Tighter guidance insisting on more regular patch testing

Patch test before hair dyeing

We’ve been heading en masse to the hairdresser and barber since non-essential businesses reopened in April. But, did you know that guidance around patch testing before having your hair dyed has become tighter?

To clarify, patch testing is the process of applying a small amount of dye to a section of skin behind the ear to identify a potential allergic reaction. The dye should be left on for 48 hours before being washed off. If there’s no reaction after the allotted time, it’s safe to proceed with the dyeing service.

Although allergy tests are already commonplace in salons (or, at least, they should be!), National Hair & Beauty Federation guidelines were tightened earlier this year, shortening the gap between patch tests from twelve to six months.

In fact, patch tests before every colouring treatment is in force in many salons. This cautious approach is in line with dye manufacturer’s instructions and a response to growing concerns about heightened skin sensitivity for a multitude of reasons, these being:

  1. Individuals who’ve had COVID have reported severe reactions to chemicals. See our ‘Adverse reaction to hair dye by COVID-19 survivors’ blog.
  2. After having the COVID-19 vaccine, hairdressing clients have developed allergies not experienced previously, although there’s no scientific evidence to support this theory.
  3. People simply haven’t visited the salon for long periods of time due to national lockdown and localised restrictions, thereby naturally developing sensitivity in this time.

As a salon user, it’s necessary to follow the correct protocols by undergoing patch testing so that you don’t suffer harm and, if you do, are covered by your hairdresser’s insurance. Following the right procedures means any financial compensation you subsequently seek from your hairdresser will fall within the category of an insurance claim.

Although none of us wants to consider the worst that can happen, burying our heads in the sand isn’t helpful. To get more informed about damage resulting from negligent hairdressing, read some of our earlier blogs, namely ‘Scalp blisters and facial swelling caused by hair dye’, ‘Near-death experience following severe hair dye reaction’ and ‘Woman with chemical burns undergoes recovery hair transplant’, amongst others.

Choose a good hairdresser whom you know you can trust, has your best interests at heart and won’t cut corners in your treatment including pre appointment. (Here’s how to recognise a bad hairdresser).

Our Hairdressing Claims team is here to help on ‘no win, no fee’ terms to pursue a legal case for injury from any careless hairdressing you may be subjected to.


To contact us in confidence, email enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, call 0800 141 3682 from a landline for free, phone 0333 202 6560 from a mobile or complete our online enquiry form.

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Scalp blisters and facial swelling caused by hair dye

Woman hospitalised due to ‘cosmic blue’ hair dye

With the variety of hair colour trends out there (read our red and copper, and other hair colour trend predictions for 2021), it’s tempting to change up. If you’re thinking of dyeing your hair, you need to first know all the accompanying risks…

The recently reported story of an Aberaeron mum who experienced a severe reaction to a home dye kit is a shocking reminder of what can, and does, go wrong.

27-year-old mum-of-four, Leonie Dee, developed blisters along her hairline which ‘kept popping and oozing blue dye’ and her eyes swelled shut, causing her to be hospitalised for 36 hours whilst undergoing medical treatment and observation.

The incident happened after dyeing her hair with two Schwarzkopf Live dyes in ‘cosmic blue’ and ‘ultra violet’; the former causing the reaction because of the ‘higher concentration of its active ingredients’.

Leonie has dyed her hair regularly in the past, never reacted previously, and even performed a patch test before applying the dye fully to her hair. The experience has made her vow never to dye her hair again in future and she’s pursuing a complaint with Schwarzkopf.

To anyone considering dyeing their hair, whether at home or salon, we offer two nuggets of advice:

  1. Follow essential preparatory steps for your upcoming colouring appointment. You’ll find these in our ‘5 top tips for fool-proof hair dyeing’ blog.
  2. Understand what to do if the dyeing procedure goes awry. We cover this in our ‘6 reasons to sue your hairdresser’ and ‘3-step plan to suing your hairdresser’ blogs.

To contact the Hairdressing Claims team in complete confidence, please email enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, call 0800 141 3682 from a landline for free, phone 0333 202 6560 from a mobile or complete our online enquiry form.

