Near-death experience following severe hair dye reaction

Hair dye ingredients caused almost-fatal allergic reaction

When 29-year-old office worker, Robyn Cherry, underwent a routine hair dye treatment at her hairdresser’s, an adverse reaction to a component within the dye almost killed her and triggered a raft of permanent allergies. That’s according to a recent news article.

The incident happened in 2010 but has led to multiple visits to A&E in the intervening decade. It occurred when Robyn was having her hair dyed back to her natural brown colour by a hairdresser after home bleaching her hair twice monthly previously. Despite having a patch test done 24 hours before and showing no signs of any reaction, within minutes of departing the salon Robyn’s scalp began burning.

Her symptoms progressively worsened. The following morning, her face had ballooned to twice its size, described by Robyn as looking ‘like a tomato’ and her head continued to burn. Taken to the GP by her mum, Robyn was told to go straight to hospital.

On the journey to A&E, Robyn’s face kept enlarging and her eyes swelled shut leaving her temporarily blinded. Her airways had swollen too. So much that they’d become blocked and she was struggling to breathe. Because of this, she was rushed immediately to the resuscitation unit. Simultaneously, her scalp covered in blisters which kept bursting and her hair was falling out in clumps.

Doctors found that Robyn had suffered a severe reaction to paraphenylenediamine (PPD), a common ingredient in hair dye, and her patch test should have been left for the recommended 48-hour period, not 24 hours.

She was administered adrenaline shots and steroids, kept in hospital for 20 hours and told it was the worst reaction they’d ever seen. According to the doctors caring for her, she’d have died if she’d gone to hospital an hour later.

But the saga didn’t end there. The release of PPD had made Robyn’s body go into a state of shock so she started having severe allergic reactions to everyday items including most foods, spices, nuts, alcohol and clothing.

She was also diagnosed with polymorphic light eruption and solar urticaria – allergies to the sun causing skin rashes and hives respectively. As a result, Robyn was forced to visit A&E multiple times every four days or so when each new allergy became apparent.

She’s now prescribed strong antihistamines and steroids forever, and has had to drastically change her lifestyle – giving up holidays, nice clothes and drinking with friends – as well as abandon her career ambitions to become a professional horse rider. In her own words, Robyn became a recluse, and experienced deep depression and anxiety attacks to the extent that her life was ‘a living hell’.

Because of what she’s been through resulting from hairdresser negligence, Robyn actively warns others about the dangers of not following protocol when dyeing their hair.

At Hairdressing Claims, our mission is to help people like Robyn pursue compensation from those to blame for harm caused, be it salons or individual hairdressers. If you’ve ever found yourself in a similar unfortunate position to Robyn, contact us for a free initial consultation and progress your case on no win, no fee terms thereafter.

Email enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, call 0800 970 9102 from a landline for free, phone 0333 202 6560 from a mobile or complete our online enquiry form.

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Woman with chemical burns undergoes recovery hair transplant

Chemical burn injury from hair dyeing

As reported recently in the Daily Mail, 25-year-old trainee chef, Izi Corner, suffered a chemical burn at the hairdresser’s whilst having her hair bleached and dyed pink.

Izi visited a Manchester-based salon, the sister branch of a hairdresser’s she’s used previously and been pleased with the results, in 2016 when aged 22. Although she’d used home hair dyes several times and never before experienced any issues, Izi decided to choose the more responsible option of getting her hair dyed by a professional stylist and didn’t expected to encounter problems.

At the beginning of her salon appointment, Izi was warned that she may feel some discomfort resulting from the bleach but was assured of the normality of this. However, once the bleach was applied and she was sat under a heat lamp, Izi’s pain levels rose to such an extent that she alerted staff and had the bleach rinsed off with cold water.

As the burn area was located at the back of her head, Izi couldn’t see the damage herself, and was comforted by the salon staff asserting that everything was fine and recommending that she continue with her treatment. After her hair was dyed and styled, she was charged £35, instead of £70, as a goodwill gesture in recompense for distress endured.

But Izi’s suffering continued at home later that evening when she noticed the burn patch was weeping and the hair around it was clumping together. Despite her best attempts at limiting damage by not washing or styling her hair the next day, when she did finally wash it the following day the pink dye washed out and the scab fell off thereby exposing an infected wound underneath.

