Hair Botox is a thing

Sleek, straight hair is the epitome of great hair for many women

When you think about Botox, anti-ageing facial injections might instantly spring to mind. But, did you know about hair Botox? And, no needles are involved!

If you’ve ever undergone, or considered having, a Brazilian blow dry or similar semi-permanent hair straightening treatment, you could be keen to learn about this supposedly safer alternative which doesn’t involve keratin.

The problem with keratin is the potential presence of formaldehyde and methylene glycol, both of which are possible carcinogens which can cause cancer. Our ‘Everything you did (and didn’t!) want to know about keratin treatments’ blog is useful background reading on this contentious subject.

Recently arrived in the UK, rather than botulinum toxin (or Botox for short), the new hair Botox anti-frizz treatment’s main ingredient is actually hyaluronic acid. While deemed freer from danger than keratin for hairdressing clients, as it’s a substance that’s naturally produced in the body, it’s important to note at this stage that it’s not without controversy either.

As with any treatment using acidic elements, you must perform due diligence by researching and questioning before you book your hair appointment so that you’re aware of side effects. (More on this below.)

Some of the reasons for the growing popularity of hair Botox comprise:
(1) it promises to have a smoothing effect and youthify hair;
(2) it can be applied to hair that’s slightly damaged or super-fine (unlike keratin which may worsen existing signs of hair damage);
(3) it’s tailored according to how straight you want your hair (by adjusting the length of time it’s left on before being washed out);
(4) it doesn’t make hair flat and lifeless in the process (which keratin has a tendency to do);
(5) your hair requires less blow drying and straightening afterwards so it promotes healthier locks;
(6) it protects against the usual impacts of humidity; and
(7) it only takes around two hours in the salon to get the treatment.

Not yet widely available, if / when hair Botox comes to a salon near you, heed our earlier warnings regarding heat-and-chemical based hair treatments. Our ‘How to identify, prevent and cure hair damage’ and ‘Bad salon warning signs’ blogs are a good starting point. It’s not unusual to suffer hair breakage, hair loss, scalp burns and scalp blisters following a disaster at the hairdressing salon.

As always, should your hairdressing appointment go awry, contact us to discuss your options including suing your hairdresser. 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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How to identify, prevent and cure hair damage

Hair damage is unavoidable!

Daily wear and tear take their toll on your hair. It seems that no matter how careful you are – whether it’s taking a break from heat styling, extending the time between hair colouring appointments, applying deep conditioning treatments, spraying heat protector before hot products, wearing hats to shield from the elements, tying up hair using gentler accessories, whatever – damage of some sort is unavoidable, often by the most unlikely culprits.

Then there’s harm caused by your hairdresser. Damage is usually more extreme due to use of excessive heat and dangerous chemicals, amongst other causes. Our ‘6 reasons to sue your hairdresser’ blog explains what happens when hairdressing appointments go seriously wrong.

If you’ve noticed that your hair is looking far than perfect, it’s time to do something about it. That’s why today we bring you the lowdown on the common types of hair damage and how to solve them…

1: Split ends

Split ends are easy to spot. It’s where the end of a hair strand is split into two or more heads or if it micro-splits into numerous branches similar to a tree. Essentially, your hair’s in a weaker state and tangles a lot more. It happens due to excessive styling, heat exposure, friction from fabrics, and climate and environmental conditions.

Although the most common form of damage, it’s the worst in many ways as if it’s left untreated, it’ll only get worse with time. Cutting your hair is the best, if not only, option for banishing split ends. As a guide, get a trim every two months to keep on top of any straggly bits. This is especially important if you have fine hair as it’s more susceptible to damage and needs extra TLC.

A temporary solution until your next hair cut is split end-mending serums that contain polymers. Although no substitute for a trim, they do reduce splitting a little. And there are things you can do to prevent split ends from forming in the first place such as gentler handling of your hair, avoiding heat, towel drying and chemical products, and selecting satin or silk pillowcases.

2: Heat damage

The go-to modern hairstyles are either dead straight or curly hair, both of which are easy to create with hot styling tools. Used daily, though, these styling implements are a big cause of damage. Spraying heat protector is necessary every time as it protects styling up to 450 degrees. Another way to prevent heat damage is to use a setting appropriate for your hair texture. Also, try not to use heat every day in order to give your hair a break.

Ultimately, you cannot reverse the damage that’s been done but you can make it better. The tips of your hair are the oldest so a decent haircut will improve the health of your hair no end. Similarly, protein treatments replenish what’s missing from your hair.

