Stroke victim pursues £1m claim against hairdresser

Victim suffers stroke after hair washing at the salon basin
Victim suffers stroke after hair washing at the salon basin

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 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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Recall of Brazilian hair treatment product

Brazilian Blowout product recall
Brazilian Blowout product recall

At Hairdressing Claims, we’re all about promoting safe, responsible hairdressing and hair styling whether you’re visiting a salon or DIY-ing at home. As experts in claims against hairdressers, we’ve seen lots of serious hair and scalp injuries resulting from negligent hairdressing or misuse of styling products. Believe us, you really don’t want a serious hair disaster to happen to you.

That’s why we’re sharing news about the urgent recall by the European Commission of Brazilian Blowout, a hair straightening product that’s been found to contain 35 times the allowed concentration limit of the chemical methylene glycol.

You see, when methylene glycol is used in smoothing solutions, it can release a toxic substance called formaldehyde which is capable of causing cancer. The permitted concentration of methylene glycol is 0.2%. Brazilian Blowout measures 7%, 35 times more.

Due to its serious risk to health, anyone who’s bought Brazilian Blowout can receive a full refund even without a receipt. Find out more on the Recall Alert website.

On the same subject, undergoing Brazilian hair straightening at a hairdressing salon also poses health risks which it’s important to be aware of beforehand. We’ve written about this previously. In our article titled “Everything you did (and didn’t!) want to know about keratin treatments”, we describe how the straightening procedure is performed and advise to check exactly what’s contained within the formula your stylist is using.

Despite the best due diligence, if you end up suffering harm to your hair or scalp during a Brazilian hair treatment, our legal team are on hand to help. Get in touch 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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GP secures compensation for hair loss following salon treatment

GP's hair loss leads to compensation claim
GP’s hair loss leads to compensation claim

When Dr Lucinda Shaw’s hair ‘came out in chunks’ a few days after a hairdressing appointment, she sought compensation from the salon, Posh Hair and Beauty in Camden. As a result, she was awarded £1,200 for her hair loss ordeal.

In preparation for her friend’s wedding and following web-based research into hair straightening options, Dr Shaw booked a Japanese Yuko treatment whereby Keratin is used to permanently straighten hair. Salon staff failed to apply any patch testing and spent several hours performing the procedure. At one point, Dr Shaw complained that it started ‘smelling a lot’ and was advised the salon was actually doing a L’Oréal treatment instead.

Shortly afterwards, the effects of Dr Shaw’s maltreatment became apparent as her hair began falling out in the shower, leaving it short all over, not in the condition she’d anticipated and the incident unfortunately ‘cast a shadow’ over the wedding celebrations. Now, several months down the line, Dr Shaw is still growing her hair back to its original length.

Read the full story here.

This sorry tale serves as a reminder of the type of serious harm caused by hairdresser negligence. Hair breakage and hair damage such as that experienced by Dr Shaw is exactly what happens when hairdressers don’t carry out hair strand and skin patch tests before embarking upon treatments involving chemicals.

At Hairdressing Claims, we support individuals who’ve been injured because of hairdressers’ incompetence and lack of care. The damage can be extreme – for example hair loss, scalp burns and scalp blisters – and the consequences far reaching – often resulting in loss of earnings as injured parties take time off work when suffering with emotional distress and physical pain. These are strong grounds for making claims against hairdressers.

If you’ve been hurt by your hairdresser, be it from dyeing, bleaching, straightening, perming or other chemical treatment, contact our specialist legal team today. We’ll give free, confidential advice to help you decide whether or not to sue a hairdresser.

Get in touch 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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What does over processed hair look like?

Damaged hair
Damaged hair

We’ve all suffered from badly conditioned hair at some point in our lives, split ends being a prime example, caused by all manner of triggers such as excessive styling with hot instruments or exposure to the sun on holiday. This damage is fairly easily remedied with a good trim and a brief spell of salon-quality deep conditioning.

Over processed hair is an entirely different league of distress altogether. The tell-tale signs are:-

  • Your hair will feel dry and straw like.
  • It’ll be brittle and break easily when brushed.
  • It’ll look dull, frizzy and lack any shine.
  • No matter how hard you try to style your hair, it won’t hold and you’ll have lots of fly-aways.
  • It’ll be resistant to colouring or other chemical treatments.
  • In sum, it’ll be completely lifeless and, most likely, falling out in handfuls.

To show just what over processed hair will look like, we’ve found this stomach-churning YouTube video. Before you watch, we have to add a disclaimer. The ‘star’ of the video, Apryl Myers, is quick to explain that her intentions to ruin her hair are entirely deliberate, for demonstration purposes, as she’s planning on cutting her hair short afterwards anyway.

Brace yourself and watch video here.

This is what’ll happen to your hair if it’s over processed, in this case from over bleaching. The same can happen from other chemical services such as perming, relaxing or highlighting.

