Hairdressing without the small talk

No talking at the hairdresser’s!

The majority of our country’s hairdressing salons reopened for business on 4th July. With waiting lists running into the hundreds, if not thousands, some hairdressers actually tended to their first customers in three-and-a-half months at one minute past midnight thereby opening their doors at the earliest possible time yet still adhering to the government’s restrictions.

Whilst people up and down the UK are desperate to get their ‘lockdown hair’ fixed and unruly locks trimmed by a professional instead of having to resort to DIY cuts and colours, the salon experience is now markedly different to what it was pre pandemic. The main differentiator is the new silence rule.

In the past, engaging in small talk with our hairdressers was a key part of the event’s enjoyment. Many of us form strong friendships with our stylists over the years. A hair appointment signifies a chance to catch up, discuss upcoming plans, share news and generally gossip about what’s happening in our locality. Forced to keep chat to a minimum will feel strange as we adjust to this temporary new-normal hairdressing regime.

To enforce the government small talk ban, salons are likely to perform virtual or phone consultations before the actual appointment date, avoid conversation of any form during hair washing and head massaging, and undertake essential discussions only when stood side by side or with the hairdresser positioned behind the client looking into the mirror.

The reason for these constraints is fairly obvious. The transmission of coronavirus is intensified by face-to-face contact. From a hairdressing perspective, this includes talking over the basin as hairdresser and client are within close proximity.

Prescribed quietness at the hairdresser’s may come as a disappointment but, on the plus side, it does allow stylists to process more people and get through waiting lists quicker, and focus on their work without distraction.

If you’ve seen our earlier blog posts, you’ll know that lapses in concentration can result in solutions being left on hair for too long, product guidelines not being followed to the letter, and negligent use of hot and sharp styling implements, to name a few. The consequence is scalp burns, scarring and hair damage.

We have another word of warning here. Make sure the initial consultation you’ve given is adequate to assess your hair and decide upon the correct course of action. Also, it doesn’t negate the need for strand and patch tests which should still continue to be undertaken up to 48 hours prior to chemical treatments.

In the unfortunate event that you suffer harm at your hairdresser’s, our expert team are on hand to help you progress a claim for compensation.

To contact us in confidence about suing your hairdresser, please email, 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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Illegal mobile hairdressing trade

Hair dyeing by mobile hairdresser

The official line is that no one should be getting their hair done by a professional hairdresser or barber during lockdown. As mandated by the government in its ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic, individuals providing hairdressing services are currently forbidden to do so on anyone other than a family member.

These rules first came into force on 23rd March. The hair sector is set to reopen for business on 4th July. Between these dates, however, although illegal, there have been news reports of underground hairdressing backed up by statistics relating to purchases of mobile services products. Suppliers of salon-professional products have reported bulk buying of bleaches and dyes these past weeks. Apparently, sales ‘fell off a cliff’ to begin with and have ‘rocketed’ thereafter. Read more on this subject on The Sun’s website.

A related article on The Guardian’s website attributes the soaring demand for illicit hairdressing on people wanting to appear well groomed at work-related virtual meetings as well as keyworkers who continue to operate on a face-to-face basis from physical premises. The other driving force for clandestine hairdressing is financial pressure; some hairdressers not being eligible for government support yet still having bills to pay.

According to individuals cited in the same piece on The Guardian’s website, ‘probably 80% of hairdressers are at it’ including ‘barber shops with newspapered windows’, ‘alfresco barbering’ underneath garden gazebos and ‘mobile hairdressing vans’ touring neighbourhoods. All of the hairdressers and barbers concerned are contravening social distancing rules despite the risks to both themselves and their clients. The risk, ultimately, being a second wave of COVID-19.

Looking ahead to next week, it’s anticipated that the backlog of missed appointments runs into the thousands for some salons so it may be a while before the majority of us can enjoy a proper haircut. When the time eventually comes, heed our earlier warning about choosing a reputable hairdresser in order to avoid unwelcome hair disasters which, at the extreme, comprise hair breakage, hair damage, scalp burns and scalp blisters.