3: Dye damage

Years of lifting and stripping away colour by bleaching, dyeing, highlighting and balayage ruin the condition of your hair. To fully appreciate what these colouring treatments do to your hair, check out our ‘What does over-processed hair look like?’ blog.

There’s no quick fix. You just have to wait for the colour or bleach to grow out and it takes months, if not years. But there’s a sure-fire way to make sure colouring causes as minimal damage as possible and that’s finding a professional who cares about you and the integrity of your hair. Our ‘Bad salon warning signs’ blog is a great steer. If your hairdresser chooses colour chemicals applicable to your hair type and avoids unnecessary overlap, that will help in a major way.

For a further hair boost, there’s always regular haircuts, less frequent styling, and leave-in treatments such as masks and conditioners which contain ingredients with reparative benefits to promote healthier, stronger hair in between salon visits.

4: Other chemical damage

Chemical treatments like relaxers and perms strip the hair, leading to breakage which cannot be solved by anything other than growing it out. Prevent further damage by adjusting your hairstyling habits, for example regular hot-oil deep treatment routines, protein-packed products, at-home bond-building treatments, water-based leave-in conditioning sprays and thinking about your diet. Drinking water and eating omega-3 rich foods are good for your hair as well as your body.

5: Thinning or hair loss

First a distinction: thinning is noticeably less hair, such as thinner ponytails, a visibly wider parting and more scalp showing than normal; whereas hair loss is increased shedding. Lots of different things cause thinning or hair loss – underlying hormone issues, stress, medication, nutritional deficiencies, allergic reactions and certain illnesses included. In these circumstances, take medical advice as supplements or herbal medicines may be prescribed.

What’s lesser known is that too-tight braids and ponytails are offenders too. These create traction which weakens the hair and follicle. Take a break from taut styles to reduce tension and preserve the roots.

6: Mechanical damage

Mechanical damage occurs because of the way you handle your hair. It’s basically anything that puts tension on your hair – if you’re too harsh while combing, brushing and detangling or, as hinted above, if you tie your hair tightly in a ponytail quite often.

Some additional care can go a long way towards ensuring you don’t suffer from mechanical damage. Brush your hair slowly and softly, avoid brushing wet hair, abstain from rubbing your hair with a towel, unbraid and remove ponytails carefully, and apply hair masks regularly.

7: Weather damage

Be it the sun in the spring and summer months, or wind and cold in autumn and winter, you can’t stay indoors forever so damage will come your hair’s way thanks to changing seasons. Relevant to the time of year, select items that limit your hair’s exposure to the elements – leave-in conditioners, hats, umbrellas etc along with less styling if you’re outdoors a lot. Again, soft pillowcases help retain the moisture that’s remaining in your hair at the end of the day.

To get in touch with our Hairdressing Claims legal team about suing your hairdresser, 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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Wet hair mistakes: why and how to avoid these 7 schoolgirl errors

Handle wet hair carefully

Did you know that your post-shower or bath routine could be silently damaging your hair? Without realising it, how we handle our wet hair can cause all manner of harm, not only to its health, but also to its length and longevity.

In an ideal world, we’d have sufficient time to dry and style our hair to perfection without impairment as part of our getting-ready routine. In the real world, though, time is limited, especially first thing in the morning when we’re preparing for the day ahead. That’s why bad hair care habits creep in.

Wet hair requires gentler care because its structure changes upon contact with water. The hair shaft soaks up the water and swells so it becomes vulnerable. To preserve the health of your hair, here are the wet hair mistakes you should avoid:

#1: Brushing wet hair

Brushing hair when it’s wet is one of the worst sins. It results in hair breakage and split ends. Wait until it’s almost or completely dry before brushing to keep your hair healthier for longer. If you’ve got excessive tangles, select a leave-in product and wet hairbrush as your hair will be more brushable and the bristles are much softer than regular brushes for a tenderer touch.

#2: Tying hair up while wet

We’ve already established that hair is at its weakest and most vulnerable when wet. If you style into a tight updo while it’s dripping wet, the tension will increase as your hair dries. The usual dents and snags from dry ponytails are more severe if your hair’s damp. Dry thoroughly before tying it up.

#3: Applying hairspray on wet hair

Coming after #2, it thus follows that hairspray should be used to lock down your style only when it’s fully dry. Your hair changes shape as it dries which means the style will too. Hairspray is for long-lasting hold on dry hair.

