Friday, 8 May 2015

Closure.

Image courtesy of quadcitiesdaily.com

My word of the week is closure.

You're probably wondering why closure and I will explain why but first you have to understand  that I've waited a very long time to write this post and debated whether I actually would but I want it to be a warning to  others more than anything else because I would hate it to happen to anyone else and I truly believe that these things could be and should be prevented. It is not meant to be a slanderous post and I have thought long and hard whether to mention the company that I'm about to write about and I've decided not to but but if you do wish to know you can contact me and I will happily let you know who to avoid!


Back in January 2014 I attended the hair salon that I had been going to for over 3 years, this is a premium salon with prices to reflect but I'd always paid the prices thinking I was getting premium service and my hair was treated well and in good hands. I was always made to feel welcome, the stylists always discussed with me beforehand and I left the salon happy (well a fair few £'s lighter but usually pleased with the outcome). 

On this particular appointment I'd decided that I wanted to achieve a 'Holly Willoughby' blonde, you know the gorgeous, honey blonde, beach look hair that she has, surely not that hard to achieve? I have dyed my hair for as long as I can remember, I've been blonde, brown, red, back to blonde, then to brown etc etc, I get bored easily what can I say! I fear I am a hairdresser's worst nightmare but I've never achieved the blonde I've always wanted. In the top picture with Alfie you can see that my hair was reasonably blonde but a little dull at times, I've always had it highlighted but I just wanted it to look a little blonder and fresher. My stylist suggested that the only way that I was going to achieve this was a full head of painted on bleach, I remember thinking that's quite extreme but you're the stylist I trust you and you know what you're doing.

The salon on this day I remember was super busy and my stylist set to work, the whole process took quite a while as I have alot of hair and after about 40 minutes her next appointment arrived and she left me in the hands of 2 other stylists to continue (slightly unprofessional I thought). As they were finishing up it was at this point that I started to feel some slight stinging and coolness on the back of my neck and forehead but was assured that this is quite normal with the bleach. 

AT NO POINT WAS I OFFERED A SKIN TEST BEFORE COMMENCING THIS.

The bleach was left on for what felt like an absolute age, I think it was nearly an hour from what I remember, I think they forgot about me, I was still feeling some stinging but was assured this was normal when I was eventually asked. To cut a long story short it was finally then washed out and when I saw it in the mirror I was literally in shock at just how blonde it was, I mean it wasn't Holly Willoughby blonde it was yellow!! I was gutted and also in pain at this point on the nape of my neck but at the time I just wanted to get out of the salon and have a little cry, I'd also been in there for hours and my car parking was running out! I thought it's just because it's such a big change and I'm not used to it why is I'm upset. 

Once I got into my car I had a look in the mirror and at the nape of my neck, what I saw shocked me, I had a huge burn at the nape of my neck which was already starting to blister and oh my god it was really stinging. I didn't know what to do at this point, I hate confrontation and didn't want to go back into the salon so while driving home I rang my GP surgery and they said that they wanted to see me and check my neck. I went straight to the GP who then confirmed that I had a chemical burn from the bleach being left on for too long, I was given some cream and pre-emptive antibiotics in case it got infected. 

When I got home my husband was shocked, not only with the colour of my hair but the state of my neck and the fact that I was a complete emotional mess, my hair was ruined. He told me I should ring the salon and complain and see if they could sort it, when I rang the salon I was treated disgustingly, never before have I experienced such awful service before.

The man/receptionist on the end of the phone implied that I had a reaction to the dye to which I informed him that it wasn't a reaction but a burn from the dye being left on too long which the GP had confirmed and  this was due to no one keeping an eye on it. I was told that they couldn't do anything with the colour of my hair until 10 days after because I'd had a 'reaction' (I remember having to keep correcting him on this, I've not reacted to the bleach but my skin is burnt!), I sobbed down the phone and told him that I hated my hair and I was in pain and was shocked to be told that they wouldn't be able to do anything about it.




After this horrible phone call I decided to speak to their head office and was met with much of the same response, during all of this I only ever wanted my hair to be sorted and to be refunded back the money I had paid (over £120 on this instance) for this appointment. They kept coming back to me with the most ridiculous solutions like they could give me 20% off the next appointment and a free conditioning treatment which in my opinion was wholly unacceptable.

In the picture above you can see the damage to my neck and it actually extended up into my hair aswell, it scabbed and was weeping with in about 24 hours it was so painful, I felt like I had bad sunburn the next day and continued to be really upset by it, in the picture below I was trying to put a brave face on but continued to hate my hair for weeks and weeks after but I couldn't do anything about it at the time as I was thinking about taking legal action against the hairdressers, which in the end is what I did.



I managed to track down a Solicitor that specialised in hairdressing accidents and sought some advice from them who told me I absolutely had a strong case and throughout 2014 they made a claim for me, it was on a no win no fee basis and if I did win anything they would take 25% which I was fine with as I truthfully didn't think I'd get anywhere with it and thought if I did I would perhaps get my money refunded, it was more on the principal that I decided to take legal action, what they did was down right dangerous and if that bleach had been left on any longer I could have been seriously scarred and god forbid if it had happened to a young girl.

