Hair extensions have mushroomed in popularity in recent years, partly due to the number of celebrity role models wearing them, and the fact that they can be used to achieve a wide range of cosmetic effects. Extensions can be made of human or synthetic hair, and are bonded to natural strands using an adhesive agent, that is then heated to seal them in place. Hair extensions can sometimes cause extensive damage to the hair and scalp, as well as traction alopecia and baldness. As with all hair styling treatments, much rests on the quality of the salon, and the competence of the stylist carrying out the procedure.
Lack of regulation of the hairdressing industry in the UK means that too often, unqualified and unskilled technicians are applying extensions to clients’ hair at salons. Where a treatment is botched, or the necessary pre-treatment tests are not carried out, a stylist’s errors can cause hair loss, patches of baldness, scalp irritation, skin damage and scarring. Costly correction treatments may be required, as well as growth tablets and special shampoos. A person may also be unable to use hair styling products. Injuries of this kind can have a detrimental effect on their physical appearance, causing distress and embarrassment for an extended period of time.
Hair extensions may be misapplied by a stylist, or else the extensions themselves, or the glue used to attach them, may be of substandard quality. The adhesive agent used to seal the extensions to the natural hair can cause breakage if it is incorrectly applied or if too much is used. Otherwise a person may experience an adverse reaction to chemicals contained in the glue. This can result in skin burns on the scalp, and potentially permanent damage to hair follicles (roots). A skin patch test carried out some days prior to a hair extensions appointment should pinpoint any pre-existing allergies which make the treatment inadvisable.
Various celebrities have suffered hair loss and developed patches of baldness due to their long term use of hair extensions, including Naomi Campbell and Britney Spears. Where heavy extensions tug natural hair strands, they can damage hair follicles and inhibit regrowth, a condition known as traction alopecia. If a hair stylist has failed to identify this disorder, and carried on using the same hair extensions, demonstrating disregard for the state of a client’s hair, if will often be possible to sue them and claim personal injury compensation.
If you have been injured by a hair extensions treatment, or by the prolonged use of extensions on the advice of your stylist, contact our specialist female solicitors today for free, confidential and sympathetic advice. Our experience and expertise in this area of law means we will be able to win the best possible compensation settlement for you.