Hair myth or hair truth?

Sorting out hair facts from fiction

Fake news abounds in cyberspace. In today’s blog, we’re not concerned with your average fake news headline about current affairs or state of political play. Unsurprisingly for a site dedicated to hair and hairdressing, we’re calling time on fake hair news.

You see, there’s lots of fake news, or myths, about our hair causing a whole load of unnecessary worry, effort and expense. Our task is to bust these myths once and for all so that you can enjoy stress-free hair maintenance which is kinder to you and your wallet.

Here’s the lowdown on ten hair myths and their accompanying truths…

#1: Washing your hair frequently is damaging

Have you heard that frequent shampooing can cause severe damage to your strands? Dry shampoo manufacturers will lead you to believe this, for obvious reasons. How often you clean your hair depends upon various factors – your hair type, hairstyle and lifestyle. The simple rule is this: wash your hair if it’s greasy and don’t wash it if it’s not. As with your facial skin, infrequent washing of your scalp can actually lead to a build up of dead cells, product residue, oil and bacteria. Learn how to formulate your own personal hair washing routine.

#2: Hair grows faster with more regular cutting

Does a trim every four to six weeks really speed up your hair’s growth process? In a word, no. Hair growth occurs at the roots, not at the ends, so a trim doesn’t affect the follicles in charge of growth. Although trims may not impact how your hair grows, there’s no denying they improve your hair’s overall appearance by removing split ends which can make hair appear stringy (and, therefore, shorter-looking) at the bottom. A trim every eight to twelve weeks is sufficient to keep split ends at bay.

#3: You should change your shampoo and conditioner at regular intervals

Do you buy new brands of shampoo and conditioner every couple of months so your hair doesn’t get ‘used to it’? Your hair isn’t a living thing so it can’t suddenly become immune to your favourite products. Instead, your hair may respond differently to certain external elements such as weather, humidity and colour treatments. Only spend money on new shampoos and conditioners if your hair ‘tells’ you its needs have changed.

#4: Conditioner is bad for greasy hair

Greasy hair is not caused by conditioner; it’s brought on when your natural oils build up around your scalp. Like shampoo, conditioner is good for oily hair as it provides a healthy dose of hydration, nourishment and protection. Choose conditioner specific to your hair type and apply just at the ends, avoiding the scalp entirely, to keep your hair from looking flat.

#5: Hair should be brushed one hundred strokes daily

Did your grandmother ever tell you this? One hundred strokes is an excessive amount of brushing that can damage the hair and exacerbate hair loss for those with fine or thinning hair. While brushing is essential, as it distributes oils from your scalp throughout your hair, it should be done gently, only as needed for detangling and with a ‘proper’ brush.

#6: Pluck one grey hair and two more will grow

Tweezing a few grey hairs won’t lead to a family of grey hairs appearing, however, it’s not advisable to pluck your greys as it can lead to thinning or scarring thereby preventing regrowth at that spot on your scalp. If you hate the greys so much, speak to your hairdresser about colour choices and put those tweezers away. Or maybe you should finally embrace the greys?

#7: Air-drying is kinder to your hair than blow-drying

Blow-drying causes more damage to your hair’s surface by applying heat but air-drying causes more damage within the strands themselves through long exposure to water. This myth, then, is both true and false simultaneously. When blow-drying, use the lowest heat setting on your dryer, hold the appliance at a safe distance from your hair and move continuously so you don’t concentrate on any one section for too long.

#8: Ponytails, dreadlocks and braids are styles which protect your hair

The reverse of this is true. Constant tension and traction on hair by styles that are pulled tight can cause a receding hairline or breakage that leaves hair thinner, weakened and damaged. Loosen up your ‘do by leaving pieces dangling, using bigger braids that start at the nape and tying with thick fabric-covered hair bands or scarves. We cover accessories in our ‘Eight hair trends for 2021’ blog and our styling tips will keep you on the right track.

#9: Dye is best applied to dirty hair

Colour actually sticks better to clean hair that’s free of styling product residue so be sure to wash your hair the night before your DIY or salon dyeing treatment, and skip styling helpers such as gel, mousse or serum. Then wait 72 hours before washing your hair again once the dye’s been applied to ensure the colour’s fully trapped in the cuticle. Read our previous ‘At-home hair colour maintenance’ and ‘Top tips for home hair dyeing’ blogs to get the intel.

#10: Washing with cold water makes your hair shiny

As your hair contains no living cells, it doesn’t actually react to cold or hot water. Although, icy water will make the hair light-reflective and not ruffled or dull looking. To really see a difference, you’d need to resort to an Arctic-cold shower which, for the average person, isn’t an appealing option.

If your hair or scalp’s been damaged by your hairdresser and you want to make a claim against your stylist or salon, get in touch with our team by emailing, 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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Hairdressers and Afro Caribbean hair

Afro Caribbean hair

A recent petition reported on the ITV news website is calling for better education and greater understanding of Afro Caribbean hair amongst hairdressers in the UK.

