Can I claim against a hairdresser?
The law governing claims against hairdressers is very simple – Your hairdresser has a legal duty to take care for your safety.
If you are reading this page, you have probably learned to your cost that the chemicals used by hairdressers for colouring, bleaching and perming or straightening your hair can be very dangerous, especially if not used properly.
So if you have suffered injury to your scalp or damage to your hair as a result of your hairdresser’s negligence we may be able to help you claim compensation for the damage.
How do I claim against a hairdresser?
If you get in touch we will be able to tell within a few minutes whether or not you have reasonable prospects for making a claim against the hairdresser.
We will write a detailed letter to the hairdresser or salon providing them with your account of what happened and why you think they are at fault.
All parties then have to abide by the terms of the Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims, which encourages both sides to settle the case without court proceedings if possible.
We will obtain evidence from a trichologist (a hair expert) to tell us whether he can prove that the damage has been caused by your hairdresser and tell us how long it will take for your hair to return to normal.
The government has recently introduced an online system to handle lots of injury claims, but that system is often unsuitable for hair damage cases. We will be able to advise whether it’s suitable for your case when you get in touch.
In cases, where the hairdresser refuses to negotiate sensibly, we are very experienced in the conduct of court proceedings.
But, even in difficult hair damage claims, where court proceedings are necessary, the vast majority of our cases are settled before we ever get to a trial.
What steps should I take right now?
Do take some pictures of the damage to your hair and scalp as soon as possible.
Do save a sample of your damaged hair before any more treatment is done. The best thing is to seal a few full length strands into a plastic bag, so that we can have it analysed by an expert trichologist if necessary.
Do save some pictures of your hair from before the damage was done – (the best pictures from a recent holiday or recent night out are often a good place to start).
Do make a note of the name of the stylist and the name and address of the salon where you had your treatment.
Do try and find out the details of the products that were used.
Don’t have any more cutting or styling of your hair, and don’t allow anyone to apply any other products until you have had some initial advice.
Do give us a call for some free initial advice!
We can usually tell you in one short phone call whether you have grounds for bringing a claim against a hairdresser. And if it is worth going ahead, we will be able to tell you exactly what’s involved.
How much compensation could I get?
As you might expect, the amount of compensation in claims against hairdressers depends on the extent of the damage.
The biggest consideration is the amount of time it will take for damaged hair to return to its pre-damage length and condition, and in lots of our cases that can take years.
In our recent hair damage cases the level of settlement has ranged between £2,500 and £9,000.
How much will it cost?
If you ask us to deal with your claim against the hairdresser we will discuss the fee arrangements clearly and carefully before asking you to sign our terms and conditions.
Although other fee arrangements are available, “no win no fee” is usually the best option for our clients.
There are no “upfront” fees, no hidden charges, and we will never leave you out of pocket.
Most importantly, if you lose the case you pay nothing at all.
We have never had a complaint from a client in relation to fees.
How long will it take?
Most claims against hairdressers are concluded within 12-18 months of the initial call.
This is because hair damages cases are often defended by the insurers for the hairdresser, and it is often necessary to gather expert trichology evidence about the damage and then bring court proceedings for our clients.
We won’t get our fees until the case is finished, so we will get on with things as quickly as we can!
Will the hairdresser be insured?
Hairdressing businesses range in size from multi-national salon franchises right down to mobile stylists who operate out of the boot of their car.
So unfortunately, lack of insurance is sometimes a problem in hair damage cases, and the only way to find out whether a negligent hairdresser is covered by insurance is to write a letter of claim and see whether an insurer responds.
Regulation – Lack of regulation is also a recognised problem in the hairdressing industry.
Even though hairdressers regularly use extremely dangerous chemicals on their clients’ hair, there is no compulsory regulation in the industry, and nothing to stop any unqualified operator from simply setting up shop as a hairdresser.
