September 13, 2023
A licensed cosmetologist owes their customers a duty of care when applying bleach, hair color and other chemical products. When hair color, bleach and other chemical products are applied without proper care, the duty to utilize due care is breached. Additionally, if the cosmetologist works or is employed by a larger facility, that facility may also be liable for negligent hiring, training, and supervision of an employee. Beauty salon employers have an obligation to adequately train and/or supervise their licensed cosmetologists. If a hair salon fails to satisfy their duties and a customer is injured as a result the hair salon/ beauty salon can also be found liable for negligence and professional negligence.
Chemical burns, also known as caustic burns, are injuries to the skin, scalp, mouth, eyes (external burns) or organs (internal burns). Caustic burns are most often caused by either strong acids or strong bases. Scalp burns at hair salons or on the scalp often result from the negligent use of hair color, stripping agents, cleaning products, chemical products, home products and lightening products. Chemical burns and caustic burns can also be caused when seeking out professional services by licensed cosmetologists. Resulting chemical burns and caustic burns to the scalp due to the negligent application of chemical products or professional negligence can cause excessive hair loss and possible permanent damage to the hair follicle.
Chemical burns resulting from hair coloring and other chemical products, whether at a professional hair salon or when purchased from online forum, such as Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, Target or Amazon is not uncommon. Professional salons negligently applying hair color and other chemical products may also result in chemical burns, caustic burns and scarring to the scalp, face, hairline and in some instances permanently damage the hair follicles resulting in permanent hair loss. If you sustained injuries as a result of hair coloring products or while receiving professional hair coloring services there can be several causes of action that may include: product liability, professional negligence, negligence and other personal injury claims.
A 24-year-old female went to a Fantastic Sam’s in California for professional hair coloring services. The licensed cosmetologist failed to follow the manufacturer’s instruction prior to utilizing the chemical products. Specifically, the application of the hair color was negligent because both the hair color and the stripping agent were applied too closely to the Plaintiff’s scalp. Further, the hair color and stripping agents was left on the Plaintiff’s head for too long. Aggravating the chemical burn and the chemical products on the Plaintiff’s scalp, was the fact that she was placed under a hairdryer. The hot air from the hairdryer intensified the pain and injuries. The Plaintiff complained about burning to the scalp while sitting under the hair dryer for roughly 15 – 20 minutes and the burning sensation intensified when the chemical products were being washed out of her hair.
Following Fantastic Sam’s professional services, the Plaintiff sought out medical treatment to address her scalp burns. After litigation had initiated and discovery exchanged it was revealed that the chemical products were left on the Plaintiff’s scalp for too long and placing the Plaintiff under hot air was against the manufacturer’s directions.
Permanent injuries included: Scarring, 2nd degree burns, 3rd degree burns, chemical burns, scalp burns, permanent hair loss, damage to hair follicles and emotional distress. Following a jury trial, the jury found that Fantastic Sam’s was negligent and liable to the Plaintiff for $344,857.00 in compensatory damages.
CASE: Christa Dabbs vs. Myung O. Kang dba Fantastic Sam’s, Myung O. Kang, as an individual, J & Alice, Inc. and Mae Im; Verdict: December 07, 2000 (Superior Court of California; County of Los Angeles – Central; Case Number: BC 213 471) Causes of Action: Negligence – Professional Negligence – Personal Injury; Resulting Injuries: Chemical Burns; Scarring, Emotional Distress; Permanent Hair Loss; Scalp Burning, and Psychiatric Damage caused by Scarring and Hair Loss.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective product or sustained a chemical burn from a product, we invite you to call us today at 619-432-5145 for a free consultation with one of our experienced product liability attorneys and California chemical burn lawyers.