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Pssst… red and copper hair is the next big thing

Red hair’s bang on trend

Variations of red are the latest hair colour trend. If it’s good enough for the models Gigi and Bella Hadid, it’s good enough for the rest of us. According to an article on Vogue’s website, fashion month was marked by the Hadid sisters stealing the runway show with their bright ginger and burgundy finish hair respectively. Now it’s tipped to be this season’s hottest colour.

The beginning of a new season is often typified by experimentation with our appearance, whether it’s a shopping spree for new clothes and shoes or trip to the hairdressing salon to try out a new style and colour. After the year we’ve just lived through, it’s hardly surprising that some individuals are heading to the salon for a dramatic hair change. (Read our ‘Post-lockdown hair trends’ blog on this subject.)

Keen to adopt this latest red-hue hair craze? Before you book your colouring appointment, read our advice so that your dye’s just right…

Take small steps

In the essence of not running before you can walk, begin with small sections of hair or streaks of colour only. This could be to the sides or underneath; or highlights throughout. Once you’re happy with the colour, go for a full head.

Pick your tone

Never mind 50 Shades of Grey, there are so many shades of red, it’s important to select the correct tone. From orange to ginger to red to purple, think about what will work best for your skin colouring, style and time of year. You could even mix it up and use variations of the same shade for a multi-colour highlights effect.

Consider your natural hair

Your hair’s texture and original colour determines how well the new dye will take hold. People with dark hair will have to bleach it before dyeing. Certain hair types (coily, for instance) bleach (and dye) well whilst others don’t. Your hairdresser will advise what is best for your hair type and colour.

Decide DIY or salon

Your decision-making process will include choosing whether to do it yourself at home with box kits or going to a hairdresser to have your hair dyed professionally. Our ‘Bad salon warning signs’ blog might prove useful here.

Maintain thereafter

Your dye will need to be touched up every six to eight weeks as a minimum. The colour is likely to fade as time passes and, obviously, your roots will start to show. A good hair care routine helps too. Check out our ‘At-home hair colour maintenance’ blog for tips on making your hair colour last for longer.


Complete hair disaster at the salon? Need to sue your hairdresser to claim compensation for hair damage? We can assist!

Contact our team by emailing enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, calling 0800 141 3682 from a landline for free, phoning 0333 202 6560 from a mobile or completing our online enquiry form.

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5 top tips for fool-proof hair dyeing

Hair dyeing made easy

Planning a dye job by your hairdresser? To depart the salon feeling a million dollars with perfectly coloured hair that grabs everyone’s attention, we present some top tips to ensure your dyeing treatment goes to plan. Prepare for your upcoming colouring appointment by…

1. Not shampooing your hair

We don’t mean ever, obviously. Leave between 24 and 48 hours between your last shampoo and your dyeing session so there’ll be a protective natural oil layer on your scalp. This will form a barrier of sorts against the chemicals contained in most hair dyes. Unless your dye is made up of organic ingredients only, that is. (See our ‘Is your hair vegan?’ blog on this subject.)

2. Taking along inspiration images

You and your hairdresser should be on the same page so be clear and upfront about exactly what you want to achieve colour wise. Flick through magazines at home (remember you can’t do this at the salon anymore due to Covid rules… check out our ‘New normal hairdressing regime’ blog) to find photos of your desired hair colour. It’s then your stylist’s task to translate your request into the correct dye whilst also setting your expectations about what’s realistic. It’s part expectation setting, part reality check.

3. Bearing in mind your natural colours

This is about your skin tone as well as hair colour pre dye. Certain dye colours look different on particular skin tones. Casting your mind back to the aforementioned images, if your cut-out magazine photo shows someone with dark skin and yours is light (or vice versa), the final finish will not look the same on you. Similarly, certain hair colours will take certain dyes better than others. Chat with your hairdresser to decide if the colour you crave will turn out how you envision it.

4. Being patient to reach your ultimate goals

Following on from #2, although your coveted colour might not be possible after one dyeing appointment, it may be after several sittings. Apply the concept of ‘the best things in life are worth waiting for’ to your hair. Be in it for the long haul and you’ll get the hair colour of your dreams with time.