A trip to the hospital and doctor’s surgery ensued with Izi being prescribed antibiotics by Trafford General Hospital, and cream and dressings by her GP. In time, Izi was referred to a trichologist – a specialist hair and scalp dermatologist – who gave her the details of the Farjo Hair Institute in Manchester.

The team at Farjo gave Izi a hair transplant on the burn site which cost £2,500 funded by compensation received from her hairdresser. Izi must now wait for a year to see how her scalp reacts to the transplant and ascertain if a second or third procedure is needed.

Izi is quoted as saying initially: “The physical pain was agony – I wouldn’t wish it on anybody… [I was] going to shave all my hair off. For my hair to suddenly fall out like that was really quite a shock, and it shouldn’t have happened.”

Following the corrective procedure by Farjo, Izi concluded: “I feel much better knowing that Farjo Hair Institute are able to help.”

What does a burn injury look like?

Unfortunately, hair dyeing and other chemical treatments can result in burns if mishandled by negligent hairdressers. Chemical burns are extremely painful and can cause other debilitating physical and mental symptoms. Long-term damage is not unusual.

We’ve written about hair damage and scalp burns, and the amount of compensation you can expect to receive from injuries of this nature, elsewhere on our website. Read more here.

How do I pursue a legal claim?

Another subject we’ve covered in earlier blog posts is how to go about the somewhat daunting task of making a claim against your hairdresser with the help of a legal expert. Take a look here.

If you’ve had a similar incident to Izi, don’t suffer in silence. Get in touch with us in complete confidence by emailing enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, calling 0800 970 9102 from a landline for free, phoning 0333 202 6560 from a mobile or completing our online enquiry form. We promise to stand by your side and provide all the support you need to pursue a legal claim.

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£2k compensation win for burn injury client

Burn injury client
Burn injury client

A client of Hairdressing Claims was successful in securing over £2,000.00 following a skin burn at a local hair salon in December 2017.

During a routine cut and blow dry appointment at Blow Dry Express in London’s Canary Wharf, the negligent actions of her hairdresser, a freelance stylist on duty that day, resulted in a 20p-size burn on our client’s forehead caused by a hot hairdryer which had not been properly fitted with a diffuser.

The full extent of our client’s injury was revealed when she removed her makeup in the evening. In addition to the pain experienced by the burn, our client’s suffering was made worse by missing out on a holiday, and facing embarrassment in the workplace and at social events.

The former – her holiday – was a planned Christmas break abroad in a hot climate with family which our client was compelled to cancel after being advised to keep out of the sun. The latter – working and socialising – meant she was constantly questioned by colleagues as to what had caused the noticeable burn mark, thereby becoming self-conscious.

As a senior financier at HSBC who regularly meets with customers face to face, our client suffered further awkwardness during client meetings because of an understandable concern about her appearance. Psychological problems are common among clients who suffer unsightly damage to their hair or burns to the face.

There was outside-of-work impact from the incident too, as our client began avoiding social occasions, stopped going to the gym and didn’t attend yoga classes whilst she recovered from her injuries.

As well as these work and lifestyle limitations, our client also continues to experience anxiety when visiting the hairdresser’s for fear of a repeat episode. Previously, she enjoyed getting her hair done and had sometimes frequented the salon twice a week.

Despite initially denying responsibility, analysis of the evidence confirmed Blow Dry Express’s liability. When her case was taken to trial, District Judge Worthington sitting at Central London County Court ruled that the salon’s owners, BDE Enterprises Can Ltd, should pay our client £2,064.00 in damages including £31.00 to reimburse the cost of the initial appointment, plus her legal costs for bringing the matter to court.

Although accidents are one of life’s inevitabilities, they should never happen at the hairdressers. If, like our client, you’ve suffered a burn or injury during a hairdressing treatment and you want to sue your hairdresser, please get in touch with our specialist claims against hairdressers legal team.

