New Hair Style? Be Sure That's All You Get

To most of us our hair is a very important part of our appearance, and so if we have the desire for something a bit different, taking that big step of asking our stylist to ‘give us a new look’ can be a worrying.  More often than not, we are going to seek our hairdresser’s advice and rely on what they have to say, with regards to what will or won't work for us.

Hairdressing nightmares is another topic that from time to time raises its ‘head’!  BBC1’s The One Show touched on the subject this week, and included some fairly horrific photographs of women who had sustained injuries such as swollen eyes and burnt skin as a result of careless or negligent hairdressing. 

It may be surprising to learn that anyone can call themselves a hairdresser, and will be allowed to handle chemicals, dyes and treatments, not to mention electrical equipment such as straighteners, clippers and hair dryers without any formal training or qualification.

With a team of Personal Injury experts at hand, I decided to ask them whether they had experienced any such injuries. 

Karen Clarke told me she has seen various instances of incorrectly applied chemicals and treatments, and in one particular case a lady had asked for a perm only to have the perm carried out incorrectly, resulting in her losing her hair in places and thereby leaving bald patches on her scalp.

Karen went on to say “In the cases of a perm, chemicals are being used and so it is important the hairdresser carries out a test, using the chemicals on a strand of the hair, to see whether or not the hair is suitable.  In addition the hairdresser has to ensure the chemicals are mixed and applied correctly, and are only left on the hair for the appropriate length of time.  For example, in the case referred to above, the perm solution had not been mixed correctly which meant it was too strong.  It was then applied and left on for just over the correct length of time it should have been.  This caused the hair to break off and resulted in the bald patches.  If perm solutions are left on too long burns to the scalp can occur, which are often extremely painful.”

There can be a similar reaction from the application of hair dyes and permanent colours.  Karen said “my hairdresser insists I carry out a skin test at home, at least 2 days before colour is applied to my hair.  This is to ensure that I am not going to have any sort of reaction to the colour.  I would strongly suggest this is a step all hairdressers carry out if they want to avoid any allegations raised against them, in respect of whether or not they performed the appropriate tests.