Damaged hair, scalp or skin?
Sue hairdresser!

Suffered disappointment at the hairdresser’s?

When you book a hair appointment, you don’t set out with any intentions to sue hairdresser, but unfortunately there are times when hairdresser claims are unavoidable. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let us first set the scene…

It’s probable you’ve found yourself in the situation at some point in your life when you’ve been to the hairdresser, explained which treatment or cut you’d like but ended up with a finished look which falls far short of your expectations.

When this happens, it’s distressing, frustrating and annoying. Even more so if you have to pay for the privilege afterwards. As upsetting as this is, it can usually be fairly easily remedied by arranging another appointment to put right what’s wrong, and receiving a complete or partial discount for your hairdresser’s services.

In these cases, you and your hairdresser can come to a mutually agreeable solution between the two of you, without intervention by a third party.

Suffered harm at the hairdresser’s?

Another scenario, in a completely different league to that described above, is experiencing physical harm during a visit to the hairdresser. Hairdressers use strong chemicals, hot styling equipment and sharp instruments, all of which have the power to cause serious damage from mishandling.

There are other potential hazards too, such as slippages from un-swept hair or un-mopped liquids, and neck damage from insufficient protection at the basin.

Although hairdressers have a professional responsibility of care towards their clients, there are occasions when neglect happens – be it a momentary lapse in concentration, improper procedure, misuse of products etc – and you’ve been injured as a result. It can take several years for damaged hair to return to normal length and condition, and, in rare cases, it’s irrecoverable. Aside from the pain factor, you suffer loss of confidence and stress too.

In these instances, hairdresser claims are the only option because extreme carelessness to this extent should never happen and you’re well within your rights to pursue the matter legally.

Types of claims


The first stage of the process is to ascertain if you have legitimate grounds to claim. To clarify, here are the main reasons to sue hair dresser:-

1. Chemical scalp injury

Whilst hairdressing claims fall under the same banner as all personal injury claims, it is a unique and specialised part of law. Therefore, to get the maximum amount of compensation possible, you need to use the right lawyers. All our lawyers are qualified, professional and well versed in hairdressing claims and between them have years of experience in making successful hairdressing accident compensation claims.

Where no testing’s been carried out, burns, blistering and other irritations such as dermatitis can occur on the scalp. Hair loss is another common outcome.

Also, some types of hair are simply not suitable for certain treatments. Eligibility can be ascertained by a straightforward visual and elasticity check without the need for pre-testing at all. For example, hair that’s been recently treated or is in bad condition.

2. Burned or damaged hair

Hair styling tools – that’s hairdryers, curling tongs and hot irons – emit high temperatures that cause grave harm if used incorrectly. Hair should have an extra barrier applied such as heat protection spray and appliances should not be used for too long on sections of hair. Burned or brittle hair will break easily and fall out.

Also, equipment should never come into direct contact with the skin otherwise burning and blistering will ensue.

3. Cuts and bleeding

Hairdressers should be 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 slight lapse in concentration or misjudgement can result in a cut to your neck, ear or face by scissors or other styling implements such as razors and shavers. A cut’s bad enough but if it subsequently becomes infected, you’re going to be in a lot of pain.

4. Slips and trips

An unnoticed spillage or un-swept pile of hair is a potential trip hazard. Although salons have a duty to provide a clean and safe environment, a busy business with back-to-back appointments can quickly become neglectful because there’s scant time for cleaning up between clients’ appointments. Fall injuries include bruises, sprains, ligament tears and broken bones.

5. Poorly fitted hair extensions

With the increasing popularity of extensions to achieve the appearance of longer or thicker hair, there’s a growing number of extension-related damage and hair loss. The latter, called traction alopecia, is a condition whereby follicles are permanently damaged from too much tension on the roots.

The way to prevent harm is to ensure extensions aren’t fitted too close together, the right bonds are used and extensions are rotated so the same group of hairs aren’t under pressure each time. Proper application and regular maintenance by a trained professional is essential.

6. Over processing

Over processed hair occurs when the same product’s applied more than once, or several different products are used simultaneously, either at one appointment or over a specific period of time. Over processing causes hair to become weak, dry, brittle and unmanageable.

7. 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 cases, strokes.

However, it’s important to state that every case is unique and you may display other symptoms than these.

The claims process

A step-by-step guide to the sue hair dresser process

Even if you’ve instructed a solicitor previously, pursuing a claim against your hairdresser is a daunting prospect and it’s hard to know exactly where to begin. That’s why we’ve devised these easy-to-follow instructions to help you start off on the right foot in order to progress your claim:-

1. Make a record of your appointment

Write down the date and time of your visit to the hairdresser. If possible, note the name of your stylist, and name and address of your salon. Whilst still at your hairdresser’s, find out and record details of the products used throughout your treatment. Other information could also prove useful such as length of time at the hairdresser’s and a roughly drafted transcript of your conversation when discussing what had gone wrong.

2. Gather supporting evidence

Next, take photos of your injury, and keep some strands of your damaged hair that may snap off or from your hairbrush in a clean plastic bag. It’s worth digging out some photos of your hair pre-damage to show the extent of harm done, maybe from a holiday or night out when your hair was in optimum shape.

It may be appropriate to visit your doctor and seek expert medical opinion. Again, document your doctor’s appointment (date, time, doctor’s name, and medical practice name and address) with a summary of your diagnosis. This isn’t a prerequisite to legal proceedings though. At Hairdressing Claims, we have a select group of medical partners, both doctors and trichologists, to support our clients.

3. Seek legal advice

Contact Hairdressing Claims who are specialist personal injury lawyers with particular expertise in hairdressing claims for advice. Our legal team happily undertakes free initial assessments at which point we’ll tell you if you have a strong case.

Once you instruct us to represent you, we’ll provide a case plan and guide you through each subsequent stage of proceedings. We’ll draw upon our years of experience in this field and involve our close-working partners comprising doctors, trichologists and barristers in order to increase your chances of success and amount of compensation.

Doctors and trichologists will assist with identifying cause and expected recovery from damage, thereby showing why your hairdresser is at fault. Your sample hair and photos are invaluable here.

4. Settle your case in or out of court

Our aim is always to avoid taking the case to court, because this is preferable for everyone, especially you. If an acceptable out-of-court settlement isn’t forthcoming, however, we’ll proceed to court and give your case the final push needed to achieve the compensation you’re worthy of receiving.

The outcome is largely dependent upon whether your hairdresser is insured. With an insurer, settlement is much quicker than without an insurer, as it’s the insurance company who tends to pay the compensation monies.

As an unregulated industry, it’s not unusual to discover that your hairdresser lacks proper qualifications and insurance isn’t in place but you can rest assured that, in these instances, we’ll pursue compensation directly from the hairdresser or salon concerned instead. That’s why one of our earliest tasks is to write a letter of claim and see whether an insurer responds.

Even in complex cases where court is necessary, the vast majority still tend to settle before trial commences.

5. Don't undergo further hair treatment

As tempting as it might be to correct your hairdresser’s errors, and however persuasive your stylist may be in convincing you to have additional treatment, don’t allow anyone to apply more products until you’ve been given the medical green light. Otherwise, the damage may be even worse than it is now.

Another consideration is presenting the evidence. As upsetting as it is to keep your hair looking in such a bad way, by embarking upon further treatment you’re effectively covering your hairdresser’s tracks and reducing your chances of a successful claim. So wait until your hair’s been assessed from a medical and legal perspective, and photographed before you arrange any correctional treatment.

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 cases, strokes.

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