Woman to sue hairdresser over three-inch bald patch

A woman is taking her hairdresser to court claiming thousands of pounds damages after suffering second degree burns in the first known case of its kind.

Nicola Crawley, 19, from the Midlands, who went to the hairdresser to have highlights put in her hair, was left with a three-inch bald patch.

She is taking her case to court in the hopes of recouping damages for pain and emotional suffering as well for as her damaged scalp, and for the cost of any cosmetic surgery, travel expenses to hospital and loss of earnings.

"When I finally got home my hair was all washed and cut and I felt some wet patches at the top, but I thought it was just some of the solution he had left on," said Ms Crawley. "It fact it was my head weeping. About a week later, a scab started to appear. I got a few red lines and a black scab appeared all around my hair. I went to the doctor and he said I had chemical burns ... they had actually burned my head and it was going to blister."

With a bald patch on the top of her head, her life has been confined, Ms Crawley said. "I can't go out with my hair down. I can't go swimming and I can't go out in the sun."

Her solicitor Brigitte Goff said: "If you look at the hair, she has got no hair growing back and unfortunately it is never going to grow back." She said that judicial guidelines stated that damages for pain and suffering alone in such a case carried a maximum of pounds 5,000 in damages. "But I think this is worth substantially more," she said.

Ms Crawley is believed to be looking at a five-figure compensation claim.

In order to claim compensation the hairdresser must be proved to have been negligent. However, hairdressers are becoming increasingly worried that as customers become aware of their rights, some people might take it too far.

Ms Goff, who will be appearing on the BBC's Watchdog programme tonight, disagrees. "What you must understand is that you can't sue just because you don't like your hairstyle ... But I believe that you should be able to sue a hairdresser just as you would sue a doctor or a solicitor if they had been negligent. If you have been injured and suffered loss you should be able to sue."

Last year, 500 people took action against their hairdressers. The UK is one of the few places in Europe where hairdressers can practice without training qualifications of registration.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there