Near-death experience following severe hair dye reaction

Hair dye ingredients caused almost-fatal allergic reaction

When 29-year-old office worker, Robyn Cherry, underwent a routine hair dye treatment at her hairdresser’s, an adverse reaction to a component within the dye almost killed her and triggered a raft of permanent allergies. That’s according to a recent news article.

The incident happened in 2010 but has led to multiple visits to A&E in the intervening decade. It occurred when Robyn was having her hair dyed back to her natural brown colour by a hairdresser after home bleaching her hair twice monthly previously. Despite having a patch test done 24 hours before and showing no signs of any reaction, within minutes of departing the salon Robyn’s scalp began burning.

Her symptoms progressively worsened. The following morning, her face had ballooned to twice its size, described by Robyn as looking ‘like a tomato’ and her head continued to burn. Taken to the GP by her mum, Robyn was told to go straight to hospital.

On the journey to A&E, Robyn’s face kept enlarging and her eyes swelled shut leaving her temporarily blinded. Her airways had swollen too. So much that they’d become blocked and she was struggling to breathe. Because of this, she was rushed immediately to the resuscitation unit. Simultaneously, her scalp covered in blisters which kept bursting and her hair was falling out in clumps.

Doctors found that Robyn had suffered a severe reaction to paraphenylenediamine (PPD), a common ingredient in hair dye, and her patch test should have been left for the recommended 48-hour period, not 24 hours.

She was administered adrenaline shots and steroids, kept in hospital for 20 hours and told it was the worst reaction they’d ever seen. According to the doctors caring for her, she’d have died if she’d gone to hospital an hour later.

But the saga didn’t end there. The release of PPD had made Robyn’s body go into a state of shock so she started having severe allergic reactions to everyday items including most foods, spices, nuts, alcohol and clothing.

She was also diagnosed with polymorphic light eruption and solar urticaria – allergies to the sun causing skin rashes and hives respectively. As a result, Robyn was forced to visit A&E multiple times every four days or so when each new allergy became apparent.

She’s now prescribed strong antihistamines and steroids forever, and has had to drastically change her lifestyle – giving up holidays, nice clothes and drinking with friends – as well as abandon her career ambitions to become a professional horse rider. In her own words, Robyn became a recluse, and experienced deep depression and anxiety attacks to the extent that her life was ‘a living hell’.

Because of what she’s been through resulting from hairdresser negligence, Robyn actively warns others about the dangers of not following protocol when dyeing their hair.

At Hairdressing Claims, our mission is to help people like Robyn pursue compensation from those to blame for harm caused, be it salons or individual hairdressers. If you’ve ever found yourself in a similar unfortunate position to Robyn, contact us for a free initial consultation and progress your case on no win, no fee terms thereafter.

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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Woman with chemical burns undergoes recovery hair transplant

Chemical burn injury from hair dyeing

As reported recently in the Daily Mail, 25-year-old trainee chef, Izi Corner, suffered a chemical burn at the hairdresser’s whilst having her hair bleached and dyed pink.

Izi visited a Manchester-based salon, the sister branch of a hairdresser’s she’s used previously and been pleased with the results, in 2016 when aged 22. Although she’d used home hair dyes several times and never before experienced any issues, Izi decided to choose the more responsible option of getting her hair dyed by a professional stylist and didn’t expected to encounter problems.

At the beginning of her salon appointment, Izi was warned that she may feel some discomfort resulting from the bleach but was assured of the normality of this. However, once the bleach was applied and she was sat under a heat lamp, Izi’s pain levels rose to such an extent that she alerted staff and had the bleach rinsed off with cold water.

As the burn area was located at the back of her head, Izi couldn’t see the damage herself, and was comforted by the salon staff asserting that everything was fine and recommending that she continue with her treatment. After her hair was dyed and styled, she was charged £35, instead of £70, as a goodwill gesture in recompense for distress endured.

But Izi’s suffering continued at home later that evening when she noticed the burn patch was weeping and the hair around it was clumping together. Despite her best attempts at limiting damage by not washing or styling her hair the next day, when she did finally wash it the following day the pink dye washed out and the scab fell off thereby exposing an infected wound underneath.

A trip to the hospital and doctor’s surgery ensued with Izi being prescribed antibiotics by Trafford General Hospital, and cream and dressings by her GP. In time, Izi was referred to a trichologist – a specialist hair and scalp dermatologist – who gave her the details of the Farjo Hair Institute in Manchester.