We have to add a word of caution here. Choose a reputable hairdresser you can absolutely trust. (Our ‘Bad salon warning signs’ blog will help!) As it’s likely chemicals are involved and potentially multiple appointments are required, you’re at risk of over-processing and all its inherent dangers to your hair and scalp (there’s more on this topic in our ‘What does over-processed hair look like?’ blog).

5. Planning your maintenance programme

Let’s face it, it’s not a case of getting your hair dyed once and you’re done. You’ll want to maintain your sparkly new colour. The length of time between colouring appointments varies person-to-person, colour-to-colour, finish-to-finish. Seek guidance from your hairdresser. Know this information before you embark on dyeing as your budget needs to cover ongoing maintenance too.

There are other things you can do at home to keep your colour fresher for longer, from conditioner and shampoo specially for coloured hair to switching up your washing routine. Access our previous helpful hints in our ‘At-home hair colour maintenance blog’.

Let’s be honest, colouring your hair can damage it severely. A lacklustre dye job will leave you feeling drab and disappointed. Far worse, a complete hair disaster caused by bad hairdressing and incorrectly used chemicals will result in all manner of serious problems from scalp blisters and burns to hair breakage and damage including over-processed hair falling out in clumps.

Head on over to our ‘6 reasons to sue your hairdresser’ and ‘3-step plan to suing your hairdresser’ blogs to discover why and how to handle hair dye gone wrong.


To get in touch with our team, email enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, call 0800 141 3682 from a landline for free, phone 0333 202 6560 from a mobile or complete our online enquiry form.

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Wedding season hair inspiration

Hair perfection on your wedding day

The onset of spring’s warmer weather and the easing of lockdown restrictions mean that wedding season is on its way. With so many couples having postponed their nuptials this past year, 2021 could be the busiest year for weddings for a long time.

To help you budding brides prepare for your wedding day – and, let’s face it, it’s one of the biggest occasions of your life – we’re here with crucial hair inspiration for the perfect pairing with your bridal gown.

Find your ideal match among these wedding day hairstyles then work with a professional stylist to make your dreams a reality:-

Classic low chignon or ponytail

This is an always-trending style as it’s timeless and simple yet elegant. There are many variations on the theme, be it knotted in a bun or tied as a ponytail, the latter enhanced with braids or waves, and even hairpieces used to give the appearance of thicker hair. (More on this later.)

Vintage curls

Curly hair is the de facto standard for ladies tying the knot as they introduce a vital touch of glamour to proceedings. Choose tight curls or loose waves, pin up or leave down, and top it off with sparkly accessories (more below) for a stunning wedding day look.

Romantic updo

Image courtesy of etsy.com on Pinterest

There are myriad alternatives to traditional chignons, ponytails and pinned-up curls. Updos with wispy, face-framing loose strands depict romance like no other hairstyle. Your updo can be anything from a relaxed, slightly undone bun to a super sleek topknot with back braid, even half up-half down; the possibilities are endless.

Beautiful braids

Image courtesy of Wedding Chicks on Pinterest

Both artsy and humble, the braid works well for any event, weddings included. Just as with the aforementioned styles, braids come in all shapes and sizes. You may opt for a waterfall braid, braided barrette, fishtail braid or multiple similar-but-different options. Where weddings are concerned, you can’t go far wrong with the modest braid.

Straight and silky

Image courtesy of Weddingbee on Pinterest

Dare to be bold by keeping your hairstyle plain and smooth on your big day. Silken tresses will catch the light without overshadowing your face. Or detracting from your dress. Get your bridesmaids’ hair styled the same as yours for even more of a dramatic statement.

Decorations and hairpieces

Image courtesy of hitched.co.uk on Pinterest

Remember accessories such as scarves, bows, ribbons, headdresses, brooches, clips, crowns, flowers, headbands, tiaras and, of course, veils to add those finishing elements. You may also wish to add a concealed hairpiece for extra volume to really make an impact.

A hint of colour

Your wedding is probably not the best time to switch up your hair colour, however, you could experiment with a subtle colour change by, say, incorporating gentle highlights in watercolour hues or colouring your ends only. You’ll stand out but not shock your guests by suddenly looking totally different.

If dyeing your hair, heed our earlier warnings about undergoing strand tests pre colour treatment and selecting a reputable hairdresser. Don’t ruin your wedding because of a disaster at the hairdresser’s.

