Cosmetology Expert Opines on Chemical Burns From Hair Treatment

    Cosmetology Expert WitnessThis esthetician case involves an adolescent who went for a hair treatment at a local beauty salon in Rhode Island. The hair stylist did not ask the plaintiff about any allergy history or aversion to certain products before applying the treatment product, which was intended to impart a permanent curl in the customer’s hair. The plaintiff’s scalp started to burn immediately after the treatment was applied. Nevertheless, the product was removed using a cleaning rinse and was once again reapplied. The plaintiff subsequently suffered chemical burns requiring multiple surgeries to repair, and suffers from permanent disfigurement.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please briefly describe your experience with cosmetology.
    • 2. Can you speak to best practices for ensuring young patrons do not have a bad reaction to products being used?

    Expert Witness Response E-075578

    I hold a Cosmetology and Salon Manager license. I have been in the hair industry since 1982 and have owned a salon for 16 years. Is this the first time the client has had this type of procedure on her hair? If not, was there a change in the brand or maker of the product? We are to give preliminary patch tests for all chemical services. I have always had a policy as to what I was or was not comfortable with when it pertained to young women patrons, as their hormones can play havoc with chemicals. The same is true of pregnant women and I have seen some bizarre happenings. If a client experiences burning, we are to immediately remove it and never reapply the same product.

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