Hair styling salons are increasingly finding themselves faced with compensation claims from customers who have been injured during treatments. As an unregulated industry, a British hair stylist requires no formal training or experience, unlike their counterparts in Europe. With tens of thousands of hair stylists at work across the UK, handling strong chemicals, performing complex procedures, and serving millions of clients, it is no surprise that this situation has caused so much controversy in the media recently. The British Hairdressing Council has admitted that the consumer is placed in ‘a far from ideal position’ currently, and comments that the choice of a stylist ‘truly can be a lottery’. Poorly performed hair styling procedures can cause severe and even permanent damage to the hair and scalp. Allergic reactions to chemicals contained in products are also a major cause for concern.
Recent surveys have found that only a small minority of UK hair styling salons offer skin patch and hair strand tests to clients. A skin patch test is intended to identify allergies to chemicals found in hair care products. This is especially important in the case of hair colourants, which studies have shown to cause more allergic reactions than anything apart from perfumes and preservatives. A hair strand test should also detect allergies and furthermore analyse how individual hair types will react to chemical solutions, especially bleach and colourants. An inaccurate strand test may result in damage to hair which causes it to fall out, or otherwise resulting in an unintended colour effect. Failure to perform skin patch and hair strand tests at salons generate more damage to hair and resulting compensation claims than any other factor.
Even if a hair styling salon conducts the necessary tests on new clients, injuries such as chemical burns and hair loss may be sustained if stylists mix solutions inaccurately, either to the wrong concentration or temperature. It may also be the case that a stylist leaves a solution in a client’s hair for too long. This is often the case if a hair perm solution is not removed at the right moment, resulting in excessive drying out and brittleness. Hair may then begin to fall out in the hours or days following the treatment. Procedures such as permanent hair straightening and the addition of hair extensions may also be dangerous if conducted by a negligent stylist. Both involve the application of strong chemicals, and may cause burns, blistering, scarring and hair loss if solutions and glues are mixed to the wrong ratios. Heavy, low quality, or poorly applied hair extensions may also cause a problem as they exert constant strain on the original hair and may pull it out at the roots over time.
Despite the continuing lack of regulation of the UK hair styling industry, customers still have the right to expect that they will be treated with ‘reasonable care and skill’ at hair salons. Apart from this consumer basic right, hair stylists are also subject to the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) which governs the storage and use or chemicals, as well as the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) which ensures regular safety testing of equipment used at hair salons. Compensation claims against hair stylists are usually settled before they reach court, and it is therefore essential that an injured person receives advice from a lawyer who is an expert regarding procedures in the industry. Claims will normally be handled on a no win no fee basis, so there will be nothing to pay win or lose.
Bartletts Solicitors have lawyers that claim compensation from hair stylists that have caused pain, injury, and disappointment. We will claim compensation for hair styling accidents on a no win no fee basis meaning that if you win your claim you will keep 100% of damages awarded. Visit lawyers suing hairdressers Or suing a hair stylist for more details.