You can read more about our client’s experience via the links below:

/standard.co.uk/news/uk/banker-burned-on-head-during-blow-dry-wins-2000-damages-a4171766.html

/telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/06/20/senior-hsbc-banker-wins-compensation-hairdresser-burned-head/

/thetimes.co.uk/article/banker-wins-10-000-after-being-burnt-at-hair-salon-hs3wnv3xf

Email enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, call 0800 970 9102 from a landline for free, phone 0333 202 6560 from a mobile or complete our online enquiry form.

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Compensation for woman after negligent hairdressing leads to intense hair ruin

Bleaching procedure
Bleaching procedure

A customer of Toni & Guy International Ltd has received a £6,5000 pay-out in an out-of-court settlement after a catalogue of bleaching errors during a routine dyeing appointment caused severe hair breakage.

Paul McNulty, a hairdressing claims specialist solicitor, explained how his client works in the creative industry and cancelled a series of appointments following the unfortunate incident.

“My client is a busy and successful business owner,” said Paul. “A well-groomed, professional appearance is essential. The distress caused by the damage incurred at the salon resulted in my client being unable to continue her normal work activity. The injury was both physical and psychological, and the financial losses included reduction in earnings as well as expenses for shampoo, conditioner and over-the-counter medication needed throughout the recovery phase. With full restoration of hair to its original state expected to take 34 months, expense costs alone equated to over £1,000.”

During the legal process, the claimant’s hair was assessed by an expert Consultant Trichologist. Drawing together verbal, written and photographic evidence, the Trichologist found that the hairdresser’s negligent care had caused “incorrect colour”, “hair shafts resembling chewing gum which pull apart with ease”, “obvious severance stubble in many regions” and “low or nil elasticity and tensile strength”. He recommended the use of high-quality shampoo and conditioning products in order to protect hair from grooming-related severance in its weakened condition.

The wrongdoing occurred on the claimant’s third visit to Toni & Guy when she was due to undergo customary root touch up of her hair which is naturally brown and had been bleached to platinum blonde over a 2½ year period. Amongst the multiple negligent actions were: lack of strand or elasticity testing; extreme overlapping onto previously bleached hair; over-exposure of bleach as the hairdresser departed the salon for a lengthy lunch break; and subsequent additional bleach bath in an attempt to fix the ensuing turquoise colouring.

The combined impact of over-use of products containing chemical peroxide and the incompetent hairdressing conducted by a junior, inexperienced stylist led to instant intense breakage close to the roots and hair loss to a large central section of hair.

“The circumstances of this case show that the salon is entirely to blame for the harm caused,” added Paul. “Failure to conduct any form of pre-treatment checks, applying bleach to hair rendered vulnerable by prior bleaching and an extensive period of exposure to peroxide which is a powerful alkali have had devastating results. Healing and re-growth will be prolonged. We pursued a claim for the pain and suffering experienced, and we were successful on our client’s behalf. The money goes some way to recompensing our client for what she’s been through.”

Toni & Guy’s insurer initially denied liability and placed the blame on our client for washing her hair at home. They later offered to refund the £60 appointment fee which was wholly inadequate compensation for our client’s suffering. Hairdressing Claims’ specialist solicitors issued court proceedings to sue the negligent hairdresser. Eventually they conceded liability and offered £4,500. This was rejected and the case subsequently concluded for £6,500 without the need for a court trial.

About Hairdressing Claims

Hairdressing Claims offers a specialist nationwide service on ‘no win, no fee’ terms to individuals who have been let down by their hairdresser. Find out more by completing an online enquiry form. Or contact us by email at enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, or call free on 0800 970 9102 from a landline or 0333 202 6560 from a mobile.

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6 reasons to sue your hairdresser

When to sue your hairdresser
When to sue your hairdresser

If you’re considering legal action against your hairdresser, today’s blog will help you take the essential first step towards your compensation claim. As specialist hair damage and scalp burns solicitors, we’re regularly asked what constitutes grounds to make such a claim. You can’t sue your hairdresser for a poor haircut but you can if your stylist has been negligent, and caused harm or injury.

You see, whilst a trip to the hairdresser is fairly routine, accidents and negligence can happen. To help you better understand when legal action is a viable option, here we outline the 6 main reasons to instruct a law firm and launch a case…

1. Chemical injuries
Chemicals are part of many hair treatments, for example hair dyeing, perming and straightening. It’s a stylist’s job to know how long certain products can be left on your hair as well as recognising that every person’s hair is different and some people may be allergic to particular chemicals.

