Compensation claims against hairdressers are normally based on the latter's failure to meet the service standards that would reasonably be expected of their fellow professionals. This often involves a salon's failure to properly assess a client's suitability for a particular treatment resulting in an adverse reaction to chemicals contained in products. Otherwise injuries may be caused by a lapse of concentration or a lack of skill on the part of a stylist. Customers have a right to expect a basic level of competency from hairdressers. The situation in the UK is not helped by an absence of mandatory service standards and regulatory inspections. Far too many of the estimated 35,000 hairdressing salons in the UK employ staff who are fundamentally not qualified to perform the treatments they offer. This is despite the fact that such treatments are increasingly lengthy and complicated, while simultaneously utilizing toxic, potentially dangerous chemicals.
Typical injuries at hairdressing salons which lead to compensation claims from clients include allergic reactions, chemical burns, hair loss and lacerations. In the worst case scenario a severe allergic reaction may lead to potentially fatal anaphylactic shock. More commonly it will cause pain, swelling, blistering, rashes and itchiness. A skin patch test is intended to alleviate this risk by testing a small amount of a product on a client's skin 24-48 hours before a treatment. Too often salons fail to meet this basic requirement. Typical errors on the part of individual stylists involve a failure to mix treatment solutions in the correct proportions, or applying these solutions to the hair for too long. This can cause permanent damage to a client's skin and to hair follicles. In either case the result may be baldness, pain and emotional suffering due to the consequences an injury of this nature will have on a person's day to day life.
Further problems may be caused by unhygienic awards or unsterilized equipment such as razors and scissors. Infections and diseases are easily spread in this manner. Contact Dermatitis especially may be transferred from salon workers to clients if protective equipment such as latex gloves are not worn during treatments. Simple, avoidable human errors include burns from spilled solutions and hot styling implements, as well as cuts and potential scarring resulting from slips with scissors. Injuries may also be caused by electrical appliances such as straighteners which are either defective or unsuitable in individual circumstances. Specific laws apply to the maintenance and testing of such equipment.
Compensation claims against a hairdresser will take into account both the physical extinction of an injury, and its ongoing emotional, medical and financial repercussions. An injured person may require expensive corrective procedures for example, or may be forced to cancel holidays and take time off work. While some may be adverse to the idea of suing a salon or stylist who they visit regularly, it should be noted that cases very rarely require attendance at court. All businesses must hold public liability insurance which covers them in the event of injuries to customers on their concessions. Compensation claims are there previously usually settled via negotiation between an injured person's solicitors and a hairdressing salon's insurance company.