Afro hair differs widely in both texture and treatment from Caucasian hair. According to the petition, more extensive, hands-on training in how to undertake the full range of hairdressing treatments on Afro hair should form part of the qualification process at NVQ level for hairdressers. Doing so will not only allow hairdressers to cater adequately for black and Asian clients, it will also improve inclusivity in the industry.

In response to the newly launched petition, City and Guilds published a statement to the effect of: “Students of the NVQ Level 2 Hairdressing are taught the theory of cutting, colouring and styling Afro Caribbean hair. However, because of the demographics of the UK, we cannot enforce that people must have cut and styled extremely curly type hair as part of their course.”

It remains to be seen, then, whether the petition will change the future of hair training.

At Hairdressing Claims, we regularly encounter individuals who’ve been hurt by incorrect and careless use of chemicals by hairdressers on their hair. One example is chemical relaxing on Afro hair. If these chemicals are left on for too long, the hair being ‘relaxed’ as well as the scalp can be seriously damaged. This damage could be hair breakage, scalp burns and scalp blisters.

Read our earlier blog titled ‘Everything you did (and didn’t) want to know about keratin treatments’ to learn more on the potential dangers of straightening treatments which are increasingly popular among women with curly hair.

While injuries by hairdressers are relatively rare, they can and do happen. Should you find yourself in this upsetting and painful situation, it’s reassuring to know that expert legal teams such as ours can help you progress a compensation claim against your hairdresser.

To contact us in confidence, please email, 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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Celebrity hair loss champion, Ricki Lake

Ricki Lake on Instagram

Contrary to popular belief, hair loss is not a phenomenon which only affects men. According to hair experts, 40% of women will experience visible hair loss in their lives too.

Lots of factors can contribute to hair loss, these being hormones, weight changes, age, genetics, medication, stress and negligent hairdressing or over-processing of our hair. Doctors and hair specialists, known as trichologists, are best placed to advise on the root causes, which may be due to underlying medical conditions, as well as recommend treatments for recovery.

Being honest and open on hair loss is a difficult and emotional step to take. This struggle with hair loss is epitomised by the American actress and TV presenter, Ricki Lake, who’s recently confessed about her 30-year-long battle on social media.

In a candid, inspiring Instagram post, Ricki shares a photo of her shaved hair and describes the trauma she’s suffered over a three-decade period. Striking a chord with women (and men) all over the world, Ricki explains how she kept the secret from everyone (including her therapist), tried a multitude of solutions (none of which worked in the long run) and is now finally liberated by exposing the truth.

Hoping to help others in the same situation to unshackle themselves from the “quiet hell” of hair loss, Ricki’s story has already been liked thousands of times on social media as well as prompting hundreds of messages of support from fans. Read more on the Independent’s website.

Amongst the contributory factors documented by Ricki are over-processing of her hair for a previous acting role and over-use of hair extensions in an attempt to hide her hair loss. These are two topical subjects we’ve written about before. Access our ‘Celebrities speak out about hair extension damage’, ‘What does over-processed hair look like?’, ‘Be careful of over-bleaching’ and ‘Katy Perry tells hair damage story on American chat show’ blogs.

If you get hurt by your hairdresser which results in hair loss or other damage to your hair and scalp, get in touch with our legal team to discuss the possibility of launching a compensation claim.

Please email, 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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Salons are open again but remember Covid rules

Salons are open now that lockdown has ended

With the second national lockdown finally at an end, hairdressing salons can operate once again in a Covid-secure manner under the new tier system. Unlike the earlier-in-the-year tier system whereby hairdressers faced potential closure in tier 3 subject to local authority rulings, salons are now permitted to remain open across all tiers as part of the government’s Covid winter plan.

This is welcome news to hairdressers (and other non-essential business owners) who have faced their most challenging year ever in 2020 by closing their doors for five months from the combined lockdowns.

Having lost almost half of their annual income this year, many salons have shut permanently as a direct result of financial losses incurred. Other salons have blatantly and illegally ignored temporary closure requirements, racking up fines of tens of thousands of pounds for repeated breaches in the process such as this salon in Oakenshaw.

It’s worth a reminder about the strict rules that should be adhered to by hairdressers, barbers and their clients. Necessarily so in our country’s efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus and, ultimately, save lives. Access our ‘New-normal hairdressing regime’ and ‘Hairdressing without the small talk’ blogs to read about what the hairdressing experience looks like post lockdown. On top of this is the additional need to display the official NHS QR code poster from the new contact tracing app.

To operate and act responsibly, it’s vitally important for hairdressers to maintain standards during the backlog-of-appointments rush. Cutting corners can cause injury in the form of cuts, burns, blisters, breakage and other damage to the hair and scalp. Due care and attention are essential always. This includes undergoing patch or strand tests, even if these pre-appointment checks introduce a slight time delay.