The Hair Council tell us that only a tiny fraction of the hairdressers operating in the UK are registered with them and we are very active supporters of their #GetRegistered campaign to encourage registration, training and insurance of all hairdressers.
The Hair Council actually encourage the public to seek legal advice in cases where they suffer damage at the hands of an unregistered hairdresser, and they recognise us as the specialist lawyers in this field.
Over-processing is a very common source of claims against hairdressers.
Over-processing can occur when:
-Too many products are applied to hair
-The strength of the product is too strong for the hair type
-The product is left on your hair for too long
Over-processing can happen at just one appointment or over a period of time.
Over-processing can involve the same product applied more than once, or a combination of different products such as bleaches, dyes, perms and straightening agents.
Over-processing can cause the hair to weaken and snap off and also cause the hair to become very dry, brittle and unmanageable.
Over-lapping bleach or dye
Over-lapping is another very common source of claims against hairdressers.
Over-lapping usually occurs when roots are being touched up.
An experienced hairdresser will make sure they only apply the new colour to your virgin hair (the un-dyed hair that has grown since your last colour), but this can be difficult and if proper care isn’t taken then the bleach or dye can end up being applied to hair that has already been dyed.
Over-lapping can cause your hair to weaken and snap off and also cause your hair to become very dry, brittle and unmanageable.
Claims against hairdressers relating to badly fitted extensions are becoming increasingly common.
We see a lot of these cases, particularly against mobile hairdressers who advertise discount coupons on social media, and who are quite often inexperienced and unqualified.
An extensions claim against a hairdresser can arise when:-
the wrong bonds are used and/or
too many bonds are used and/or
the extensions are fitted too close together.
These problems often causes headaches and a painful scalp, but frequently also results in your hair being damaged when the extensions slip out.
Extensions claims also arise when your hairdresser doesn’t give proper advice about after-care advice.
Good after-care is crucial with extensions, and if it isn’t provided your extensions often end up matted and unmanageable resulting in a painful process to remove them or in some more extreme cases being cut out.
The result is often that your own hair is damaged when the extensions are removed.
In claims against hairdressers relating to extensions we always advise that photographs are taken before, during and after the removal of the extensions.
Perms & Straightening
Claims against hairdressers relating to perms and straightening often involve some of the most serious injury and damage.
There are lots of different perming treatments, but they all rely on very strong chemicals, so tests should always be carried out before a perm is applied.
Where tests aren’t carried out or the wrong perming solution is used it can easily cause damage to your hair, and burns, blistering or inflammation of your scalp..
Perms are specifically not recommended for use on certain hair types and certain hair colours.
The process for chemically straightening hair is complex and proper tests should be performed before the procedure is undertaken.
Failure to carry out the proper tests can cause your hair to weaken and snap off.
Often the skin is also irritated by straightening products, causing a painful scalp.
The procedure should not be repeated at short intervals because this can easily cause further damage to hair which has already had chemicals applied.
Skin tests, strand tests and allergic reactions
The only way for salons to check whether you are going to have a reaction to a product is to carry out proper tests in advance.
Depending on the treatment you are having, your hairdresser may need to perform a skin test (usually 48 hours or so before the treatment) to make sure that you won’t have an allergic reaction.
In other cases, the hairdresser may need to test some strands of your hair to make sure that the treatment won’t do any damage.
If your salon fails to carry out the correct tests and you suffer an allergic reaction and/or damage to your hair we may be able to help you claim against the hairdresser for the injury and/or damage.
Why choose Mulderrigs?
We have been representing clients in claims against hairdressers for many years, and have dealt with over 100 successful cases in the last three years alone.
We work closely with barristers, trichologists and other experts throughout the country, who have specialist knowledge of hair damage claims.
We promise to speak to you in plain English.
We have held the Law Society’s LEXCEL quality mark since 2002, and our client feedback in hair damage claims is amazing – In our most recent survey 97% of our clients described our service as good or excellent.