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Bad Hair Dye Leaves Young Girl With Blistering Scalp

Lady Gaga With Turquoise Highlighted Long White Blonde Hair

Bad Hair Dye Leaves Young Girl With Blistering Scalp

Two years ago, a 14-year-old girl walked into a location of a large hair salon chain in Florida with her heart set on having her brown strands  dyed blue.

The result?  According to legal papers filed in a civil lawsuit, the young girl left the salon with third-degree burns on a blistering scalp.

Her attorney, alleges that his young client has undergone two skin grafts and must have at least one more to deal with the damage caused by the bad color job.  According to the attorney, the young girl's parents have had medical expenses in excess of $85,000 for the damage done by the dye to their daughter's scalp and hair.

Note: Image of Lady Gaga who often sports bleached white or multi-colored hair including blue.  Lady Gaga has told the media in the past that she misses her natural hair color which has been damaged from all the chemical treatments.

"In addition to the initial pain and the surgeries she's had to undergo, the skin on her scalp is hypersensitive to the touch," the attorney said.  The girl's attorney also said "And emotionally, you know, kids at that age can be cruel, and she has had comments made to her. That's been difficult."

Applying Heat To A Lightener May Not Be Recommended

Lady Gag With Chin Length Platinum Blonde Hairstyle

The suit,  alleges the girl went to the salon to have the bottom section of her hair colored. The hairstylist allegedly applied a dye with a lightener called Up to 7, wrapped the girl's hair in foils and placed her under a heated dryer which is contrary to product instructions, which specifically state not to combine with heat.

The hairstylist then left the salon to go to a nearby restaurant with some dispute about how long the stylist was gone.  When she returned the young girl who was allegedly still under the dryer with the bleach on her head told other stylists her head was burning and she was crying as a result.

Second And Third Degree Scalp Burns

A salon manager used an aloe-like cream to soothe the girl's scalp.  The stylist allegedly told attorneys that there were no obvious burns or blisters on the girl's scalp when she left the salon.  The girl's mother reported that she took her daughter to a local emergency room which has documented that the young girl had suffered second and third degree burns.

Four days later, the girl allegedly had her hair dyed again at a different salon. The defense has argued the second salon is more likely responsible for the burns, but the second salon claimed that they used a non-caustic dye with no heat and didn't touch the young girl's scalp.

Model With Platinum Blonde Hair And Pink And Purple Highlights

The stylist at the first salon was formally reprimanded for her actions, but was not terminated from her job.  The stylist is still a licensed cosmetologist.  There are no other current recorded complaints against the stylist.

How To Avoid Danger At A Salon

While what happened to the young girl is not a common salon experience for hair clients, in a perfect storm, anything is possible.  Six years ago I went to a salon where I had previously been and had my own scalp burned by the lack of attention from my regular hairstylist.

My stylist was running late for my highlight appointment and had other clients stacked up behind me.  Instead of taking the time to properly mix the traditional highlight formula known to work on my hair and scalp, she slapped on a new product which burned my scalp and turned parts of my blonde hair orange.

The very second I felt my scalp burning I knew something was wrong and demanded she stop what she was doing and rinse the product off.  I was very insistent which got her immediate attention.  Even after rinsing the product off, my scalp continued to burn.  It took three days for the burning to subside with the help of ice and aloe gels.

Phone and email messages to my stylist were not returned in a timely manner which is why I took my business to my current hair colorist - Rose Zuniga - who actually fixed the damage to my hair caused by the first stylist.

Burning Is Never A Good Sign

Model With Platinum Blonde Hair And Purple Highlights

Bleaching the scalp may cause it to burn.  This is a common fact.  However, a colorists or stylist should always be close at hand to watch the bleaching process to prevent burns or a blistering scalp.

The reason I was so alarmed at my own burning scalp was that my stylist was not supposed to be using bleach, but a different formulation.  In fact, she made a mistake and the product she used did have bleach which caused my scalp to burn.

Tips For Avoiding Scalp Or Hair Damage At The Salon

Although the vast majority of hairstylists are very responsible about the services they provide, hair color can be more tricky for some than others.  In fact, unless you absolutely know that your stylist is well-trained in color, you may want to search for a hair colorist who is specifically trained in the art and technique of color.

Follow the tips below to avoid potential scalp or hair damage at the salon:

1.  Ask lots of questions - Some hair consumers pop into a salon and tell the stylist to do whatever to their hair without asking questions.  We may never know exactly what happened with the 14 year old girl in Florida, but I wonder if someone actually quizzed the hairstylist about what products or steps had to be taken to go from brunette to blue?

If the stylist seems annoyed by your questions then you probably want someone else to work on your hair.

2.  Access the risks - Any type of chemicals used on the hair, including bleach, hair color, relaxers and straighteners, may have risks to the scalp, the hair or even the client due to inhalation of fumes.  Everyone needs to understand the risks before proceeding.  A good stylist or hair colorist will talk about the pros and cons of any type of chemical treatment including long term maintenance issues and at-home care.

Model With Platinum Blonde Hair And Purple Highlights

3.  Press the eject button - If at any time you are at the salon and something is going awry in any way, demand immediate attention.  A hair professional should never leave their client unattended during any type of chemical procedure such as bleaching or chemical processing.  Either the professional or someone they ask to keep an eye on you should be right by your side to assist with any type of discomfort or burning.  Most hair colorists will do an eyeball check of hair color or chemicals while they're processing.

4.  Do your research - When going to an unknown salon or stylist, check them out first.  Go online and look at the reviews.   Not all reviews will be fair, but if there is a pattern of complaints about a salon or stylist, pay attention and reconsider your options.  When possible only go to salons or stylists that have been recommended to you.

5.  If problems occur - If problems occur during your salon visit, take immediate action.  Immediately write down what happened with times and names.  Take photos with your cell phone or as soon as you get home.  Don't wait.  If your scalp is burning or there is other major discomfort, visit a walk-in clinic or find a nurse-on-call at a local drugstore to see if you need medical treatment.


Remember that when you sit down in a hairstylist's chair it is their responsibility to ask questions and provide information so that they give you the best results possible.  There are a number of reasons why the young girl had a bad reaction to the bleaching but if the stylist had been with her, the problem could have been immediately identified and addressed.

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