Patch testing should always be performed on a very small area of your hair and scalp around 48 hours before any treatment to check for adverse reactions, even when organic products are being applied. Where no testing’s been carried out, burns, blistering and other irritations such as dermatitis can occur on the scalp. Hair loss and hair damage are other common outcomes.

2. Burning
Hair styling tools – that’s hairdryers, curling tongs and hot irons – emit high temperatures that cause serious damage if used incorrectly. Hair should have an extra barrier applied such as heat protection spray, appliances should not be used for too long on individual sections of hair and equipment should never come into direct contact with the skin.

Otherwise, resulting burned or brittle hair will break easily and fall out. Similarly, burned skin will be extremely painful and take some time to heal.

3. Cuts and bleeding
Hairdressers are trained in how to cut and shave hair in the right way but that doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes every now and then. A lapse in concentration or misjudgement, and insufficient training in the use of sharp objects in the first place can result in a cut to your neck, ear or face by scissors or other styling implements such as razors and shavers. Such injuries can obviously vary greatly in severity.

4. Faulty equipment damage
Salons are expected to conduct regular testing and maintenance of electrical appliances. This is defined by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The aim of this legislation is to keep people safe whenever equipment is operated in the workplace. Where hairdressers are concerned, this applies both to the client (you) and equipment operator (stylist).

A slightly different approach will be exercised here as the liability can belong to either the business owner (for lack of maintenance) or equipment manufacturer (due to a manufacturing fault).

5. Slips and trips
An unnoticed spillage or unswept pile of hair is a potential trip hazard. Although salons have a responsibility to provide a clean and safe environment, a popular business with back-to-back appointments is more prone to become neglectful because there’s scant time for cleaning up between clients. Signposting slippery areas is a solution but can be forgotten too during busy periods. Fall injuries include bruises, sprains and broken bones.

6. Beauty parlour syndrome
Vertebrobasilar insufficiency, otherwise known as ‘beauty parlour syndrome’, is caused by inadequate neck support and hyperextended backwards neck positioning over the basin during washing. An artery can be torn or compressed leading to blood clots. Symptoms include severe dizziness, loss of balance and facial numbness. In extreme instances, strokes.

Find out more about claims against hairdressers by emailing enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, calling 0800 970 9102 from a landline for free, phoning 0333 202 6560 from a mobile or completing our online enquiry form.

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How to care for damaged hair

Damaged hair can be repaired
Damaged hair can be repaired

If you subject your hair to strong chemicals, excessive heat, over styling and a myriad of other harmful forces, it’s practically impossible to avoid damage in some form or another. The easiest way to revive your hair is to cut off the damaged areas. Depending upon the level of damage sustained, though, this can amount to a substantial length which is heart-breaking if you love your hair just the way it is.

Before you resort to drastic measures and get out your hair shears or book a hairdressing appointment, we’re here to help you out with some handy tips about alternative, less radical methods of repairing dry, brittle, porous, lifeless hair.

As part-and-parcel of this advice, we also explain the causes and signs of damaged hair so you can try to steer clear of harm in the first place and identify symptoms on your own hair respectively.

To begin, then, what are the triggers to hair damage? In the main, damaged hair is the result of:-

Bleaching and dyeing: Chemicals are present in most hair colouring treatments, some stronger than others. Bleaching is, by far, the most harmful because it raises the cuticle and removes the colour pigment from the shaft. Your hair becomes weakened as a result.

Although less severe, hair dyeing isn’t totally harmless either. The aim of hair dye is to make your hair shaft porous in order to take on board the new colour. Your hair’s natural protective layer is stripped away, leaving your hair exposed.

Perming and straightening: With these procedures, you’re altering your hair structure to make it either curly or straight by applying chemicals that break then re-join the bonds in your hair. To change the properties of your hair, these chemicals go right into your cuticles which can be harsh.

