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.
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