Penningtons Manches’ personal injury team has settled a claim for £90,000 for a client who suffered a stroke after having his hair washed at a salon using a back wash shampoo basin.
In 2011, the firm’s client, David Tyler, who was 45 years old at the time, visited a hair salon in Brighton which was part of a national chain. He had his hair washed in a Philippe Starck designed chair which had a fixed basin with a cut out for the neck and a sliding seat that moved away from the basin, allowing the neck to descend into the cut out.
Adopting such a position can place a great deal of pressure on the neck either from the ceramic edge of the basin digging into it or from excessive extension of the neck caused by the weight of the hanging body, the effect of which may be aggravated by the design of the chair.
Two days later, Mr Tyler suffered a severe headache and disabling neurological symptoms which were caused by a blood clot lodging within his brain. This subsequently led to a stroke. After being rushed to hospital, a CT scan was performed from which it was possible to identify that an artery in the neck had been damaged. The healing process in respect of that artery had caused the clot.
Mr Tyler suffered a very serious injury from this everyday event. Before washing his hair, staff at the salon should have assessed whether the particular washing chair was suitable for him and then made a choice as to whether to use another type of chair or to wash the hair frontwards instead.
In addition to determining the most appropriate wash for their clients, salons should also always ensure that the customer’s neck is properly protected using a foam pad or other padding between the neck and the lip of the wash basin.
This sort of injury is well recognised by neurologists who refer to it as ‘beauty parlour syndrome’ or ‘beauty parlour stroke syndrome’.
The syndrome is not so well known by hairdressers and the general public, but Mr Tyler hopes that by publicising his case, more customers will be protected from potential injury. It is essential that hairdressers’ training is extended to include advice as to how to protect against this injury.
If you wish to discuss a similar case, please call Tim Wright at Penningtons Manches LLP on 01256 407134 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.