Hair dye injury claims

Introduction

Updated: October 8, 2018

Hair dye products are used regularly by thousands of women without incident. Unfortunately, some individuals experience severe reactions to chemicals contained in hair dyes. The resulting injuries can be distressing, painful and potentially life-threatening.

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Hair dye manufacturers include user instructions in the product packaging. These instructions recommend a ‘patch test' of the product on the skin, prior to applying the product. If skin irritation occurs, the hair dye product should not be used.

Dermatology experts assert that skin tests do not always indicate whether a product will cause an adverse reaction. This view is supported by hair dye injury cases where a ‘patch test' of the hair dye product did not produce any irritation.

If you have sustained injury caused by using hair dye, you may be able to claim compensation against the hair dye manufacturers, or distributors.

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Do I have a hair dye injury claim?

If you have suffered a hair dye injury in the last three years and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.

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Symptoms of hair dye injury

Many hair dye injuries are caused by using widely available, well-known brands of home-use hair dye. Allergic reactions to chemicals in the hair dye can produce a range of symptoms including:

  • Skin irritation, burning, rashes, itching
  • Swelling of the face, eyes, neck, back
  • Thinning of the hair, bald patches, slowed re-growth
  • Pain, generally feeling unwell
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Anaphylactic shock - in rare cases

In 2011, 38 year old Julie McCabe went into anaphylactic shock following application of a hair dye. Mrs McCabe fell into a coma, and subsequently died. Her family believe she had an allergic reaction to a chemical in the hair dye she had used - though no definite link has yet been legally proven.

Adverse reactions to hair dye are not limited to first time users. Hair dye injury can also be experienced by regular, long-term users of hair dye products.

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PPD and hair dye products

The most controversial ingredient in hair dyes is Para-phenylenediamine (PPD). Many home-use hair dyes contain PDD, particularly permanent hair dyes in the brown to black colour ranges. In 2007 the British Medical Journal published an article which advised that PPD could cause allergic reactions.

PPD is already prohibited from being used directly on the skin. However, it remains an allowable ingredient in hair dyes, which are described as not touching the scalp.

Julie McCabe's family are appealing for PPD to be either banned from use entirely, or for the sale of products containing PPD to be restricted.

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What should I do if I sustain hair dye injury?

If you sustain hair dye injury:

  • Seek medical advice straight away
  • Retain the hair dye kit contents and packaging
  • Photograph your injuries
  • Retain the purchase receipt for the hair dye kit, showing when and where it was bought

Gather as much evidence as possible to support your hair dye injury claim.

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When should I start my hair dye claim?

It is always advisable to start your claim as soon as you become aware of the injury.

There is a statutory time limit for making personal injury claims. This time limit is three years from the date of the injury, or from the date the Claimant had knowledge of the injury.

A hair dye injury claim is a ‘product liability' claim. This means, a product caused the injury, rather than the negligence of a person. Under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, product liability claims must be made within 10 years of the date the specific product first entered market circulation.

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How much compensation can I claim?

Amounts for claims for compensation rely on the type and severity of your injuries.

Upper and lower figures for injuries are recommended in the Judicial College guidelines (formerly the Judicial Studies Board guidelines).

Courts will use these guidelines to calculate compensation awards. Insurers and their solicitors will also use the guidelines when making a settlement offer.

To supplement an award for general damages recommended in Judicial College guidelines, compensation can be claimed for costs you have incurred during treatment and ongoing care.

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No Win, No Fee hair dye injury claims

No Win, No Fee hair dye injury claims begin once the injured Claimant signs, with a lawyer, a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

A CFA lays out the contract or "terms and conditions" between you and the lawyer.

The document details the service executed by the solicitor as well as the "success fee". This will be the amount that will be taken from the compensation award if your injury lawyer wins your case.

Using a Quittance injury-specialist solicitor, you have peace of mind with the knowledge that there will be absolutely nothing to pay if your case is not successful.

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Accidents at work - Claims against your employer

Every year, 600,000* employees are injured in accidents at work. If you have suffered an injury or illness at work, you may able to claim compensation.

Find out if you can claim hair dye injury compensation from your employer: Read more about work accident claims

*Source: 2016/17 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report

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Meet the team

Quittance's nationwide panel of solicitors take on all types of personal injury claims, including fast track, complex and catastrophic injury claims. Our lawyers are selected for their specialist expertise and their track record in winning claims.

Click here to see more of the Quittance team.

Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Emma Bell Employers and Public Liability Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

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