There are a wide variety of hair straightening and relaxer products used at salons, often designed for specific treatments, for example, Japanese / Yuko hair straightening, and Brazilian blow dry straightening. Every hair relaxer product contains different chemical ingredients, many of which can damage the hair and burn skin on the scalp if they are applied incorrectly, or if the treatment is unsuitable for a person’s hair or skin type in the first place. Other treatments utilise heated flat straightening irons, which can also cause burn injuries if the stylist handling them commits an error.
A high standard of safety should be expected as chemicals such as sodium hydroxide are used. Corrosive chemicals are contained in many stronger hair relaxers, and is the reason why hair stylists apply protective petroleum-based cream to the scalp prior to a hair straightening treatment, to protect sensitive skin from damage. If they fail to apply the base cream properly, or if the straightening solution is left in the hair too long, the hair may become excessively dried out and prone to breakage (known as over-processed hair), otherwise skin on the scalp may be burnt, potentially causing red, dry and itchy skin, as well as blistering, hair loss and scarring.
It should have been. To minimise the risk of such injuries, a hair strand test should be performed on new customers 48 hours prior to a hair straightening procedure, to determine the strength, structure and elasticity of an individual’s hair, and the level of chemical treatment that it can withstand. The main ingredient in Brazilian straightening solutions is formaldehyde, a possible trigger of allergic reactions, and where this chemical is to be used, a medical consultation and skin patch test may be necessary. The professional judgment of the hair stylist is therefore of critical importance in preventing injuries and adverse reactions of whatever type.
It depends on how and who carried out the treatment. Both heated flat straightening irons, and hair relaxers containing toxic chemicals, can be highly dangerous in the hands of a poorly trained or inexperienced hair stylist. Salon customers have a legal right to expect that their straightening treatment will be carried out in a reasonably competent fashion, and where this is not the case, and their hair and / or skin is damaged as a result, they will have strong grounds for making a compensation claim against the salon or stylist in question. Our solicitors specialise in claims against negligent hairdressers. Contact our team of female lawyers today for free, confidential advice.