The team at Farjo gave Izi a hair transplant on the burn site which cost £2,500 funded by compensation received from her hairdresser. Izi must now wait for a year to see how her scalp reacts to the transplant and ascertain if a second or third procedure is needed.

Izi is quoted as saying initially: “The physical pain was agony – I wouldn’t wish it on anybody… [I was] going to shave all my hair off. For my hair to suddenly fall out like that was really quite a shock, and it shouldn’t have happened.”

Following the corrective procedure by Farjo, Izi concluded: “I feel much better knowing that Farjo Hair Institute are able to help.”

What does a burn injury look like?

Unfortunately, hair dyeing and other chemical treatments can result in burns if mishandled by negligent hairdressers. Chemical burns are extremely painful and can cause other debilitating physical and mental symptoms. Long-term damage is not unusual.

We’ve written about hair damage and scalp burns, and the amount of compensation you can expect to receive from injuries of this nature, elsewhere on our website. Read more here.

How do I pursue a legal claim?

Another subject we’ve covered in earlier blog posts is how to go about the somewhat daunting task of making a claim against your hairdresser with the help of a legal expert. Take a look here.

If you’ve had a similar incident to Izi, don’t suffer in silence. Get in touch with us in complete confidence 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. We promise to stand by your side and provide all the support you need to pursue a legal claim.

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£2k compensation win for burn injury client

Burn injury client
Burn injury client

A client of Hairdressing Claims was successful in securing over £2,000.00 following a skin burn at a local hair salon in December 2017.

During a routine cut and blow dry appointment at Blow Dry Express in London’s Canary Wharf, the negligent actions of her hairdresser, a freelance stylist on duty that day, resulted in a 20p-size burn on our client’s forehead caused by a hot hairdryer which had not been properly fitted with a diffuser.

The full extent of our client’s injury was revealed when she removed her makeup in the evening. In addition to the pain experienced by the burn, our client’s suffering was made worse by missing out on a holiday, and facing embarrassment in the workplace and at social events.

The former – her holiday – was a planned Christmas break abroad in a hot climate with family which our client was compelled to cancel after being advised to keep out of the sun. The latter – working and socialising – meant she was constantly questioned by colleagues as to what had caused the noticeable burn mark, thereby becoming self-conscious.

As a senior financier at HSBC who regularly meets with customers face to face, our client suffered further awkwardness during client meetings because of an understandable concern about her appearance. Psychological problems are common among clients who suffer unsightly damage to their hair or burns to the face.

There was outside-of-work impact from the incident too, as our client began avoiding social occasions, stopped going to the gym and didn’t attend yoga classes whilst she recovered from her injuries.

As well as these work and lifestyle limitations, our client also continues to experience anxiety when visiting the hairdresser’s for fear of a repeat episode. Previously, she enjoyed getting her hair done and had sometimes frequented the salon twice a week.

Despite initially denying responsibility, analysis of the evidence confirmed Blow Dry Express’s liability. When her case was taken to trial, District Judge Worthington sitting at Central London County Court ruled that the salon’s owners, BDE Enterprises Can Ltd, should pay our client £2,064.00 in damages including £31.00 to reimburse the cost of the initial appointment, plus her legal costs for bringing the matter to court.

Although accidents are one of life’s inevitabilities, they should never happen at the hairdressers. If, like our client, you’ve suffered a burn or injury during a hairdressing treatment and you want to sue your hairdresser, please get in touch with our specialist claims against hairdressers legal team.

You can read more about our client’s experience via the links below:

/standard.co.uk/news/uk/banker-burned-on-head-during-blow-dry-wins-2000-damages-a4171766.html

/telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/06/20/senior-hsbc-banker-wins-compensation-hairdresser-burned-head/

/thetimes.co.uk/article/banker-wins-10-000-after-being-burnt-at-hair-salon-hs3wnv3xf

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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Compensation for woman after negligent hairdressing leads to intense hair ruin

Bleaching procedure
Bleaching procedure

A customer of Toni & Guy International Ltd has received a £6,5000 pay-out in an out-of-court settlement after a catalogue of bleaching errors during a routine dyeing appointment caused severe hair breakage.

Paul McNulty, a hairdressing claims specialist solicitor, explained how his client works in the creative industry and cancelled a series of appointments following the unfortunate incident.

