Getting scalped at the hairdressers is not simply a matter of a high price charged. As many women have found to their horror, often the true cost of negligence and carelessness leads to seeking injury claims for hair treatments, which cause physical harm and personal distress.
Not infrequently, injury compensation has been sought for problems arising from common hairdressing applications, including colouring, bleaching, straightening, stripping and perming. The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has reported that between May 2009 and May 2010, over 350 cases of ‘bad practice’ had caused injuries such as burns, blindness and baldness.
While hair accidents happen more frequently and can be more serious than might be imagined, failure to carry out tests on hair strands before proceeding with a colouring treatment, for example, is not the only way that many salons are failing to protect their customers. According to recent research, injury to the scalp or skin is just as common due to negligence from also not conducting a skin test.
Contact with many of the chemicals present in hairdressing products can also cause dermatitis. Research has also identified stylists, colourists and others who work every day in the hairdressing industry, as being one of the occupational groups with the highest risk of developing work-related contact dermatitis. Daily exposure to potentially harmful dyes, bleaches and chemicals has found that up to 70 per cent of hairdressers are likely to suffer from some form of skin damage during their working lives.
It’s highly probable that most salon customers will be unaware that hairdressing in the UK is largely an unregulated industry. While there is a Hairdressing Council, the organisation operates as a voluntary registration scheme, and only 8 per cent of around the 130,000 hairdressers in the UK have chosen to be actually registered.
The Hairdressing Council, have also said that the current deregulated state of the profession poses an ongoing risk to customer health and safety.
In August 2011, former hairdresser, David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, stated that he would like to see a compulsory system of state registration for hairdressers. He hoped that by proposing an amendment to the 1964 Hairdresser (Registration) Act, and by introducing formal training and compulsory standards of practice, it is hoped that there would be fewer injuries from the use of harmful bleaches and other chemicals in hair treatments.