Over styling: Brushing your hair too often, tying your hair up all the time and using too many hair accessories is bad news for your hair as well. Similarly, shampooing your hair more than needed gets rid of your hair’s natural oils. Heat is equally detrimental to your hair by opening up your cuticles, drying up moisture and damaging your hair shaft. It’s hairdryers, curling irons and flat irons that are to blame.

External forces: The sun, wind and cold have an adverse effect on your tresses. Other environmental factors play a part too. Think sand when you’re beachside, air pollution in the city, chlorine in the swimming pool and multiple other scenarios. If your hair isn’t adequately protected when it comes into contact with these forces, it’s in big trouble.

Bad hairdressing: If your hairdresser’s negligent and fails to perform pre-tests prior to chemical treatments, over heats sections of your hair during styling and / or uses blunt scissors, your hair and scalp are in peril. We’ve written about this previously. Access our earlier blog post here.

Next, how do you even know if your hair is damaged? Look out for these clues:-

Rough texture: The easiest way to know if your hair’s damaged is to hold it upside down and run the ends through your fingers. Does it feel rough to touch?

Dulled shine: Your hair shaft stops shining when your cuticles are damaged. Does your hair lack lustre and shine even after deep conditioning?

Split ends: Take a bit of your hair and gently twist it. Look carefully at the ends of hair that stick out. Are the ends split in two?

Lack of moisture: Damaged hair does not seem to be conditioned, no matter what you try which is a sure sign of damaged cuticles that are unable to seal in moisture.

Easy breakage: The tensile strength of your hair shaft reduces when the outer layer is damaged. Does your hair snap when you comb it or, worse still, if you run your fingers through it?

High porosity: As the cuticle is lifted, it’s much easier for moisture to pass. External moisture collects in the hair shaft and it starts to swell which gives your hair a frizzy appearance.

Too many tangles: Unlike healthy hair where the shafts are smooth, the rough cuticles of damaged hair get tangled up and result in knots. The dryness makes it hard to get these tangles out.

Finally, to get to the crux of the matter, here’s what you can do to fix damage to your hair, none of which involve having your hair chopped off:-

Avoid chemicals: These are your hair’s worst enemy. Do not use when your hair’s damaged. Approach with caution when your hair’s recovered. Choose solutions with only natural ingredients where possible.

Avoid hot styling tools: Put away your high heat-emitting styling products, let your hair dry naturally and try out styles that don’t require heat. It’s au naturel all the way.

Protect your hair: If it’s simply not possible to relinquish your hot styling equipment, make sure you use heat protection spray. In the same vein, you can’t live your life indoors, so use hats, scarves, swimming caps, leave-in conditioners or whatever the occasion demands in an attempt to be kinder to your hair.

Spot the warning signs early: The sooner you identify hair damage, the earlier you can start taking restorative action. Hair can be nourished back to health with oils and deep conditioners. Again, natural ingredients are best. If you’re late to notice damage, it’ll soon spread and, at this stage, you’ve got no option but get an acute haircut.

Get a trim: Even if your hair damage isn’t extensive, it’s a good idea to kick off the hair revival process with a trim to tidy things up. This will at least remove the sections of hair that take the strain the most: your ends.

Choose lightweight shampoos and conditioners: Opt for sulphate-and-other-chemical-free products with moisturising formulas that suit your hair type. It’s important to make the right choices as you’ll no doubt wash your hair at least twice weekly.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Consume protein-rich foods to nourish your hair back to health. The saying ‘you are what you eat’ is true. Eat a balanced diet generally and take regular exercise. When you’re feeling healthier and fitter, your hair will look stronger too.

Instruct a reputable hairdresser: Hair treatments should almost always be done professionally for a greater chance of success. Your hairdresser must be properly qualified, have insurance in place and use top notch products to keep your hair out of the danger zone. Don’t be afraid to ask. Your hair’s at stake.

At Hairdressing Claims, we regularly encounter clients who’ve suffered hair damage, hair breakage, scalp burns and scalp blisters due to lack of care on the part of their hairdresser. If you find yourself in this distressing situation, please contact our legal team in complete confidence and take the first step towards claiming compensation for harm caused.

Email enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, call 0800 970 9102 from a landline for free, phone 0333 202 6560 from a mobile or complete our online enquiry form.

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