How-to guide: Making a compensation claim against your hairdresser

Your questions on hairdressing claims answered

If your hair or scalp has been damaged by your hairdresser, you’re entitled to make a personal injury claim against your salon.

The types of injuries that can befall you range from allergic reactions and chemical burns to heat damage and scarring from cuts and burns. Our earlier ‘Top 5 reasons to sue your hairdresser’ blog explains the main injuries constituting a hairdressing claim.

With the ‘why’ made clearer, exactly ‘how’ do you go about seeking compensation? To overcome any worries or feelings of overwhelm you may have at this time, here we outline the considerations to be borne in mind and actions to perform in launching a legal case:

Now: Understand your hairdresser’s obligations

To recognise when your hairdresser’s at fault, it’s important to know their duties and responsibilities. Quite simply, hairdressers have an obligation to protect their clients from injury, as well as keeping other salon visitors and staff out of harm’s way. There’s legislation in force to ensure safety at the hairdressing salon – Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 and Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 amongst them.

In order to fulfil their duty of care, hairdressers must take measures such as testing electrical appliances routinely, cleaning surfaces and flooring regularly, handling and disposing of chemical substances properly, undergoing training in techniques and products thoroughly, checking the condition of your hair before embarking upon treatment, and insisting on patch and strand testing prior to applying potentially damaging creams and lotions.

Failure to execute any (or all!) of the aforementioned means that your hairdresser is guilty of negligence.

Next: Take essential preparatory steps to strengthen your legal claim

In basic terms, your activities immediately post-injury can significantly impact your ability to claim back the level of compensation you’re entitled to. To support your claim, make sure you take photographs, write a record of what’s happened and seek medical assistance by consulting a doctor where necessary. The more detailed your catalogue of events and inventory of supporting evidence, the more success can be assured.

For further reading on this vital stage in claims proceedings, go to our earlier ‘3-step plan to suing your hairdresser’ and ‘A step-by-step guide to the hairdressing claims process’ blogs.

Of course, there’s a possibility you may be reading this article after the event without any evidence having been gathered. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s too late to pursue a claim. No problem is insurmountable with the right legal expert behind you. Which takes us on to your final task…

Finally: Instruct a specialist law firm to begin your legal claim

With the foundations in place, contact a personal injury lawyer who specialises in claims against hairdressers. Your solicitor will assess the viability of your case on a no-obligation basis, will offer expert advice on what to do next and will represent you on ‘no win, no fee’ terms thereafter.

At Hairdressing Claims, we have years of experience helping individuals who’ve been let down by their hairdresser. As well as working closely with you, we provide access to the best trichologists, doctors and barristers so that you get the guidance you need for your case plan.


To get in touch with our Hairdressing Claims team in confidence, email enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, 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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A trichologist’s role in compensation claims

Your questions answered about how a trichologist supports legal claims against hairdressers

As specialists in compensation claims for hairdresser negligence which causes scalp burns, scalp blisters, hair damage or hair loss, we’re often asked ‘what’s a trichologist?’ by our clients. That’s because one of the steps in suing a hairdressing salon involves getting guidance by a trichologist (more on this later).

In today’s blog, we explain the role of a trichologist along with why, when and how to instruct one…

What is a trichologist?

First things first, a trichologist is an expert on diseases and problems relating to the hair and scalp, as well as their cures and treatments.

The term ‘trichology’ itself derives from the Ancient Greek word ‘thrix’, meaning hair. While trichologists aren’t doctors, they advise people suffering from hair-related issues by diagnosing and recommending a course of action. They don’t prescribe drugs, or perform medical and surgical procedures.

A trichologist’s training

To fully understand the role of a trichologist, it’s useful to know how they’re trained to do their job. Trichologists undergo specialised training comprising a combination of academic studies with hands-on experience, observations and mentoring.

Once certification has been achieved through successful completion of an accredited programme, trichologists join a professional organisation – the Institute of Trichologists, Trichological Society and International Association of Trichologists, plus bodies specific to each country amongst them.

Why to see a trichologist

So, what types of conditions would demand that you visit a trichologist? To give you some examples of why you should seek a trichologist’s help:

Hair loss – both men and women

Pattern baldness is the form of hair loss that follows a well-defined pattern. For men, hair loss begins above the temples and recedes into a characteristic ‘M’ shape. For women, hair loss tends to be overall thinning without a hairline that recedes. Hair loss of this nature is permanent.

Usually, this type of hair loss is associated with a medical or inherited condition – from high blood pressure to polycystic ovary syndrome – rather than resulting from a hairdressing appointment that’s gone badly wrong. Your trichologist will get to the root cause and signpost you to a doctor.

Hair shedding

To use its technical term, telogen effluvium is the process of large sections of hair detaching from the scalp. It’s temporary hair loss that’s triggered by any number of factors such as stress, poor diet, menopause, childbirth, underlying health conditions and sudden weight loss. Hair shedding is a side effect of some medical treatments too, chemotherapy drugs for instance. This is called anagen effluvium.

Again, hair shedding isn’t caused by a bad experience at the hairdressing salon. A trichologist is a good place to start and he/she can direct you to a physician or psychologist for appropriate support.

Alopecia

The most complex form of hair loss is alopecia as it comes in many varieties, comprising alopecia areata (the body’s immune system attacking healthy tissues so that hair falls out and new hair is prevented from growing – there are round patches of hair loss), alopecia totalis (complete loss of hair on the scalp and, potentially, elsewhere on the body) and cicatricial alopecia (otherwise known as scarring alopecia).

It’s this latter type of alopecia we encounter most in our clients. Essentially, scarring alopecia is the result of hair follicles being destroyed, scar tissue being formed and hair being unable to regrow thereafter.

Whilst skin conditions, autoimmune diseases and inflammatory disorders are often to blame, so too is a hair treatment injury. For instance, the incorrect use of hair relaxing and hair curling chemicals, and excessive application of heat styling tools like hair straighteners, curling irons and blow dryers. Certain hairstyles are guilty also. Those styles pulling hair away from the scalp with extreme force (overtight ponytails and braids) or placing heavy weight onto hair strands (hair extensions) can irreparably damage hair, especially in the case of badly fitted hair extensions.

When to meet with a trichologist

In a nutshell, the answer to the question of when to see a trichologist is: as early as possible. The sooner you seek a trichologist’s services, the greater your chances of recovery – at least partially, if not fully. With early intervention and detection, you’re better able to stop the hair loss and even reverse the effects.

In our ‘3-step plan to suing your hairdresser’ blog, the involvement of a trichologist occurs in step #2, after documenting what’s happened and as part of pursuing a legal claim with a law firm behind you.

What to expect at your trichology appointment

Pinpointing your hair loss/damage problem(s) necessitates (1) a trichologist asking a series of questions about your health, nutrition, lifestyle, family history and hair care routine, (2) a trichologist examining your hair and scalp with the naked eye, through a digital microscope and/or via a hair pull test, and (3) a trichologist giving his/her analysis, recommendations and referrals.

How to find a trichologist

As set out in our earlier blog, you don’t need to go it alone. Finding a qualified, reputable trichologist takes research. You’ll be pleased to learn that the Hairdressing Claims team has long-standing partnerships with expert trichologists. We’ll set up an appointment on your behalf as your matter progresses, in the initial stages of suing your hairdresser for harm and injury you’ve suffered at their hands.


Are you keen to pursue a compensation claim for hair damage or scalp burns from your hairdressing salon? Then get in touch with us here at Hairdressing Claims team by emailing enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, 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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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 enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, 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 enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, 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 enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, 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 enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, 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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