There are a number of injuries that can occur in a hairdressing salon, understandably due to the frequent use of scissors, blades, hot tools and strong chemicals just to name a few, and these salon accidents are not that uncommon.
Hairdressing injuries are complex and can derive from a variety of treatments undergone at the salon, and while there are a lot of minor injuries resulting from small cuts by objects that may have been caused in a rush, the types of claims we see are those involving chemicals (such as bleach or hair dye) and hair extensions.
While more minor claims can be dealt with in the Small Claims Court, we have found that the majority of hairdressing compensation claims that we deal with are complex and of a high value, as so end up in the County Court.
The County Court can be confusing to non-lawyers so you may wish to consider instructing a lawyer to deal with the pursuing of the hair salon for any negligence.
Types of hairdressing injuries
There are a variety of injuries that can come from a negligent hairdresser, and these can even develop over the course of 48 hours after the visit to the salon:
- Burns and cuts
- Chemical burns
- Itching / Scabbing
- Irritated / Bleeding scalp
- Allergic reaction
- Hair loss
- Weakened hair / thinning / brittle hair
- Hair “snapping off” at the ends
- Psychological damage
This is not an exhaustive list and should you have a different injury to those listed above, and you think that it was caused as a result of the negligent hairdresser, you may still be entitled to make a claim, so make sure to call one of the team today to discuss this.
Causes of hair salon negligence claims
Below we have outlined the main causes for suing your hairdresser for burning your scalp or otherwise causing you an injury, with most of our client suing for the hair loss they have experienced as part of the negligent hairdresser.
Chemical hair dye and hair bleach
This is the area we have found most of the injuries we see relate to, and it is almost always caused by the negligence of the hairdresser. As a qualified professional, the hairdressers’ job is to advise and tailor to their individual client based on the client’s desired outcome, their condition and type of hair, and assess what is achievable in what time frame. More often than not, when a client wants to drastically change their hair colour from e.g. dark to light, more than one appointment is necessary to achieve this. This is because hair ends up being very damaged from dye and bleach and needs some ‘breathing time’ before more chemicals
are applied to it.
Some negligent hairdressers, or those with little experience may look past the visible damage or other relevant circumstances and apply hair bleach or dye more than once, which can cause severe damage to the hair, and not only cause it to fall out, but also severely irritate the scalp.
The use of a patch test before any chemicals such as bleach or dye are essential at least 24-48 hours before your appointment, to avoid any risk of an allergic reaction to otherwise any adverse reaction that you may have to them. This test would normally be done by the hairdresser getting a small sample of the hair dye / bleach and ‘swatching’ it on the inside of your elbow. If in the next 24-48 hours you experience any side effects e.g., redness or burning then you need to let the hairdresser now straight away.
The hairdresser should also carry out a strand test which involves the hairdressing assessing the strength of the hair and ensuring it is not damaged before carrying out a hair treatment. We have represented a client who had a hair dye treatment go wrong; she went through two rounds of bleach being done on her hair and then dye applied to it, all in one session. Unfortunately, because of this our client had lost big clumps of hair and had developed bald patches as a result she was very anxious to leave her house due to the disastrous hair loss.
On top of her compensation for personal injury, client’s can look to pursue the initial cost of the treatment undertaken from the negligent hair salon, as well as the cost of products to enhance her hair growth and strength.
We were very happy to see her regain her confidence over the course of her claim.
Hair extensions have become very popular in recent times.
The hairdresser undertaking putting in hair extensions must very carefully assess the condition and type of their clients’ hair and advise them on the type and the best technique to put them in. Different types of hair exist ranging from different countries to different continents, and the right weight / length of the hair has to be decided on, as otherwise the hair extensions can weigh down your natural hair and cause irritation, hair loss and balding / patchiness in places.
Our team of lawyers prides itself on the level of care and service. We help our clients by always being on hand to listen and providing regular updates, so that you are always kept in the loop.
What do you need to do if you have suffered a hairdressing injury?
1. Report the injury to the salon
The step is to make sure all parties are aware that this injury has occurred. It may be that your hair has started to fall out a few days after the treatment.
The salon may be able to assist you by advising which chemicals were used and you could relate this to a medical professional.
This can be an important step as the negligent salon can argue that it was never brought to their attention and therefore may say it was caused by another hairdresser or any home remedies or dye kits.
2. Seek medical attention
If you are in pain or are suffering an adverse reaction (e.g. allergic reaction) then you need to get seen by a medical professional for an assessment. There is a tendency to just leave it and hope it will sort itself out, however we have found that some clients regret not going to see their GP or walk-in clinic earlier. The medical professional can provide you with advice as well as prescribe something to speed up recovery.
3. Don’t tamper with your hair
Whether you think the hairdresser has ruined your hair with bleach or the hairdresser just damaged your hair or caused an injury, you may be tempted to try and ‘fix it’ yourself or go to another hairdresser for help.
We would initially discourage doing this, as when a claim is started, and the other side (this is the hair salon itself or their insurance company) will try to defend and discredit the idea that the damage to your hair or scalp came as a result of the salon you had your initial appointment with. They may try to shift the blame on the more recent salon you went to or any home remedies / dyes you may have used.
4. Take regular photographs of damaged hair and retained messages
As the damage or injury may not be noticed straight away, and the possibility for claims to take longer than initially anticipated, during its course you may forget some key dates and events that occurred at the time. Due to this it is a good idea to take notes of key dates, any texts / emails you may have, both to refresh your memory but to also keep as evidence. It is also beneficial to take photos of the injury in different time frames e.g. when the injury is noticed, then at regular intervals as your hair improves or gets worse.
How much compensation will I get?
Due to the impact these types of cases have on individuals it is next to difficult to give an exact figure of the compensation an injured person may receive as there are a number of things to take into consideration. It all depends on the type of injury (e.g. this could be an injury to the scalp or damages to the hair itself) and its severity (e.g. this could be the amount and harshness of cuts to the scalp or severity of an allergic reaction).
The Judicial College Guidelines (15th edition) provide at Chapter 11 guidance in relation to the quantification of general damages relating to hair damage, providing the following two brackets:
a) Damage to hair in consequence of defective permanent waving, tinting, or the like, where the effects are dermatitis, eczema, or tingling or ‘burning’ of the scalp causing dry, brittle hair, which breaks off and/or falls out, leading to distress, depression, embarrassment, and loss of confidence, and inhibiting social life. In the more serious cases thinning continues and the prospects of regrowth are poor or there has been total loss of areas of hair and regrowth is slow. There may be a larger award in cases of significant psychological disability or if surgical intervention (e.g. skin grafting) is required. Bracket: £6,890 to £10,340
b) Less serious versions of the above where symptoms are fewer or only of a minor character; also, cases where hair has been pulled out leaving bald patches. The level of the award will depend on the length of time taken before regrowth occurs. This bracket will include cases of alopecia induced by stress causing some hair loss where full recovery is made within two years. Bracket: £3,710 to £6,890
No win no fee
We are aware that costs of legal services can be very high and, in most cases, can deter individuals from trying to get the right level of compensation they deserve, and so our lawyers have opted to take on cases on a no win no fee basis if you have a claim with reasonable merit of success.
How we can help
Here at GSR Solicitors, we specialise in hairdressing negligence claims and have previously recovered thousands in compensation for our clients. Our dedicated team are always committed to achieving the best possible outcome for you, and on top of the compensation, will also help you in regaining your self-confidence and recover the costs of any products you have bought to help your hair grow and regain strength.
For a free advice and to assess whether you have a claim with reasonable prospects of success for your hair salon injury contact us on 01772 466255 or complete our online contact / enquiry form and we will call you.