#4: Drying your hair the wrong way

Airdrying your hair is always a gamble as it often creates untameable frizz until your next hair wash. Similarly, rubbing a cloth towel harshly on wet hair causes breakage. Many of us are guilty of wrapping our hair in a towel after washing. The harsh fibres are rough on hair. Opt for a microfibre towel to squeeze out the water and then leave it to dry naturally.

#5: Blow drying dripping wet hair

Although our advice thus far is about drying your hair before doing anything else, you should never blow dry your hair while it’s still sopping wet. It might be tempting to use the highest setting of your hairdryer but you actually need to wait for the water to drain out then apply the dryer on medium heat and move gradually to a higher level of heat for styling purposes. Slower drying on a low temperature may take more time but it will safeguard your hair in the long run.

#6: Applying heated tools to wet hair

Heated tools already take their toll. Applying them on wet or damp hair worsens it further. When you use a straightening iron or curling tong on wet hair, the wetness maximises the heat to perilous proportions thereby literally frying your strands. Again, once your hair is completely dry, it’s safe to proceed with hairstyling tools after spraying heat protector.

#7: Going to sleep with wet hair

Heading to bed in the evening with slightly damp hair is kind of excusable. Dripping wet hair is a big no-no. Aside from forming a pillowcase puddle which is uncomfortable to sleep on, it damages the hair follicles and breakage or hair loss ensues. If you’ve washed your hair at bedtime, use a hairdryer to reduce the wetness by at least 70% before you go to the land of nod.

Hair damage is a topic that crops up time and time again on our blog, whether the damage stems from negligent hairdressing or at your own hands. For extra reading on this subject, check out our ‘6 reasons to sue your hairdresser’, ‘What does over-processed hair look like?’, ‘Recovery for ravaged hair’ and ‘How to care for damaged hair’ blogs as a starting point.

As experts in claims against hairdressers, we know what happens if your hairdresser is inattentive or careless. If you need to contact our Hairdressing Claims legal team about suing your hairdresser, please email, call 0800 141 3682 from a landline for free, phone 0333 202 6560 from a mobile or complete our enquiry form.

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The ‘why’ and ‘how’ of patch testing

Your questions on patch testing answered

Anyone who’s ever read our blog will know it’s important to undergo patch testing before you dye your hair. But just ‘why’ is it so important and ‘how’ do you go about it?

Beginning with the ‘why’ of patch testing…

Permanent and semi-permanent hair dye contains chemicals, namely paraphenylenediamine (PPD) or toluene-2, 5-diamine sulphate (PTD). These chemicals enable the colour process to take place. While hair dye manufacturers try to formulate products using ingredients that are kind to hair and limit damage, chemicals are still present and abnormal reactions can happen.

There’s no one single reaction to hair dye chemicals. The allergy response can range from the fairly minor – contact dermatitis – to the extremely major – anaphylactic shock. Mild symptoms require you to wash your hair thoroughly whereas severe symptoms demand a call to 999 for an ambulance.

To avoid a reaction to hair dye, always carry out a patch test 48 hours before your dyeing treatment. Post-Covid, the National Hair & Beauty Federation has altered its guidelines regarding patch testing every twelve months by reducing its recommendation to every six months, as individuals have been reporting a greater number of allergic reactions. Our ‘Adverse reaction to hair dye by Covid-19 survivors’ and ‘Tighter guidance insisting on more regular patch testing’ blogs cover this subject in depth.

The advice from Hairdressing Claims, as specialists in claims against hairdressers who see hair treatment injuries all the time, is to request patch testing before every dyeing appointment.

Moving on to the ‘how’ of patch testing…

Here’s how to go about performing a patch test:

  • If having your hair dyed by your hairdresser, enquire upfront about pre-appointment tests. You’ll need to visit your salon to have dye applied to a section of skin behind your ear.
  • If dyeing your own hair, use a cotton bud to apply a little amount of colour mixture to the same place, behind your ear.
  • In both instances, leave on for 48 hours before washing off. Should you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, wash off immediately and don’t proceed with the full dye job. All being well, you shouldn’t even notice the patch test sample is there, and this ‘normal’ reaction means you’re clear to go ahead.

For at-home box dyes, the instructions will provide further guidance about patch testing. For professional dyes, always choose a reputable hairdresser (not a bad salon!) who will ask for a patch test ahead of your appointment.

Having already clarified above what to do if things go wrong, we’ll end by adding that you may also need to instruct a legal hair damage compensation expert. Our team is on hand and happy to help.

To contact us, 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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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, 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, 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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