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Hair Dye Gone Wrong


Nowadays, it is often difficult to recognise people by the sudden and often dramatic changes in their hair colour.  Dying hair has become an essential part of a ‘beauty routine’ for most women and increasingly more men.  In light of this, it seems unsuprising that incidents like your hair turning green by accident as well as allergic reactions to hair dye have become almost as common as receiving a bad hair cut at your hairdressers.

Reading horror stories from hairdressers about their mixing the wrong colour are not hard to find.  It is scarily easy for the assistant to mishear the name of the colour or to pick up the wrong solution. You may think ‘how could you ever mix up dark brunette and bleach blonde?’ but the solutions all look similar before applied and the hairdresser relies purely on their concentration and care. This is consideration that a paying customer visiting a professional salon would expect. But it is not always there.

An internet reviewer of a hair salon recently wrote that ‘A lot of hairdressers used to get excited that my hair can be dyed white so easily and ignore my instructions about the colour I wanted.’ A hairdresser should be concerned more with the brief given by the customer than any surprise or abnormality about the customer’s hair, but this is not always the case.  It seems commonplace that human error or a lack of hairdresser care is affecting the condition and state of many people’s hair.

One of the main problems that people who have their hair dyed today face is the speed at which they wish to change their hair colour dramatically. Changing your hair from black to blonde in a small space of time is difficult and can result in an ‘orange’ tone or hair that whatever the colour applied to it changes to a reddish shade. Hairdressers should provide knowledgeable advice on changing colour, and your colouring should not result in something you were not expecting. Like bad haircuts, perms and chemical straightening, a bad colouring should not be acceptable or common.  As hairdressing is currently an unregulated profession in the UK, hairdressers often get away with their mistakes. This should not mean you settle for badly dyed hair. If you feel your hairdresser has ignored your instructions visit our Haidressing Accidents – What Should I Do? page or complete an online claim form with Macks Solicitors.

Allergic reactions to hair dye are a much more pressing problem.  The chemical Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) is present in more than two thirds of hair dyes available in the UK while it is banned in France, Germany and Sweden. PPD is very commonly known to provoke allergic reactions in many people.  It is most commonly found in permanent hair dyes, particular the darker and more natural looking colours. The presence of PPD in hair dyes despite the dangers can be accounted for as there does not seem to be a direct replacement. However, once a sensitivity to PPD exists a range of other chemicals found in hair dyes will also trigger allergic reactions. Allergic reations to PPD in mild cases can consist of dermatitis to the scalp, patches of the face, upper eyelids or around the ears and in severe cases urticaria or a hypersensitive allergic reaction involving breathing difficulties and decreased blood pressire which can sometimes prove fatal. For more detail on head and scalp problems associated with allergies to hair dye, visit our pages under the heading of Hair and Scalp Problems.

Due to the danger of PPD to many consumers, it is imperative that a 48 hour patch test is conducted before application of the dye over the head of hair. A test can determine your own skin’s sensitivity and the likelihood of your having an allergic reaction. As an individual using a shop bought hair dye, it is very important not to neglect the test.  You should also remember that the instructions of the dye most likely stress the high importance of this and so failure to do so will result in any reaction being your own responsibility.  When you visit a hair salon, however, it is your hairdresser’s responsibility to ensure you are tested before application of the product.

If having your hair dyed at a hairstylists, it would be recommended to make sure your stylist remembers to book you in for a patch test two days before your main appointment.  This practice is often neglected as it ‘wastes’ time and money, and very often hairdressers do not deal with the consequences. It is quite likely if you are reading an advice website such as ‘Hair Gone Wrong‘ that you have already been subjected to an allergic reaction to hair dye.  If this is the case, you could be entitled to compensation for hairdressing negligence. Macks Solicitors are committed to helping you deal with the problems you are faced with after being subjected to hairdressing negligence and getting you the compensation you deserve.  We pride ourselves in our excellent customer service as our solicitors are experts as well as friendly and approachable. Visit our What Should I Do? page for details on how to approach submitting a claim by contacting Macks Solicitors by free phone 0800 980 9389 or 01642 252828, on our website or completing an online claim form.