If you’ve suffered hair loss as a result of your hair being styled by a poorly trained or incompetent salon worker, then there’s an upcoming television show that wants to hear from you.
Television production company Optomen, the people behind popular shows such as ‘Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares’, ‘Police Camera Action’ and ‘Will My Crash Diet Kill Me?’ are currently developing a new show which is intended to educate the public “about the dangers of unregulated salons.”
A casting call on their website states that they are looking for people who have suffered “hair loss or breakage, burns, infection or skin damage at the hands of a hair or beauty practitioner.”
The show is apparently motivated by the lack of regulation in the UK hairdressing industry, which enables virtually anyone to perform hair treatments such as colouring or bleaching without necessarily having the right training or qualifications.
Why a trip to the salon can result in hair loss
There is currently an official body with which hairdressers can register, but membership is entirely voluntary. Membership requires either an NVQ level 2 in hairdressing, or six years experience. According to the BBC, fewer than 10% of the UK’s 130,000 hairdressers are members of the Hairdressing Council.
Hair salons use a wide range of potent chemicals in their styling treatments, and in the wrong, untrained hands, improper use can have disastrous results for hair. According to the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, its members were called upon to deal with 351 cases of personal injury and loss related to bad practice in salons, over the course of a single year.
Earlier this year, an artist in Ireland successfully claimed for compensation after she experienced extensive hair loss due to having her hair coloured by an insufficiently trained salon worker.
Celebrity Katie Price threatened to sue a salon in Los Angeles, after an £11,000 colouring and extensions treatment there reportedly caused her to lose some of her hair.
How to avoid hair loss at the salon
Unfortunately, the government currently has no plans to regulate the hairdressing industry, so for the moment having your hair coloured or otherwise treated by someone who is not properly trained remains a risk.
The Hairdressing Council describes this as a “far from ideal position”. They would like to see registration become compulsory for practicing hairdressers, but say that at the moment the government shows no signs of introducing any new regulation to the industry.
On their website, they go on to warn: “While many consumers no doubt chance upon good stylists, others stray into the hands of incompetent operators and have experiences ranging from overpriced and unsatisfactory services to damaged hair and even injured scalp and facial tissues.”
Until regulation is introduced, the best option for protecting yourself against salon-inflicted hair loss is to only use hairdressers who have a known and trusted reputation when undergoing colouring treatments. Alternatively visit a State Registered Hairdresser who has registered on the voluntary scheme.