To speak with our expert legal claims team about making a claim for compensation against your hairdresser, please get in touch by emailing, 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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Bad salon warning signs

Fresh-from-the-salon feeling

There’s nothing quite like that fresh-from-the-salon feeling you get when you’ve had your hair cut at the hairdresser’s. Whilst choosing a hairdressing salon shouldn’t be fraught with risk, unfortunately sometimes it can be.

Browse through our earlier blog posts and you’ll see exactly what can happen if you make a wrong decision. We know because we represent all manner of clients with hairdresser injuries including hair breakage, hair damage, scalp burns and scalp blisters.

To help you avoid the same fate, today’s blog shares things to watch out for when selecting your hairdresser which we’ve gathered from across the web:

1. There’s little (or no) website and social presence

Online platforms such as websites and social media channels are the ‘shop window’ of any organisation. Not only do active web profiles suggest a degree of professionalism which probably means you’ll receive better hairdressing services, they also help set your expectations regarding how much hair treatments will cost. Research then pick a stylist best matched to your requirements and budget before you call to book an appointment.

2. Lots of promotional discounts are offered

It’s not always the case that cost is dictated by quality but where hairdressing is concerned, it typically is! Price is usually a reliable indication of a reputable salon. Expert stylists are rewarded by being able to charge higher pricing. It’s nigh on impossible for hairdressers to maintain consistency if they’re discounting this and that. Standards can slip if they’re rushing through appointments to subsequently recoup lost earnings. While it may be appealing to consumers with tight purse strings, be wary of heavy discounts.

3. There are too many (and unaddressed) bad reviews

Of course, there’s more likelihood of people putting pen to paper in order to complain if they’re disappointed with their hairdresser. In saying that, review websites such as TripAdvisor are extremely useful as they give an insight into previous customers’ experiences and show the level of service provided. Positive reviews are a great form of marketing and are strong incentive to book. Negative reviews, however, aren’t necessarily completely bad. If the salon has dealt with complaints by addressing concerns raised, it shows they’re listening and responding to feedback in all its forms. Conversely, if they’re disinterested and attempting to simply sweep under the carpet, stay away.

4. You’re not asked questions or made welcome

Upon booking and upon arrival, your first impression is with the receptionist. You should be asked pertinent questions over the phone to ensure you’re allocated the appropriate stylist. Similarly, when you turn up at the given time, you should be welcomed by a friendly face, offered a drink, directed to your seat and told how long you’ll be waiting for your stylist. A warm, relaxing environment is essential. If it isn’t, do an abrupt about turn and leave!

5. You’re not given a hair consultation

Before getting down to business or launching into idle chit chat, your hairdresser must consult about what cut and finish you desire. If a consultation doesn’t take place, will everyone depart the salon with the same style? Or will you be given a treatment that’s not suitable for your hair and skin type? Negating the consultation is a recipe for disaster. This is also the time to agree the fee so there are no nasty surprises or hidden costs thrown at you when it comes to paying.

6. You don’t undergo a patch or strand test

Following on from #5, pre appointment (approximately 48 hours before) you should have a patch or strand test performed if you intend to get a chemical treatment (be it dyeing, bleaching, straightening or perming). This will assess the chances of any potential adverse or allergic reaction. At Hairdressing Claims, we encounter daily individuals who suffer harm by their hairdresser. Read our further advice and find out what to do if this happens to you.

7. The salon isn’t clean

Cleanliness is definitely next to godliness in the hairdressing world. Being clean is a great virtue for salons. It’s visible evidence that you’ll be treated with the same care and attention, and that there won’t be any mishaps – slips and trips from unswept hair or spillages; infections picked up from dirty equipment etc. Take stock upon arrival. Even at this stage, it’s not too late to change your mind.