“My client is a busy and successful business owner,” said Paul. “A well-groomed, professional appearance is essential. The distress caused by the damage incurred at the salon resulted in my client being unable to continue her normal work activity. The injury was both physical and psychological, and the financial losses included reduction in earnings as well as expenses for shampoo, conditioner and over-the-counter medication needed throughout the recovery phase. With full restoration of hair to its original state expected to take 34 months, expense costs alone equated to over £1,000.”

During the legal process, the claimant’s hair was assessed by an expert Consultant Trichologist. Drawing together verbal, written and photographic evidence, the Trichologist found that the hairdresser’s negligent care had caused “incorrect colour”, “hair shafts resembling chewing gum which pull apart with ease”, “obvious severance stubble in many regions” and “low or nil elasticity and tensile strength”. He recommended the use of high-quality shampoo and conditioning products in order to protect hair from grooming-related severance in its weakened condition.

The wrongdoing occurred on the claimant’s third visit to Toni & Guy when she was due to undergo customary root touch up of her hair which is naturally brown and had been bleached to platinum blonde over a 2½ year period. Amongst the multiple negligent actions were: lack of strand or elasticity testing; extreme overlapping onto previously bleached hair; over-exposure of bleach as the hairdresser departed the salon for a lengthy lunch break; and subsequent additional bleach bath in an attempt to fix the ensuing turquoise colouring.

The combined impact of over-use of products containing chemical peroxide and the incompetent hairdressing conducted by a junior, inexperienced stylist led to instant intense breakage close to the roots and hair loss to a large central section of hair.

“The circumstances of this case show that the salon is entirely to blame for the harm caused,” added Paul. “Failure to conduct any form of pre-treatment checks, applying bleach to hair rendered vulnerable by prior bleaching and an extensive period of exposure to peroxide which is a powerful alkali have had devastating results. Healing and re-growth will be prolonged. We pursued a claim for the pain and suffering experienced, and we were successful on our client’s behalf. The money goes some way to recompensing our client for what she’s been through.”

Toni & Guy’s insurer initially denied liability and placed the blame on our client for washing her hair at home. They later offered to refund the £60 appointment fee which was wholly inadequate compensation for our client’s suffering. Hairdressing Claims’ specialist solicitors issued court proceedings to sue the negligent hairdresser. Eventually they conceded liability and offered £4,500. This was rejected and the case subsequently concluded for £6,500 without the need for a court trial.

About Hairdressing Claims

Hairdressing Claims offers a specialist nationwide service on ‘no win, no fee’ terms to individuals who have been let down by their hairdresser. Find out more by completing an online enquiry form. Or contact us by email at enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, or call free on 0800 970 9102 from a landline or 0333 202 6560 from a mobile.

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6 reasons to sue your hairdresser

When to sue your hairdresser
When to sue your hairdresser

If you’re considering legal action against your hairdresser, today’s blog will help you take the essential first step towards your compensation claim. As specialist hair damage and scalp burns solicitors, we’re regularly asked what constitutes grounds to make such a claim. You can’t sue your hairdresser for a poor haircut but you can if your stylist has been negligent, and caused harm or injury.

You see, whilst a trip to the hairdresser is fairly routine, accidents and negligence can happen. To help you better understand when legal action is a viable option, here we outline the 6 main reasons to instruct a law firm and launch a case…

1. Chemical injuries
Chemicals are part of many hair treatments, for example hair dyeing, perming and straightening. It’s a stylist’s job to know how long certain products can be left on your hair as well as recognising that every person’s hair is different and some people may be allergic to particular chemicals.

Patch testing should always be performed on a very small area of your hair and scalp around 48 hours before any treatment to check for adverse reactions, even when organic products are being applied. Where no testing’s been carried out, burns, blistering and other irritations such as dermatitis can occur on the scalp. Hair loss and hair damage are other common outcomes.

2. Burning
Hair styling tools – that’s hairdryers, curling tongs and hot irons – emit high temperatures that cause serious damage if used incorrectly. Hair should have an extra barrier applied such as heat protection spray, appliances should not be used for too long on individual sections of hair and equipment should never come into direct contact with the skin.

Otherwise, resulting burned or brittle hair will break easily and fall out. Similarly, burned skin will be extremely painful and take some time to heal.

3. Cuts and bleeding
Hairdressers are trained in how to cut and shave hair in the right way but that doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes every now and then. A lapse in concentration or misjudgement, and insufficient training in the use of sharp objects in the first place can result in a cut to your neck, ear or face by scissors or other styling implements such as razors and shavers. Such injuries can obviously vary greatly in severity.

