What Classifies as Hair Damage, and How can You Claim Compensation? Your Questions Answered

We’ve all experienced, at one time or another, having gone to the hairdresser and being disappointed with the result; perhaps we gave the wrong instructions or the hairdresser misinterpreted our wishes. It’s just an annoying part of life. However, statistics show that more cases arise whereby it’s not just a simple (and relatively harmless) matter of getting the wrong haircut, but actually being a victim of serious hair damage – and worse.

The beauty industry has changed a lot in the past decades, and hairdressers are using more and more hazardous chemicals and dangerous tools to perform their tasks. These tools and substances could cause serious damage and injury when handled improperly. What classifies as hair damage, and how can you claim compensation? Here are your questions answered.

What is hair damage?

Many procedures are damaging to the hair (straightening, colouring – and so on – have all been proven to cause damage). However, when we speak of hair damage, it’s serious damage to the hair or the scalp that involves any of the following examples:

  • Loss of hair
  • Brittle hair that easily breaks or gets combed off
  • Scalp irritations
  • Burns on the scalp
  • Scarring
  • Scalp dermatitis

The main causes

If any of the above symptoms occur, it is usually because the hairdresser or beautician has either used the wrong chemicals or has used the wrong – or faulty – tools (or the correct tools in the wrong settings). Examples of these are:

  • Poor preparation or the wrong application of products
  • Damage caused by heated tools such as hot irons or tongs
  • Burns caused by chemicals, for which you could seek burn claims
  • Allergic reaction to chemicals (you are supposed to receive a patch test first)
  • Poorly fitted extensions
  • Poor or wrong assessment of hair condition prior to procedure.

What should you do?

If you notice something went wrong, take immediate action.

  • Take pictures
  • Keep notes of appointments
  • Describe the procedure in writing
  • Gather the contact information of potential witnesses
  • Keep evidence (damaged hair, medical receipts, etc)
  • Take the name and details of stylists, as well as products and procedures used or employed.

If you have sustained hair damage through no fault of your own and it seems clear that the hairdresser or beautician is legally at fault, it’s important you seek compensation and make a hair damage claim – not only because you yourself have the right to compensation for being wronged, but also because the hairdresser or beautician needs to be held accountable, and such incidents should be prevented in the future. If you have sustained hair damage or other beauty treatment injuries, consult a legal professional as soon as possible to move forward with your hair damage or beauty injury claims.

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