8. You’re not asked if you’re happy with your hair

The same as every service provider, your hairdresser should ask if you’re satisfied with the results before you’re handed the bill. As already intimated, it’s all about interaction and relationships with the entire salon team – receptionist to shampooist to hairdresser. If disenchanted with any part of the process, even if your hair looks amazing, it won’t feel like a wholly positive experience. Make sure you opt for a salon that will look after you well.

9. You have to re-do your hair at home

You’ve just spent your hard-earned money on having your hair done. You shouldn’t later feel the need to fix it yourself. Any credible stylist is capable of cutting and styling your hair precisely how you want it.

10. Your stylist always runs late

Sloppiness with timings doesn’t bode well for a good haircut. Whether it’s due to overbooking, too much chatting, laziness or other tardiness, they clearly don’t value your business enough. Your time is valuable and you deserve to be treated like royalty for the duration of your hair treatment.

There are plenty of respectable, eminent hairdressers out there so, if you need to break free from your current one, there’s nothing to stop you. While doing so may cause short-term awkwardness, it’s worth it in the long run to get a better stylist who’ll do your hair just right.

If you need to speak with our expert legal claims team about pursuing a claim against your hairdresser, please get in touch by emailing, 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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National Hair Sunday for NHS heroes

Salons remain closed until July

If you watched Boris Johnson’s 10th May announcement, you’ll know that the latest slightly-relaxed government measures dictate that hairdressing salons won’t open again until 4th July at the very earliest.

What will the eventual easing of lockdown restrictions mean for the hair industry? Well, first of all, there’s a backlog of missed appointments and ‘lockdown hair’ to remedy. Added to this, there’s the recently launched National Hair Sunday campaign so priority may be given initially to NHS staff seeking hair treatments.

To elaborate, National Hair Sunday has been thought up by Royston Blythe and Nick Malenko from TV’s Real Housewives of Cheshire series. As reported on the BBC website, the duo are calling on salons to join forces in a united effort to support our national heroes – NHS workers – by promising free hairdressing on the first Sunday post lockdown.

Apparently, thousands of salons UK-wide have signed up to National Hair Sunday in order to show their appreciation for the people saving our lives and risking their own during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the likes of the average woman and man on the street (that’s us, by the way!), we’ll just have to wait a little longer to book those sought-after salon slots when July approaches.

As with any visit to the hairdresser’s, apply caution if you’re undergoing chemical or heat treatments as hair and scalp damage can be caused by general lack of care and attention. Read all about these potential dangers in our earlier blog post titled ‘6 reasons to sue your hairdresser’. You might also wish to read our recent article regarding home hair treatments, should you decide to take matters into your own hands where managing your hair is concerned over the coming months.

Despite ongoing social distancing guidance, we’re still open for business, albeit in a remote contact capacity. If you need to speak with our expert legal team, please email, 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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Top tips for home hair dyeing

Experiment with hair dyeing during lockdown

As the coronavirus lockdown looks likely to continue well into the foreseeable future, women (and men) are being compelled to choose between dyeing their own hair at home whilst quarantined or sitting it out until they can go to their hairdresser once social distancing restrictions are lifted.

The latter course of action is recommended by hair experts from the point of view of getting more professional results (eventually!). But with mental health in the spotlight currently, greying hair and growing-out roots can contribute to negative feelings of self-esteem. Home dyeing, then, is seen by some less as a last resort and more as an integral part of maintaining mental wellbeing during this difficult period.

For those individuals dyeing hair themselves, we’ve collated these tips to help you avoid any unnecessary (and, let’s face it, unwelcome) colour disasters:-

Consider touch-up kits instead: Available in a whole multitude of colour options, these brush-on temporary dyes cover the greys or roots and simply wash out in the shower.

Contact your stylist: The person best suited to advise on your mixing ratio or colour number is your regular colourist. If you have your stylist’s number, call and ask about your ideal-fit colour match.

Bear in mind your skin tone: Ashy tones work well for fair skin and mocha tones work well for darker skin. You get the idea?