It was a long process (just over a year) and involved alot of paperwork, phone calls and appointments but I didn't mind if it meant that the salon might learn something. The most interesting appointment was to see a Trichologist who is a Specialist in the hair and scalp, this was a few months after it happened and my hair was trashed, it was breaking, falling out and felt and looked like straw. 

He confirmed that it had been damaged an awful lot, would take about 18 months to sort itself out and that I was likely to be left with a scar at the back of my neck and some issues with itchiness and dry skin.


He was right, this picture below is how it was a before Christmas and I still have issues with itchiness, I have now had a break from the full blonde colouring and found a new hairdresser that I'm much happier with and since being pregnant my hair has finally become alot more healthier and has much less breakage, it's still going to take a while to be completely back to how it was but it's getting there.


At the beginning of March this year I had THE best news ever, the hairdresser's had accepted liability and offered me a generous pay out which was much, much more than I was anticipating, the Solicitor advised that I could claim for more but I decided to stick with what they'd offered me and I received my pay out later on in March. I was over the moon, even though I had to pay the Solicitors their 25% fee I have been able to use the remainder to pay off my existing debts and treat myself to a couple of treats, one being the new Sony camera that I bought this week.


It's strange and bitter-sweet really because although I have now had closure on this and I'm really glad that I did go ahead taking legal action against them I'm still left with the scar, skin issues and damaged hair which will always be a reminder of how we need to be vigilant and be aware of the safety and potential dangers of hair dyeing. One thing the Trichologist told me is that I most definitely should have been offered a skin test before commencing a full head bleach as even though I'd attended the salon for several years the bleach can react differently to your scalp if it's painted directly on as opposed to foils, he was shocked at the treatment from the staff and head office that I received too. 

I am now so much more aware of the requirements that a Salon should be providing and also that it could have been a whole lot worse, it could've been the front of my brow for example or my ears, I dread to think.

Writing this post is me wanting it to act as a warning to others. I will never attend one of these salons again, and it is a nationwide chain (not Toni & Guy I will add), it goes to show that regardless of all the training that someone receive this type of accident should not happen and common sense and customer service should be a priority.

This is my hair colour now, it needs redoing but I'm happy with it at the moment, it's a mix of auburn with some blonde highlights, who knows how long it will be before I get bored though!




The Reading Residence

Binky Linky

22 comments:

  1. What a nightmare, I bet your so glad its finally all over. Whilst the injury you received was horrendous, it could of been so much worse. Good for you taking them on and raising awareness. The treatment you received was totally unacceptable and they were without a doubt responsible! I hope your faith in hair dressers has been restored. #BinklyLInky x

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    1. So glad, and as I said above I really am glad that it wasn't any worse! I was very dubious to visit another hairdresser after this but my confidence is starting to be restored somewhat. X

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  2. Oh my goodness, Helen, what an absolute nightmare. It sounds so upsetting and painful. I am glad you now have the closure you wanted, and a decent payout, too. And your hair is looking lovely now (as is that beautiful baby!) Thanks for sharing with #WotW x

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    1. Yes it was sadly and at times still is, just a little reminder what happened I guess! Thanks so much for the compliment :-) x

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  3. Booo! How awful! I also hate confrontation, so I can totally relate to your feelings. Thanks for sharing!!

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  4. What an awful situation, so glad it has finally been resolved for you.

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    1. Me too, finally it came to an end and I thought it never would X

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  5. This sounds awful! When you pay that much money, you expect them to know what they are doing. You could have used a box dye and got better results than this. I'm glad they finally admitted liability! #binkylinky
    Debbie
    www.myrandommusings.blogspot.com

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    1. Totally, I'm glad they did too, ironic though that all I ever wanted was an apology and a refund and I ended up having to go through all of that! x

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  6. Oh my god hun this is awful. What is worse is the salon actually trying to worm their way out! I could have forgiven them if they had admitted their mistakes and given you a refund. What an awful ordeal. For their stupid actions they have wasted their time and lost a lot of money. Good for you and I'm so glad you got the payout xxx #wotw

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    1. I know the little sods, after going there for over three years I thought that they might have apologised at least! Nothing like trying to keep valued customers eh! x

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  7. What a nightmare. You did absolutely right by going back and calling them out on it.

    Lizzie Dripping

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  8. This is awful. I feel so bad for you. I have been bleaching my hair for as long as I remember and I am really lucky that nothing bad has ever happened. I am really pleased that you received compensation. I love your hair colour now by the way. It really suits you. xx

    http://thesingleswan.com

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  9. my goodness this is awful! I did hairdressing for a few years when I left school and I can't imagine any of the hairdressers I worked in just telling a client that nothing can be done! May be if they had a better attitude to your reaction you wouldn't have felt the need to sue them. Terrible service, btw I love your hair now, it looks great x

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    1. That is what my new hairdresser said they were just shocked by the attitude towards me! I just hope that it never happens to someone else and they have learnt a lesson. Thanks for the comment X

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  10. What a nightmare glad it is all sorted hope you are ok now thanks for linking to the Binkylinky

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  11. That's awful! I'm so glad you're on the mend now, but that must have been horrific. Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

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    1. Thanks for the comment Emily and no problem :-) x

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I absolutely love it when someone leaves me a comment, I will always reply back when possible! You can also follow me on twitter for more beautiful chatter: @Helsy_1983