The excessive application of bleach can cause hair loss and baldness if the bleach is left in the hair for too long, or if the solution has been mixed too powerfully and damages hair follicles and / or the scalp. Bleach is a toxic chemical solution that can ruin the hair if the mixture is too strong, or if a person suffers an adverse reaction to ingredients it contains. For this reason it is essential that hair salons and stylists carry out hair strand and skin patch tests on new customers, to check a person’s hair type and skin sensitivity, as well as identifying any pre-existing allergies.
Dip dye hair styling has been a popular fashion trend and in-demand treatment for a while now. For people with darker shades of hair, a brush or comb is used to apply bleach during two-tone dip dye treatments to lighten the ends, and while the procedure is generally considered safe, the same skill and care is required of stylists when mixing up products in dip dye and pre-lightening kits, and paying attention to how long they are left in the hair.
One issue with dip dye treatments is that because bleach is only applied to the hair ends, and does not touch the skin, no patch test is strictly necessary. However, the smallest error on the part of a stylist can mean that bleach comes into contact with the skin with unpredictable consequences. Furthermore, bleach is often used prior to a hair dye product containing para-phenylenediamine (PPD) being applied to the main body of hair, and in such cases a skin patch test will always be necessary 24-48 hours prior to the procedure being carried out. In short therefore, a skin patch test will normally be advisable before a dip dye treatment.
A chemical reaction takes place between the key ingredients, hydrogen peroxide and ammonium hydroxide, when bleach is applied to the hair, removing the two types of melanin or pigments (that give the hair its natural colour) from the core of each strand and turning it pale yellow. In the process the bleach dries out the hair, and this can lead to it becoming brittle and frizzy (commonly referred to as fried hair). The hair may then begin to break off close to the scalp if excessive bleach has been applied, leading to partial or complete baldness that may last for many months.
Toxic chemical ingredients in bleach can cause scalp burns if the solution comes into contact with the skin, and hairdressers are expected to prevent this from happening. An allergic reaction may also result in skin damage, including rashes, blistering and the swelling of facial features. This will usually be accompanied by temporary hair loss, though in extreme cases the hair will never regrow. A person’s appearance may therefore be fundamentally disfigured by a botched hair bleaching treatment, and this can have adverse knock-on effects on almost every aspect of their life.
Often clients can as bleaching is such a delicate hair treatment, with considerable scope for things to go wrong, salons must make sure that stylists are properly trained and experienced in how to carry out the treatment safely. The law expects that salons and stylists will display a reasonable level of competence when performing their services, and where they fall below this accepted standard, and a client is injured as a result, the latter will have strong grounds for making a compensation claim against the salon’s owners. Claims have the benefit of driving up industry standards, reducing the risk of customers suffering similar injuries in the future.
Our female solicitors have many years of combined experience in claiming compensation from negligent hairdressers. If you have been injured by a hair bleaching treatment at a salon, contact our specialist team today for free, confidential legal advice.