Hair loss can also occur if patch tests for hair dye or tint are not carried out correctly (or at all) in hair and beauty salons. This can result in severe, life-altering allergic reactions, and an unwanted change in appearance, which can lead to severe physical and psychological trauma.*
Hair dye and eyelash/eyebrow tint are among the most common beauty products used today and the public are often quite flippant when it comes to the consequences of having a reaction to these everyday beauty treatments.
To draw a comparison between the two, hair dye intends to lift the original colour off the hair and deposits a new shade into the hair strands, whilst tinting deposits a colour on top of the strands of hair, without lifting the original pigment.
Hair dye by its nature is made up of a lot more chemicals, in comparison to a tint, however tint can still be alcohol based and can cause a significant reaction if not dealt with appropriately. It is for this reason, all salon staff must receive the appropriate training and be competent to perform the treatments which carry any degree of risk to customers.
To prevent a reaction to dye/tint, a patch test should be performed approx. 24-48 hours before the full treatment.
Allergies, by their nature are unpredictable. We are not born with allergies. They arise from repeat exposure over time. This means that an allergy to a specific product can develop at a later stage, despite the use of this product in the past. As such, regular patch testing should be carried out every few months, firstly to ensure that the customer has not developed an allergy to the product in question, and secondly manufacturers may change their ingredients from time to time.
Examples of negligence:
- Failure of the staff to advise the customer of health risks associated with a particular product
- Insufficient passage of time following a patch test in order to appropriately gauge whether a customer has/will suffer from a reaction
- Failure to identify the necessary allergy tests, relative to the products being used
- Failure to follow the manufacturer recommendations on each type of dye/tint
- Failure to carry out regular patch testing
- Failure to carry out patch testing at all
- Consequences of an allergic reaction to dye/tint:
- Irritation to scalp, neck, forehead, eyes, ears
- Red, swollen, blistered or dry skin
- Thickened and cracked skin
- Burning/stinging sensation on the skin
- Swelling of scalp/face
- Generally feeling unwell
- Burning/scarring to the scalp
- Hair loss
- Burns and cuts
Severe allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis which can cause:
- Itchy skin
- Raised skin
- Red skin rash
- Swollen eyes, lips, hands and feet
- Eyelids can swell to the extent that the eyes can close
- Swelling of the mouth, throat, tongue
What to do if you think you have been injured as a result of failure in patch testing or lack of patch testing?
- Take photographs of the affected area. This will show the extent of the damage suffered in the event that the symptoms ease/change in appearance over time.
- We will require full and detailed information about the circumstances that led to the injury in question in order to establish whether negligence exists or not. It is helpful if a statement of events is prepared, contemporaneous to the injury.
It should be noted that if you suffer from a reaction to the patch test itself, this does not amount to negligence on behalf of the party that conducted the test.
An injured party will need to show that the person performing the treatment was negligent and there was a failure in the duty of care owed to the injured party and this failure in duty, caused the injury complained of.
If you are unsure as to whether you have a case for negligence, contact a member of the HOMS Assist Team today. We will be in a position to answer any further questions you may have.