More wedding hair tips

Access our previous blog titled ‘5 essential wedding hair tips’ to guarantee photogenic hair at your celebrations. These tips comprise: (1) be wary of drastic restyling, (2) have a trial run, (3) be honest with your hairdresser, (4) think about the weather and (5) take other preparatory steps. We hope that, with our advice, your hair will be in tip-top shape for what’s set to be the happiest day ever.


Do get in touch with us if you’ve been hurt by your hairdresser by emailing enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, calling 0800 141 3682 from a landline for free, phoning 0333 202 6560 from a mobile or completing our online enquiry form.

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Perms are making a comeback

The revival of 80s hair

You can always rely on your hair news experts (that’s us!) to bring you the biggest hair trends of the moment. The hairstyle making a modern comeback in 2021 is… drum roll please… the perm!

To give you a little background to this most contentious of hair trends, the perm reached the height of its popularity in the 80s. Just think of some of the greatest films from that era to appreciate how widespread the perm was at the time. There’s Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally, Jennifer Gray in Dirty Dancing, the list goes on.

Celebrities in the spotlight were sporting permed hair everywhere. From the actors in Dallas to rock stars on the stage, anyone who was anyone had an 80s perm. Or so it seemed, looking back through rose-tinted glasses (most likely in oversized fluorescent or aviator frames).

The perm is an easy styling option for individuals with poker-straight hair who are keen to introduce body as a way of counteracting an overly fine, flat appearance. Although the perm has been somewhat out of favour these past decades, people are once again falling back in love with it – not only the rich and famous; it’s featured heavily on catwalks of late too.

As with any throwback trend, the perm has undergone a transformation. Gone are tight corkscrew curls. The modern twist is loose beach waves. Gone too are plastic rods and excessive heat application which is how perms were achieved back in the day. Today’s laid-back hairdressing techniques involve soft rollers, foam pads, even plaiting for a more natural post-braid effect. Heat damage is limited by keeping the heat-shaping process at a constant temperature – called digital perming.

Despite this gentler treatment at the salon, chemical solutions are still an essential component of getting a perm. If you’ve read our earlier blogs, you’ll know that chemical ingredients can ruin your hair in a fairly major way. Access our ‘What does over-processed hair look like?’ blog to garner an insight. Chemical injuries are top of the list as one of the ‘6 reasons to sue your hairdresser’.

To avoid this fate, here’s our advice on averting disaster when having a perm:

Try alternative options first

A perm, being permanent, is a dramatic change. Once done, it’s hard to reverse, aside from simply growing it out. Experiment with different curling products – ask friends and family for recommendations, seek out reviews online, whatever. You may find something perfect for (and kinder to) your hair.

Recognise perms aren’t for everyone

If your hair’s very fine and limp, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to hold onto the new structure. If your hair’s in poor condition or bleached, perming will dry it out further still. A good cut might be in order before you begin.

Be clear about what you want

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to perms. The size, volume and finish vary vastly. Set your hairdresser’s (and your!) expectations by taking along some photos of what you’re aiming for – ideally a pic of yourself with curly hair that you love.

Insist on patch and strand tests

This necessitates dabbing a small amount of the chemical solution behind your ear and on a hidden section of hair, ideally 48 hours before getting your hair done. If you don’t experience an allergic reaction, it’s safe to proceed.

Choose a reputable hairdresser

Remember our ‘Bad salon warning signs’ blog? Keep our list of ten things to watch out for at the forefront of your mind when booking your hair appointment.

Employ great aftercare

A new hair care routine will be required afterwards such as washing with protein-rich products, using a detangler comb and drying with a diffuser. The last thing you need is to cause damage unnecessarily post salon visit. Your hairdresser should be able to offer advice on this subject.

Contact us if you’re injured by your hairdresser

It’s an unfortunate truth that perms can, and do, go wrong. Hair loss, hair damage, scalp burns and scalp blisters are some of the disastrous consequences of negligent hairdressing. If you’ve been hurt, get in touch with our specialist legal team in complete confidence to begin your claim for compensation.


Email enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, call 0800 141 3682 from a landline for free, phone 0333 202 6560 from a mobile or complete our online enquiry form.

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