4. Faulty equipment damage
Salons are expected to conduct regular testing and maintenance of electrical appliances. This is defined by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The aim of this legislation is to keep people safe whenever equipment is operated in the workplace. Where hairdressers are concerned, this applies both to the client (you) and equipment operator (stylist).

A slightly different approach will be exercised here as the liability can belong to either the business owner (for lack of maintenance) or equipment manufacturer (due to a manufacturing fault).

5. Slips and trips
An unnoticed spillage or unswept pile of hair is a potential trip hazard. Although salons have a responsibility to provide a clean and safe environment, a popular business with back-to-back appointments is more prone to become neglectful because there’s scant time for cleaning up between clients. Signposting slippery areas is a solution but can be forgotten too during busy periods. Fall injuries include bruises, sprains and broken bones.

6. Beauty parlour syndrome
Vertebrobasilar insufficiency, otherwise known as ‘beauty parlour syndrome’, is caused by inadequate neck support and hyperextended backwards neck positioning over the basin during washing. An artery can be torn or compressed leading to blood clots. Symptoms include severe dizziness, loss of balance and facial numbness. In extreme instances, strokes.

Find out more about claims against hairdressers 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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3-step plan to suing your hairdresser

Hairdresser-instigated hair damage
Hairdresser-instigated hair damage

Being hurt by your hairdresser is a type of personal injury and, as such, you can launch legal claims against hairdressers for the scalp or hair damage caused. The worse your injury is and the more far-reaching the consequences, the bigger your end pay-out will be.

To put this statement into context, if harm is severe, such as hair loss, bald patches, scalp burns or scalp blisters, and if your career relies upon your appearance, like being a model or actress, plus if you incur significant expense as a direct result of your hairdresser’s negligence, for example lost wages or medical costs, you’ll be awarded a larger amount of compensation in settlement of your claim.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t make a claim if your case is less extreme than this. If you’ve suffered harm to your hair or scalp in any way at the hairdresser’s, you’re entitled to gain recompense from the salon or stylist who’s to blame. It simply means that recovered monies will reflect the gravity of your unique circumstances.

Not everyone knows how to go about suing hairdressers because many people have never instructed a solicitor before. Individuals who have previously sought legal representation tend to use solicitors for straightforward matters, for instance buying a house or writing a will.

Personal injury, in comparison, is a form of litigation and demands a very different approach from all parties concerned. That includes you as the litigant. Begin your legal case in the right way and you’ve got a greater chance of success.

If you’re unsure what to do, these vital tips will help you out…

1. Write it all down on paper
Make detailed notes about what’s happened including the time and date of your hair appointment, stylist’s name, treatment performed, how you got hurt, correctional treatment offered (if relevant) and what you paid (if anything).

It’ll be the last thing you’ll want to do, but you must also take selfies of your head and hair, as well as keep samples of hair that’s broken away or fallen out. The reason why? It’s evidence. The strongest cases are those with lots of evidence as it’s almost impossible to refute your story.

2. Don’t go it alone
You may feel it necessary to visit your doctor to get his / her expert opinion on your injury. If you do go down this route, again record everything including the time and date of doctor’s appointment, prescriptions given and medical advice offered.

Note that this isn’t an essential requirement in order to sue a hairdresser. You’ll find that many law firms will involve partnering medical practitioners, both doctors and trichologists, as your matter progresses.

The most important action at this stage is to get professional opinion from a lawyer who specialises in this type of claim. The best law firms will provide a free initial consultation to assess your eligibility for legal action.

3. Stay calm
If you’re the victim of an accident at the hairdresser’s, this is undoubtedly a distressing and troubling time in your life. A reputable solicitor will do his / her utmost to take the stress away by supporting you from one step to the next, fighting for you in and out of court, and securing an agreeable level of compensation. You shouldn’t even need to worry about legal fees. Select ‘no win, no fee’ terms and only pay when your case is successful.

At Hairdressing Claims, our legal team is dedicated to helping people make claims against hairdressers. We offer all of the above – free suitability assessment, range of medical partners, ‘no win, no fee’ payment options – and, quite simply, sound legal advice resulting from many years of experience in this field.

To find out more, complete our online enquiry form, email enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, phone 0800 970 9102 from a landline for free or call 0333 202 6560 from a mobile.

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