If a hair dye injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Injuries from hair dye exposure can occur due to allergic reactions or chemical burns, often due to product misuse or improper patch testing by professionals.
If you have been affected by a hair dye injury, we can help. You may be entitled to claim compensation for medical treatments, psychological impact, and any expenses you incur. You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
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.
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.
Do I have a hair dye injury claim?
As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make an injury claim if you were injured:
- in the last 3 years, and;
- another person or organisation was to blame, and;
- they owed you duty of care.
Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.
Can I claim compensation if I was partly at fault?
The law concerning liability (or blame) for an accident is complex, and varies depending on the situation.
In our 2023 Public Liability Injury Claimant Survey, 17.45% of respondents believed they were partly responsible for their injuries, or were uncertain.
You can often still claim compensation even if you were partly to blame, as cases with shared fault usually settle with a split-liability agreement.
How long do I have to make a hair dye injury claim?
In most cases, you have 3 years from the date of your accident or injury.
If you were injured when you were under 18, a parent, guardian or adult 'litigation friend' can make a claim on your behalf. Once you turn 18, you have until your 21st birthday to start an injury claim.
How much compensation can I claim for a hair dye injury?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
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General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages is compensation awarded to cover any financial losses and expenses you incur as a result of your hair dye injury or negligent medical treatment. These damages aim to put you back in the financial position you would have been in, had your injury not occurred.
Special damages will also cover your medical treatment expenses, that might include skin treatment, medication for allergic reactions and pain medication.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The process for a hair dye injury claim depends the circumstances of the injury. To learn more, click the icons below:
How we can help you with your injury claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
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About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.