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.

The pros and cons of hair extensions

Hair extensions
Hairdresser applying hair extensions

When we read magazines, watch TV, surf the internet and practically anything else really, we’re confronted by a constant barrage of beautiful models and famous celebrities with heads full of flowing hair. It’s enough to make you green with hair envy!

This is one of the reasons why hair extensions are increasing in popularity. In fact, the number of British women using extensions has reportedly risen by 70% in the past five years so the overall figure’s now into tens of thousands each year.

For some of us, our hair just won’t grow past our shoulders or look voluminous, try as we might. For others, over-styling and over-treating has caused damage that’s not easily repairable. For others still, when special occasions beckon, we simply want our hair looking at its best.

Replicating billboard-ready hair can be achieved with hair extensions but, like all types of hair treatments, there are pros and cons. It’s important to weigh these up before you reach for the phone to book your hairdressing appointment.

Starting with the positives, here are some of the pros…

  • It fixes all multitude of sins. Extensions add length and can be used even if your hair’s very short (around 3 inches, to be precise). They can add volume if your hair’s fine, limp or thinning. They can add highlights of colour if you’re looking for an alternative to dyeing.
  • The application process isn’t painful. Methods include braiding, gluing, weaving or, most gentle, clipping. Whichever you choose, it shouldn’t hurt at all.
  • They’re not hard to maintain. Contrary to preconception, they’re no more difficult than other hair treatments such as dyeing. The trick is to keep an eye on them and plan for an hour at the salon for upkeep every six weeks or so.

All well and good, but now we turn our attention to the cons, of which there are a fair few…

  • They’re expensive. Costs vary from several hundred to over a thousand pounds, depending on the type of hair and bonding method used.
  • They require careful care. If you buy synthetic hair, styling options are limited. Even if you buy human hair, a softly softly approach is still advised which means, amongst other things, using a special brush, lighter shampoo and conditioner, cool water for washing, sleeping with your hair tied back and regular hairdressing appointments.
  • There’s an unethical side to human hair extensions. Britain’s apparently the world’s third largest importer. The hair trade is said to exploit poverty-stricken donors in some of the poorest countries to cut off their hair for as little as £30-ish or even for free if pledged in the name of religion. Hair’s even taken by force by gangs. The way hair’s processed too has a shady side, often exploiting cheap labour to untangle, smooth, sort, comb, tie, soak and dye hair ready for shipping overseas.
  • They can cause irrecoverable damage to your own hair. With the wrong application method and too-heavy extensions, you can suffer from hair loss called traction alopecia because too much tension’s placed on the roots thereby pulling out hair and damaging follicles permanently. If your hair’s in bad condition to begin with, it’s only going to get worse with additional strain on it.

So, if you’re thinking about extensions, seek a professional who’s undergone the right training and ask questions which allow you to make an informed decision about the best type of extensions for you. And, if you notice anything amiss, such as the beginnings of hair loss, address it straight away.

Best case, your hair will end up looking longer, thicker and healthier than it ever has before. Worst case, you may have a hairdresser claims situation on your hands for which you’ll need expert legal assistance.

£90k damages for life-changing salon shampoo injury

Hair washing injury man gets compensation
Hair washing injury man gets compensation

Hairdressing claims continue to make headline news. Delving back a little further in time, one of the worst instances of hairdresser-instigated injury in recent months, which resulted in £90,000 being awarded in damages, is this ‘beauty parlour syndrome’ case.

To give you a synopsis: Dave Tyler had his hair washed and styled at a hairdresser’s in Brighton; unbeknown to him, he suffered a blood clot while sat with his head bent backwards over the basin having his hair washed; two days later, he collapsed when the blood clot burst and caused a stroke; he subsequently spent three months in hospital recovering; eventually, he came home in a wheelchair and underwent a course of physiotherapy to resume walking with the aid of a stick; he now lives a restricted lifestyle with many of his former pleasures – such as driving, long country walks and dinghy sailing – a thing of the past.

Mr Tyler’s severe injuries could have been avoided if he’d simply been given adequate neck protection when using the basin.

This tragic story should demonstrate to hairdressers the importance of understanding the dangers of basin usage, teaching trainee hairdressers about these risks as these are often the people performing the washing procedure, warning customers of potential side effects of treatments and protecting them as fully as possible from harm.

To hair customers, it’s a reminder to be on your guard when visiting salons and a prompt to seek compensation when you’ve suffered at the hands of a hairdresser.

Access the original article on the Daily Mail’s website. Get in touch with our expert hair lawyers to find out if you’re eligible for compensation and how to kick start your claim.

Woman “robbed of six months” of her life following hair dye disaster awarded £9k compensation

Hair dye disaster compensation claim
Hair dye disaster compensation claim

Our hair is such an important part of our image that it directly impacts upon our confidence levels. A bad haircut is extremely damaging to our sense of self-esteem.

We came upon this story over the weekend about an air hostess, called Donna Smith, whose 45cm long beautiful hair is completely ruined by her stylist to the extent that she’s forced to shave it off and wear a wig while it slowly grows back.

But that’s not the end of it. Because of the nature of Donna’s work, her appearance means more to her than most. As a cabin crew manager, looking immaculate is par for the course. Her destroyed hair affected her so badly that she took six months off work, was prescribed anti-depressant medication and is still waiting for her hair to return to its original length.

The cause of Donna’s nightmare was a standard hair lightening procedure. The dye was left on for too long, resulting in her hair matting and falling out in chunks. Following a legal battle, Donna received £9,100 from the salon.

If you’ve suffered a similar fate, why not contact us to discuss your options? Our solicitors will represent you throughout the duration of legal proceedings.

Read the full article as first reported on The Sun’s website. Get in touch to talk to our expert legal team.