Many of us enter into the hair salon anticipating a perfectly enjoyable experience. Whether we visit regularly or sporadically, most appointments represent nothing more than an opportunity to relax over a cup of tea and a magazine, and see to our hair’s cut, colour and condition.
Unfortunately, in some instances, a trip to the hairdresser can have a number of negative – and potentially devastating – consequences. Whether this is caused by the use of chemicals from which the client suffers a severe allergic reaction, or by a significant lack of expertise from the hairdresser, a long list of things can go badly wrong during even the most routine trip to the salon.
For many people, their first thought is not to file a hair injury claim. Rather, they deal with the consequences on their own – perhaps chastise themselves to going to an unfamiliar salon, or tell themselves that fixating on hair is a personal fault, rather than a natural human emotion.
Still, the term ‘stylist error’ refers to a wide range of serious faults – and one that can have a significant impact on people’s lives. Read more below.
Physical Injury and Hair Damage
Salons utilise a wide range of potentially harmful chemicals and pieces of equipment which can cause allergic reactions, chemical or thermal burns, or lasting damage to the hair – or, of course, hair loss.
For the most part, salon owners and their employees are taught how to handle, store and use these chemicals and tools safely. Sometimes, however, significant mistakes happen, or clients get overlooked or neglected long enough to sustain lasting damage.
The severity of this damage varies significantly. For some, burns or sores will fade within the weeks or months that follow the incident; for others, permanent scarring or damage will continue to make life difficult. In worst cases, a seemingly benign issue such as an untested allergy to a particular product can result in death.
In 2012, for instance, Atasha Graham suffered a devastating allergic reaction to the glue used to her bond hair extensions to her existing hair – and, unfortunately, her case is not unique. While rare, cases such as this one should stand as a warning of the dangers lurking within the beauty industry, and why it is so important to bring our own personal injury cases to light.
Patients can sustain a direct or indirect injection due to negligence on the part of the stylist. If the salon’s hygiene practices are not up to code, the risk of infection from contaminated scissors, razors, brushes or other pieces of equipment can be incredibly high. From fungal infections like ringworm to bacterial transmissions, it is the responsibility of the salon to ensure a safe and healthy environment for its patrons.
Even if the salon’s hygiene practices meet a good standard, however, secondary infections can easily rise following a significant injury. Burns from high-heat tools or blisters and sores caused by allergic reactions can all grow far more serious as a result of an infection during the healing process – and possibly cause permanent health issues and scarring.
So far, we have only really touched upon the tangible issues caused by hairdresser negligence. While serious, this only represents half the story – the other concerns a broad spectrum of emotional complications that can arise following a disastrous visit to the salon.
Many of us set a great deal of store by our hair. For men and women across the country, it represents a significant source of our self-esteem, and any damage (whether lasting or temporary) can take a severe toll on our lives, and our mental health.
Our feelings toward our personal appearance can have a direct bearing on many mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, and the extent to which this impacts our professional and personal lives can be extreme.
It is for this reason that hair injuries are taken so seriously by personal injury solicitors, and why anyone who has suffered a negative experience due to hairdresser negligence should get in touch with an experienced firm as soon as possible.