Traction alopecia compensation claims

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How much compensation can I claim for hair extension traction alopecia?

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Jonathan Speight

Panel Senior Litigator

A guide to making a No Win No Fee hair extension traction alopecia claim

Hair extensions, although instantly gratifying and often an enormous morale booster, may lead to scalp damage if badly fitted, used too frequently or left in for extended periods.

What are hair extensions?

Hair extensions involve the use of synthetic or human hair to thicken or lengthen existing hairstyles. They are applied either by plaiting the extensions into the real hair, bonding with a glue and fixing with a heated clamp, or they may be woven into existing hair by braiding close to the scalp.

What can go wrong?

Hair extensions may be badly fitted, especially where the bonding technique is used.

If an extension is not applied to enough natural hair, or the natural hair is too thin or weak to support it, the weight of the extension will pull the natural hair until it either breaks or is removed.

Where too many extensions are fitted, the increased weight of hair means it is constantly pulled down. This may cause extra stress on the scalp and supporting hair follicles.

If extensions are too tightly woven they may cause damage to the natural hair when they are removed. They may also cause rubbing and irritation to the scalp.

Are there long-term implications?

Constant pulling of the natural hair by hair extensions may lead to permanent damage of the hair follicles. When this occurs the natural hair cannot grow back and bald patches may appear on the scalp. This condition is known as traction alopecia.

How can this be prevented?

Applying hair extensions requires specialist skills; stylists offering this service should be properly trained and qualified.

A thorough assessment of the client's hair must be carried out to identify the correct products, hair attachments and methods of attaching the hair for that individual. This includes checking the strength of the client's hair prior to applying extensions, to assess whether the hair can hold the extensions without breaking.

The stylist should ensure the client fully understands how to look after the extensions and when to return to the salon.

Extensions should not remain in the hair for longer than three months, and should always be removed by a trained professional to avoid hair breakage.

A stylist should inform a client if signs of hair loss occur, and should not continue to apply extensions.

Is it possible to make a claim for traction alopecia?

Traction alopecia is extremely distressing and anyone whose condition has been caused through another's negligence may be able to claim compensation.

It is essential to take photographs of the injuries and where possible keep the hair extensions as they may be key pieces of evidence.

Seeking a second opinion from a fully trained stylist may help to establish if the hair extensions have been badly or negligently fitted.

A stylist failing to inform a client showing signs of hair loss, may be liable for compensation for traction alopecia through neglecting the health of the Claimant.

Traction alopecia may be a result of several years of hair extensions, which have been applied by more than one stylist. Determining who to bring the claim against may be complicated . . .