Perform pre-dye tests: Apply a small amount of dye to a patch and few strands of hair, behind the ear typically, 48 hours before the main event to ensure you don’t experience an allergic reaction.

Buy a back-up box: If using a box dye kit, have a second, spare box to hand in case you run out part-way through (for long hair) or miss any sections (for correction afterwards).

Protect your hairline: So that you don’t end up staining your scalp around your hairline, rub some Vaseline to your skin which will keep it clean.

Brush and section hair: Before, brush your hair to get out any knots. During, part your hair into four sections, and use clips to separate for a more even finish.

Begin at the roots: The top of your hair will need longer to develop so start here at the roots and work down to the ends.

Follow instructions: Don’t stray from the manufacturer’s guidelines so you don’t suffer any mishaps. In saying that, you could empty the bottle’s contents into a plastic bowl and use a small brush (perhaps a toothbrush) for better application overall.

Avoid self-highlighting or balayage: This is a tad too ambitious to do on your own. Save these more complicated techniques for a professional effect.

Remember most dyes contain chemicals: This includes ammonia in some cases. Be mindful of the need to take care handling dye products as bad reactions are a possibility.

Select permanent or semi-permanent: There’s no going back with permanent dye so make sure you’re committed to the shade. Semi-permanent is easier to correct but the colour does fade over time.

Use conditioner: Always add conditioner during the washing phase. This closes the cuticles and stops the colour continuing to develop.

Look after your dyed hair: Read our earlier blog posts titled ‘6 essential hair care tips’ and ‘How to care for damaged hair’ to keep your hair in shape.

Know what to do should things go wrong: Unfortunately, serious hair dyeing errors do happen including scalp burns, weakened hair and even hair loss in the worst cases. Turn to your trusted Hairdressing Claims team for assistance.

Stay safe and healthy in these challenging times. Should you need our legal services, please get in touch. Email, 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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Lockdown hair, anyone?

Split ends worsening during quarantine

With the coronavirus lockdown continuing for at least another three weeks, people isolated at home and unable to visit a hairdresser are resorting to cutting and dyeing their own hair.

Men and women alike are managing their personal grooming themselves more than ever before. This follows earlier government announcements that non-essential shops, hairdressing businesses included, should temporarily close under strict lockdown measures in order to bring the numbers of people contracting COVID-19 under control.

Addressing the issue on The One Show, hairdresser and guest Michael Douglas chatted with host Alex Jones about viewers cutting and dyeing their hair until they’re able to go to hairdressing salons again to get the job done properly. Watch Michael’s video on The Sun’s website.

The BBC programme subsequently received 287 complaints from furious hairdressers on the basis that Michael’s advice undermines the profession and ignores some of the essential steps of hair dyeing. In response to this backlash, the BBC issued a statement on its website claiming: “Our hairdresser did suggest people should seek advice from their hairdressers and we believe viewers would be aware of the need to carefully check the instructions for any product they buy”.

According to news reports, sales of both box dyes and hair clippers are rocketing as cooped-up individuals are taking their looks into their own hands. Plus, there are myriad stories on the internet about quarantine haircut fails including these on the Independent’s website.

We reiterate the BBC’s warning about following hair dye leaflet information to the letter, adding that strand and patch tests should always be performed prior to any treatment. It’s also worth bearing in mind the unpredictability of colouring which often turns out to be much darker than shown on the box.

Whilst minor mishaps such as bad cuts and darker colours can be tolerated, recovery from serious hair dyeing errors is more prolonged. Harm caused can involve scalp burns, weakened hair and even hair loss. Our advice is to take great care and if you have any doubts, to consult your trusted hairdresser with your questions or concerns, many of whom are happy to provide guidance over the phone during these strange times. If you are still uncertain, perhaps hit the online shops for a new hat!

At Hairdressing Claims, we wish all our clients the very best of health during this difficult period. Should you find yourself in need of our services, we are open for business. Please get in touch by emailing, 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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