A professional dye job left me with a permanent bald patchJust ahead of her 21st birthday celebrations, Becca Peet went to a well-known salon to have dye put in her hair. However, a mistake made by a trainee member of staff led to serious chemical burns to Becca’s scalp which required emergency medical treatment, and one year later required an operation.

A burning sensation

Initially when the dye was applied, Becca felt a severe hot and burning sensation on her scalp. When the foils were removed, she felt sore and eventually later in the day blisters began to form. The severity of the burn meant that the blisters began to discharge pus, and Becca was left to deal with countless infections over the course of year. Eventually, doctors decided an operation was required to remove the infected burn, yet this has left Becca with a large permanent bald patch and a thick 9cm long scar.

After a three and half year battle with the salon in court, Becca has been granted a five figure sum as personal injury compensation. However, this ordeal has left Becca permanently scarred physically and emotionally, with a lower self-esteem and months of constant suffering in the form of pain and embarrassment.

Is using hair dye a bad idea?

Using hair dye itself is overall safe; many branded dyes are regulated by larger authorities to ensure products meet international safety standards. Unfortunately though, hair dyes do contain a number of chemicals and repeatedly using them is damaging for your hair.

The application process itself requires several stages of rubbing and rinsing the hair out, this can loosen hair which are in the resting phase and stimulate hair fall – hence why many people notice a large amount of hair fall after drying their hair.

Some hair dyes also contain hydrogen peroxide which is known to weaken the hair shaft, causing the cuticular scale to swell and give entry to toxins within the dye into the hair shaft. When hair is being bleached or lightened, the chemical process can leave hair feeling dry and brittle.

To prevent damage and hair fall, the best advice would be minimise or avoid use of hair dye altogether. As everyone has differing levels of sensitivity, professional hair colourists insist on clients completing a patch skin allergy test 48 hours before carrying out treatment.