A Guide to Claiming Hair Dye Injury Compensation
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
This guide sets out everything you need to know about making a hair dye injury compensation claim.
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?
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.
If these two points don't apply to you, a claim may still be possible.
Get impartial advice on whether you have a claim - speak to a legal expert on 0800 612 7456.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. We will never put you under pressure to start a claim.
You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.
What if it was a criminal incident?
If your Hair Dye Injury injury resulted from a criminal incident, you can pursue a claim via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA must receive your application within 2 years of the Incident Date.
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.
The amount of money you could claim for your hair dye injury will depend on:
- the extent 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 hair dye injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in general damages and special damages.
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 are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
See a list of what you can claim for:
Examples of special damages include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Find out what your claim could be worth now
Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated.
If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.
Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your hair dye injury case from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
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.
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.
How did your injury occur?
The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:
In a public place (e.g. supermarket, pavement)
If you have been injured in a public place, there are some key points you need to be aware of:
If you are thinking of making a work accident or injury claim, there are some key points to be aware of:
Other claim types
Find details on another type of claim:
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.
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.
How can Quittance help?
Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.
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 612 7456 or arrange a callback:Call me back
No Win, No Fee
to start a claim
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.
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.
How long will my claim take?
The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.
For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.
Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.
Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:
Personal injury claim type
Estimated claim duration*
4 to 9 months
6 to 9 months
12 to 36 months
12 to 18 months
6 to 9 months
3 to 4 months**
12 to 18 months**
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s 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.
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.
Can I get an interim compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim interim compensation payments.
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.
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.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert