Woman who suffered extreme reaction to hair dye calls for hairdressers to be regulated
A woman who won a payout after an extreme reaction to hair dye has backed a call for stricter regulation.
Melanie Kenny’s face became so swollen following a visit to the hairdressers that she was left temporarily blind in one eye and struggled to see out the other.
Melanie, 49, said she should have had a test to see if her skin reacted to the colour, but claimed staff at the salon failed to offer her one.
Bank worker Melanie tried to sue the salon for negligence and eventually agreed to an out-of-court settlement of £3,500.
Now she is supporting calls for more regulation in the hairdressing industry to stop more people suffering the same fate.
Melanie, from Bolton, said she looked like she had “done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson” after having her hair dyed.
She said: “I’d been to the hairdressers a few times and never had any issues. The next day we were going for away to Edinburgh for the weekend and as we were travelling my scalp was itching like mad.
When we got to the hotel my forehead was massively swollen and the skin under my hair looked red-raw. I knew I was reacting to something and went to the pharmacy and bought anti-histamines.”
Melanie added that the sum she received from the salon was no compensation for the pain she suffered – and the long-term consequences of the incident.
Doctors have told her she will never be able to dye her hair again, as she could risk losing it completely.
She said: “The one thing I wanted to maintain as I got older was that I wouldn’t have grey hair like my parents and grandparents before me. Now my hair is grey and I hate it. It’s particularly frustrating when I see my friends after a trip to the salon and I can’t do the same.”
According to the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, there are hundreds of cases like Melanie’s every year, because there is no legislation in the hairdressing industry.
Chief executive Deborah Evans said: “Many people are astonished to hear that anyone can pick up a pair of scissors and call themselves a hairdresser.
We hope that compulsory registration with the Hairdressing Council will lead to better standards of practice, eliminate the unqualified and inexperienced practitioners from the industry, and result in fewer needless injuries.”
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