Bleach is used by hairdressers to lighten the tone of your hair. Many people ask hairdressers for highlights or a scalp bleach to achieve white, blonde or silver hair. While this is usually a straightforward procedure, it can lead to the scalp being burnt if not carried out correctly. In the past, our solicitors have been asked, “My hairdresser burnt my scalp with bleach, can I claim compensation?”. Therefore, we’ve written this guide to look at when compensation might be awarded for a burnt scalp and how much might be paid.
To help you understand your options, our advisors offer a no-obligation consultation for hairdresser compensation claims. They’ll look at whether you have a valid claim and provide free legal advice. If your claim is strong enough, and one of our personal injury solicitors agrees to represent you, there won’t be any legal fees to pay upfront as you’ll be represented on a No Win No Fee basis.
Please read on to find out more about claiming compensation for a burnt scalp, or call us on 0800 6524 881 if you’d like us to review your claim right away.
Table of contents
- When Do Hairdressers Use Bleach On The Scalp?
- Types Of Burns Caused By Bleach
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation If A Hairdresser Burnt My Scalp With Bleach?
- Hairdresser Negligence Leading To Compensation For A Burnt Scalp
- What About Waivers?
- How Much Compensation For A Burnt Scalp From Bleaching Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support A Compensation Claim For A Burned Scalp
- Time Limits For Claiming Burnt Scalp Compensation
- Starting The Burnt Scalp From Bleach Compensation Claims Process
Bleach is used by hairdressers to lighten the colour of your hair. Bleach is used because it reacts with the melanin in your hair and causes an irreversible reaction that removes the hair’s natural colour. After the melanin has been oxidised, it is still present in the hair but is colourless.
There are two main procedures where bleach is used by hairdressers. These are when applying highlights or providing a scalp bleach.
During a scalp bleach, the bleach is applied directly to the scalp and the hair and left to do its work. This procedure can take up to two hours and should result in the hair being one continuous tone. Highlights take longer and foil or mesh is used so that bleach is only applied to the hair but not the scalp. Highlights result in various tones throughout the hair.
According to the NHS, there are four major types of burns:
- Superficial epidermal burns. Where the out layer of skin (the epidermis) is damaged. Causing the skin to be red, painful and slightly swollen.
- Superficial dermal burns. Here the epidermis and some of the dermis have suffered damage. Small blisters may be present as well as painful pale pink skin.
- Partial thickness burns. This can be very painful and lead to red and blotchy skin with swelling or blisters.
- Full thickness burn. All three layers of skin have suffered damage. The epidermis may be burnt away leading to the dermis and subcutis becoming black or pale.
The most common symptoms associated with a burnt scalp include:
- Feeling hot or warm to the touch.
- Pain and tenderness.
- Blistering on the scalp.
More severe burnt scalp symptoms can include:
If you believe your scalp has been burnt by bleach you should seek medical advice from your GP or NHS 111 before seeking legal advice about whether you could be entitled to compensation.
As with any type of personal injury claim, our solicitors will try to avoid wasting your time by only accepting claims where there is a fair chance you’ll receive a compensation payout. The criteria they’ll usually assess before agreeing to take on a burnt scalp claim include:
- Did your hairdresser owe you a duty of care; and
- Was that duty of care breached by an act of negligence; and
- Was your scalp burnt by bleach as a result?
In most cases, if you are a customer or model for the hairdresser, they’ll owe you a legal duty of care so you shouldn’t worry about proving that too much. However, you will need evidence to show what the hairdresser did wrong and how you’ve been affected by your burnt scalp. Therefore, we’ll look at the types of evidence that could be helpful later on.
In the previous section, we explained that it’s only possible to claim compensation if a hairdresser burnt your scalp with bleach because they were negligent. The types of negligence by a hairdresser that could entitle you to compensation include:
- If the hairdresser mixed bleach powder to the wrong strength.
- Where the bleach was applied to the scalp and left longer than it should’ve been.
- If the hairdresser failed to react after you told them you could feel a burning sensation during treatment.
- Where the hairdresser was not adequately trained in using chemicals.
- If your treatment was not carried out in hygienic conditions.
- If a trainee hairdresser was not being supervised properly during your treatment.
Any form of negligence by a hairdresser causing bleach burns to the scalp could entitle you to compensation.
You should not be put off from making a claim if your hairdresser burnt your scalp with bleach because you signed a consent form or a waiver. These do not protect the hairdresser from being sued if their negligence has caused you to suffer. In fact, you could use the waiver as evidence to support your case so keep hold of it and let us see a copy when you call for your free consultation.
The amount of compensation for a burnt scalp from bleaching you may be entitled to will typically be calculated by your solicitor using general and special damages. General damages cover the pain and suffering you endured and special damages are linked to any financial losses. Depending on how you’ve suffered, if your hairdresser burnt your scalp with bleach, you could be compensated for:
- Your physical pain and suffering.
- Any embarrassment, stress, anxiety or other forms of mental harm.
- The impact your injuries have on your usual hobbies, and social and family activities.
- Any income lost because of your injuries.
- Medical costs.
- Care costs.
- Travel expenses.
- Future loss of earnings for longer-term injuries that reduce your ability to earn.
To try and maximise the amount of compensation for a burned scalp you could be paid, our solicitors will always work closely with you to fully understand how your injuries have affected you.
As the severity of burns from bleach on the scalp can vary, and also the effect it has on the claimant, there isn’t a set amount of compensation you might get. However, the Judicial College which provides guideline compensation amounts for general damages suggests that for a burnt scalp from bleach and damage to hair, compensation of £3,950 to £11,020 should be considered.
Importantly, as general damages are based on the severity of your burnt scalp, you may be asked to attend an assessment by an independent medical expert. This will usually happen locally and will involve a short meeting where the expert will examine you, discuss how you’ve suffered and refer to your medical records. Their report will set out your prognosis and be used to calculate the settlement you might be entitled to.
Your solicitor will need to present a strong case to the hairdresser’s insurance firm if you’re to be paid compensation for a burned scalp from bleaching. This will need to show what went wrong, why the hairdresser was to blame and how you’ve suffered. This could include:
- Medical records from the GP or hospital where your scalp burns were treated.
- Any correspondence you’ve received from the hairdresser before or after your treatment.
- Witness statements from anybody else who was present during your treatment.
- Before and after photographs showing the damage to your scalp and hair.
- Wage slips or bank statements to show any financial losses.
- A statement from you about how you’ve suffered after your scalp was burned by bleach.
If you’ve collected any evidence already, why not call one of our advisors and let them review it for you for free?
In any personal injury claim, you must claim within the applicable time limit. If your hairdresser burnt your scalp with bleach, you’ll have 3-years to claim from the date of your treatment.
Rather than waiting until the end of the time limit, it’s usually better to start your claim as soon as you can. This will make it a lot easier to collect evidence and leave plenty of time for medical reports to be obtained.
Also, an early claim could lead to private medical treatment being paid for by the hairdresser’s insurers before your claim is finalised.
Please get in touch if you’d like to confirm how long you have left to begin a claim.
At the start of this guide, we set out to answer the question, “My hairdresser burnt my scalp with bleach, can I claim compensation?”. As we’ve shown, the answer to that question is potentially yes you can and we could help you to begin the claims process.
Making a simple call to our team on 0800 6524 881 could be all it takes to start the ball rolling. After your free consultation, we could connect you to one of our personal injury lawyers who’ll represent you on a No Win No Fee basis if the claim is taken on.
Please use live chat or give us a call if you have any further questions about making a claim for a burnt scalp.