"Urgent review" of hair dye products needed to protect consumers

Lady getting hair dyed at haridressers

Today (Friday 16th August) marks the start of a unique test case in relation to the use of home hair dye products. It is alleged that a 34 year old woman from Liverpool suffered a severe allergic reaction and hair loss following the use of a hair dye product from Henkel. Henkel own a number of popular brands including Schwarskopf and are presently defending the action which calls at St Helen’s County Court.

Like so many consumers, this individual bought a reputable hair dye product, followed the safety instructions and proceeded to apply the dye to her scalp. Unfortunately in this case with devastating results.

The case evokes further concerns that cosmetic giants are using chemicals which are unsafe and are often being used simply to keep costs down. It reinforces the call for greater public awareness of the use of chemicals including p-Phenylenediamine (PPD) in everyday products such as hair dye. PPD is the most effective method of covering grey hair and the producers of such DIY hair kits are not presently seeking any alternatives, despite two fatal accidents in the UK from such products.

The solicitors acting for the claimant are seeking to lead expert evidence to support the proposition that such products should not be available on the high street if an individual can suffer such extreme adverse effects when using them, despite following the safety instructions.

Jennifer Watson, a Digby Brown Solicitor who specialises in injury claims relating to Hairdressing and Beauty treatments said:

“These types of injuries are becoming increasingly more common in both the Salon and with High Street products. There needs to be an urgent review of such products and  Hairdressing Industry practices generally to ensure the safety of consumers.”

“I will be keeping a close eye on the progress of the English case which the hair dye manufacturers have chosen to vigorously defend and which may end up being looked at again by a higher Appeal Court. “

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