In case you missed our earlier blog posts on this subject, follow our tips on bleaching, read Katy Perry’s story about how “your hair falls out when you go too blonde” and access sound hair care advice to keep your hair in good shape.

Unfortunately there’s no magic cure for correcting over processed hair. A severe cut and absolute caution in the future will be in order for sure. If this has happened to you during a visit to the hairdresser’s, and you’ve ended up with scalp burns, scalp blisters, hair breakage or hair damage, you’re well within your rights to raise a claim against your salon for compensation. Do contact us to start legal proceedings.

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Be careful of over bleaching!

Be careful of over bleaching!
Bleaching procedure

Platinum blonde hair is a popular trend right now. Celebrities and catwalk models around the globe are switching to icy white colours. It’s actually a head-turning style that’s always been high up the popularity and fashion stakes. Masses of famous people from bygone times adopted the bleach blonde look too. Think Marilyn Monroe, Debbie Harry and, more recently, Madonna.

Back to the modern day, Kim Kardashian is the latest celebrity to reach for the peroxide. She readily admits that it’s high maintenance, though, and is quoted as saying ‘being blonde is a full-time job!’ and she ‘loved taking this risk’.

As striking and image-improving as it may be, bleaching your hair is a serious business. Consider for a moment what bleach actually does to your hair. It raises the cuticle and removes the colour pigment from the shaft permanently.

Even when done to the healthiest locks, bleaching can damage your hair, making it brittle and porous, even break completely at the weakest point, as well as the ability to cause chemical burns and blistering to your scalp.

Would-be blondes are advised to follow these rules:-

  • Only take the plunge if your hair’s in the best condition – strong and healthy – to begin with.
  • Don’t bleach previously bleached hair. Only bleach sections of new growth. Overlapping is a big no-no.
  • Ensure a strand test is performed to check for adverse effects and to calculate how long to leave on the bleach.
  • Never take bleach all the way to the scalp so that chemicals don’t come into direct contact with your sensitive skin in this area.
  • Employ good aftercare by washing less frequently (every 3 days or so is ideal), using conditioner every time you wash, applying deep conditioning treatment once weekly and trimming split ends regularly.
  • Instruct a reputable hairdresser with proper qualifications and adequate insurance in place. Bleaching should always be done professionally.

Referring back to Kim Kardashian, while some men may indeed prefer blondes (as apparently does her husband, Kanye West), repeated application of bleach is ill-advised. Damage can be severe and irreversible.

At Hairdressing Claims, we’ve encountered lots of cases of hairdresser’s negligence for bleaching procedures with scalp burns, scalp blisters, hair damage and hair breakage the most common outcomes. If you find yourself in this heartbreaking situation, please contact us and take the first step towards claiming compensation for harm caused.

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Everything you did (and didn’t!) want to know about keratin treatments

Hair straightening treatment
Hair straightening treatment

Better known as a Brazilian blow dry, keratin is a chemical process of semi-permanent hair straightening. It involves depositing a liquid version of the protein keratin combined with a chemical preservative onto the hair. This is then ironed into a straight position.

Keratin treatments become ever more popular by the week amongst curly or frizzy haired women but they draw health warnings, not least by the presence of formaldehyde and methylene glycol. Both of these chemicals are known to be potential carcinogens.

So, do your due diligence and investigate exactly what’s contained in the formula your stylist is using. Even those purporting to be natural, organic or formaldehyde-free may not stand up to their claims. Using too-strong chemicals is dangerous, particularly if you have a sensitive scalp or certain allergies.

The ironing phase of keratin straightening too can cause harm. Using devices emitting high temperatures on hair that’s fine, coloured or not in the best condition to begin with, is a sure-fire recipe for hair disaster.

American actress Jennifer Aniston is reputed to have cut her world-famous long locks to chin length following damage incurred by keratin straightening. Be prepared to have to resort to the same drastic cure – that is having your hair cut short – to salvage your hair.

To help you decide if keratin straightening’s right for you, here are a few facts…

  • It’s not permanent: While it’s a great time-saving alternative to straightening your hair every day, you’ll need to get the treatment done at your hairdresser’s every 4 months or so.
  • It’s costly: Using a reputable, certified stylist is a must so be ready to pay upwards of £200. Cheap offers from lesser known, untrained stylists is false economy in the long run.
  • It takes time: Keratin’s a time-consuming treatment performed in several stages. Allow between 2 and 4 hours in the salon overall.
  • It requires aftercare: You’re advised not to do anything to your hair – wash, tie or style – for at least 48 hours, and use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner thereafter.
  • It’s potentially damaging: Chemicals and temperatures could be bad news for your hair. Discuss the possible risks with your hairdresser before you commit.

With the correct level of forethought and professional application of your keratin treatment, you’ll be the proud owner of sleek, straight, easy-to-manage hair. Should any negative side effects come about, having to sue a hairdresser may become an unfortunate necessity. If this is the case, our expert legal team can assist.