To jog your memory of the dangers of negligent hairdressing, revisit our previous blog titled ‘Bad salon warning signs’.

Contact our legal team in confidence if you’ve suffered harm by your stylist to find out your next steps in pursuing a compensation claim.

To get in touch, please email, 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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Consumer complaint and legal claim comparison table

Bad haircut and dye job?

Unfortunately, bad hairdressing happens to most of us. When you consider that you may attend nine or more hairdressing appointments each year (although perhaps less currently, due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and appointment backlogs), it’s pretty much inevitable that you won’t always be fully satisfied with your hair after every single salon visit. As with any service provider, the person delivering the service will have the occasional ‘off’ day, after all. Plus, there could be times when you fail to convey your requirements to the letter.

But what exactly should you tolerate as a poor one-off experience and what can you do if you want to take the matter further? Making a consumer complaint and filing a legal claim are the two distinct routes you can take here. Your choice between these two options depends upon the extent of your dissatisfaction and whether or not any physical harm was involved.

To pursue the first – consumer complaint – you must raise this directly with your hairdresser by quoting your prerogatives under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. To lodge the second – legal claim – you need to instruct the expertise of a lawyer, ideally on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis as this involves less risk on your part, such as our Hairdressing Claims team.

To help you decide your next steps, we’ve created a handy table showing the types of problems encountered at the hairdressers which constitute either a consumer complaint or legal claim…


Not receiving the cut or style you requested, for example getting a severe cut instead of a trim. The resolution comes in the form of an offer to put things right, or full or partial refund.

Colour treatment not turning out as promised and should be re-done.

Damage to your personal belongings, be it clothes, bags or other items, which is irreversible and necessitates replacement.

The amount charged for hairdressing services is higher than the cost quoted at the beginning or pre-appointment. A fee re-assessment is in order.


Chemical injury resulting from over- or mis-application of hair dye, perming or straightening products.

Burn to your hair or scalp from incorrect and negligent use of hot styling tools like hairdryers, curling tongs and straightening irons.

Cuts and bleeding to your scalp, face, neck or ear due to misuse of sharp objects, these being scissors, shavers and razors.

Slips and trips in unnoticed spillage or unswept hair causing bruises, sprains and broken bones.

Beauty parlour syndrome, officially called vertebrobasilar insufficiency, which is the result of inadequate neck support and hyperextended positioning over the washing basin.

If your negative experience at the hairdresser’s falls into the ‘legal claim’ category, read our ‘A step-by-step guide to the hairdressing claims process’ blog and get in touch to kick start your claim.

To contact us, please email, 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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Adverse reaction to hair dye by COVID-19 survivors

Hair being dyed at the hairdresser’s

We wrote recently about the impact of coronavirus on our hair; this being cumulative hair shedding and extreme hair loss. Here, we cover a new COVID-19 related phenomenon which is, as yet, not supported by sufficient scientific evidence… heightened sensitivity to hair dye.

According to a hair salon in London, people who’ve tested positive for or strongly suspect they’ve contracted COVID-19 in the past are suffering dangerous reactions to hair dye, even when they’ve had the same dye applied several times previously and not reacted negatively to it on any other occasion.

Just to highlight how potentially serious an allergic reaction to hair dye can be, symptoms variously include: an angry rash anywhere on the body; blisters or welts; stinging or burning sensation to the scalp, face or neck; itching or swelling to the scalp, eyelids, lips, hands or feet; feeling lightheaded or faint; wheezing and difficulty breathing or swallowing; nausea and vomiting; and collapsing or becoming unconscious.

The most severe of these signs are part of anaphylaxis and may not occur until hours or even days after your hair appointment. Read our earlier blog titled ‘Near-death experience following severe hair dye reaction’ to see just how life-threatening and life-limiting an adverse reaction to hair dye can be.

Because of stronger sensitivity evident in COVID-19 survivors, this London salon’s hairdressing clients are being asked to undergo patch and strand tests up to 48 hours before having their hair dyed, or eyelashes and eyebrows tinted.

At Hairdressing Claims, we would argue that these tests should be performed anyway, regardless of COVID-19. Allergic reactions can happen at any time due to the chemical paraphenylenediamine; a known irritant and allergen.

Any reputable hairdresser will insist on testing before undergoing chemical treatments like hair dyeing. They’ll also follow other safety precautions such as only leaving dye on your hair for the required time and immediately rinsing out using a mild shampoo at the slightest hint of a bad reaction.

As experts in claims against hairdressers, we see daily the impact of negligent hairdressing on people’s lives. Should you suffer harm at the hands of your hairdresser, get in touch to find out more about pursuing a legal claim for compensation. Our ‘3-step plan to suing your hairdresser’ and ‘A step-by-step guide to the hairdressing claims process’ blogs may prove useful too.

To contact us, please email, 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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