As most of us adhere to a regular hairdressing schedule to keep our hair in good condition and maintain our preferred style, the process of going to the hairdresser’s every 4 to 8 weeks, year after year means it’s almost inevitable that, at some point, we’re going to experience disappointment with the treatment given.
Only on extremely rare occasions to an unlucky few, however, does an appointment with a hairdresser result in our lives being irreparably altered. But that’s exactly what happened to a 47-year-old nurse from West Lothian, Adele Burns, as reported recently.
The alleged cause of harm to Adele was the impact of the sink on the back of her neck when she had her hair washed six times during what was supposed to be a routine cut-and-colour treatment that went wrong.
You see, if not given adequate neck protection when having your hair washed in the basin at a salon, you’re at risk of experiencing what’s been called ‘beauty parlour syndrome’. By being uncomfortable and extending your neck backwards for a long period, the arteries in the neck can be stretched, blocked or even cut. This means the blood supply to your brain is stopped, causing blood clots and strokes.
Depending on where the stroke affects the brain, the damage caused can be both physical – with slurred speech and paralysis amongst the symptoms – and emotional – such as depression, anxiety and aggressive behaviour. The range is vast. Some stroke victims have minor issues; others suffer long-term debilitating outcomes.
Where Adele’s concerned, her life was “turned upside down” by being unable to drive, and struggling to speak, read and write. Because of this, she could no longer work and became completely dependent upon her husband so the couple were forced to sell their family home.
The salon, Rainbow Room International, was negligent in two ways. First, Adele wasn’t given a strand test which could have helped the hairdresser better understand how her hair would react to dyeing thus avoiding the need to repeatedly wash her hair in order to achieve the correct colour. Second, they failed to offer a front-facing sink or provide suitable neck protection on the backward-facing sink which could have prevented overextension of the neck’s arteries.
With legal representation, Adele is pursuing a £1 million claim for life-changing damages. This serves as a warning to salons who ignore their duty of care and to hairdressing customers who should know about possible risks to their health from maltreatment. It’s also a reminder to anyone who’s injured by their hairdresser to speak out, like Adele, and seek compensation too.
We’ve reported similar cases previously on our blog. Read our earlier post about £90,000 damages awarded for a salon shampoo injury case.
If you’ve been hurt during a hairdressing appointment and would like some free initial legal advice about your next steps, contact our team in confidence today. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 0800 970 9102 from a landline for free, phone 0333 202 6560 from a mobile or complete our online enquiry form.