
People seem to do these things as jokes, not realizing how potentially harmful — or illegal — they are. The young woman in the video has since been identified, and since she is a minor, her case has been turned over to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.
Before she was identified as a juvenile, police planned on arresting her for second-degree felony tampering. She could have faced up to 20 years in prison.
Additionally, a mother was arrested in Florida after filming her daughter licking a tongue depressor and putting it back into the case with the others in her doctor's office. If she hadn't been dumb enough to share that video online, though, no one would have ever known!
I'm not sure why tampering with products has become such a trend. Maybe people feel like it's OK to be rebellious in a time where not even our government officials are held accountable when they disobey the law. But when people's hair starts falling out or someone with a compromised immune system gets sick because someone licked ice cream or a tongue depressor, these things have real, harmful effects on real people. It needs to stop.