Hair Dye Injury Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a hair dye injury we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a hair dye injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

In our guide to claiming hair dye injury compensation:

Introduction

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.

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.

Do I have a hair dye injury claim?

It should be possible to make a hair dye injury claim if you were injured:

  • in the last three years, and;
  • someone else was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
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Claim eligibility - Common questions

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a hair dye injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

What if I was diagnosed months after the hair dye injury?

Depending on how your hair dye injury happened, the three-year time limit may only start from the date you are diagnosed and learn of the cause of your injury. In some cases, this can be months or years after the cause occurred.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

No win, no fee, no risk

With a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay if you do not winn your claim .

Our no win, no fee promise

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your hair dye injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my hair dye injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my hair dye injury claim?

If your hair dye injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Why do most solicitors charge 25%?

25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. hair dye injury claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.

How do personal injury solicitors get paid?

If your hair dye injury claim is successful, the defendant, or their insurer, will pay the compensation and your solicitors fees.

How can Quittance help?

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.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:

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Hair dye injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a hair dye injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the hair dye injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your hair dye injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a hair dye injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim hair dye injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a hair dye injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor