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Suing the stylist, how to do it?

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Category: Hair Talk
Forum Name: Hair Politics
Forum Description: The politics of Hair is a slippery slope...
Printed Date: January 20 2021 at 11:25am

Topic: Suing the stylist, how to do it?
Posted By: duke
Subject: Suing the stylist, how to do it?
Date Posted: April 18 2005 at 7:20am

Several times the topic of whether or not to sue a stylist who has damaged your hair has been discussed. I am of the opinion that stylists who are negligent with your hair or deliberately go against your wishes, resulting in damage to your hair or way of wearing your hair should be sued, in order to establish some precedents that these people cannot just play around with your hair and use you but that they must respect your body. My question is, however, if a stylist cut off much more than you asked, how would you prove that in court? How would the judge know that you were really shorn, and did not just cut your hair in order to get money?

Have there been any legal cases in which someone won a lawsuit like this? What was the argument/proof?

Posted By: eKatherine
Date Posted: April 18 2005 at 8:11am
Back to the "they cut more off than I wanted, can I sue" troll. That has been done to death here. Boring.

What we were just discussing (which is basically something completely different) is the idea that if a stylist clearly wrecks your hair, you should be able to get a refund and compensation equivalent to the cost of repair, replacement, or a wig to wear til the hair grows back in.

If you want someone to do legal research for curiosity's sake, you're probably going to have to pay for it.

Posted By: duke
Date Posted: April 18 2005 at 8:22am

I was just wondering if anyone knew of cases, Katherine. I think there was one in Sweden where a man won a case where someone had wrecked his long har. However, I am not sure if a stylist was involved or not.

Around 1974, my mother got a then-fashionable afro perm. The solution apparently was left on too long, and her hair was fried. I think one of her colleagues advised mom to sue, which she however did not.

By the way, Katherine, I must say I really like the braided bun in your avatar. Very classy.

Posted By: eKatherine
Date Posted: April 18 2005 at 9:01am
I think that courts would have difficulty putting monetary value on long hair, since so many people are conflicted on this issue. But it's clear that a dollar value can be put on the loss of one's hair, even if it is temporary loss.

I wonder how often people's hair gets trashed in salons. Do they usually get refunds?

Salon stylists are educated and licensed by the state to avoid just this sort of situation. Most salon processes recommend strand tests, and stylists know this. I've never worked in a salon, but my guess is that strand tests are not routinely done. Therefore, as long as the customer wasn't hiding relevant information (like claiming she had virgin hair when it was already processed), the stylist is at fault.

Evidence in a case like this should not even require "before" pictures. All that should be necessary would be to clearly show the aftereffects. While courts would probably not give an award based on extra length lost, I'm sure that a bald woman ought to be able to recover the cost of a decent wig.

If lots of women were suing salons, we'd probably read about it regularly in the paper. My guess is that there are a variety of factors at work here. First, salons don't utterly destroy hair all that often. Most women are used to having hair that's damaged by processing and can't tell the difference. When the salons do wreck their hair, the victims are too intimidated to demand even a refund, and are willing to accept a shorter haircut (and even pay for this themselves!), as if it was their hair that was at fault and not the stylist.

Thanks for the compliment. Alas, the new icon size is not longhair-friendly.

Posted By: demodoll
Date Posted: April 19 2005 at 8:50am
I have actually seen several hairdressers being sued on those "judge" programs on TV.  Judge Judy has heard several as has Judge Joe Brown and that guy from Texas.  The hairdressers usually lose too.

"It is better to look marvelous than to feel marvelous" Billy Crystal

Posted By: cmesweet
Date Posted: April 19 2005 at 6:02pm
Yup, I have seen many law shows that the hair dresser loses. It's more common than we think.

BC May 9, 2004

Posted By: Susan W
Date Posted: April 21 2005 at 2:50pm
I haven't frequented salons too much in my life, but when I did go, I have to say the woman did a strand test with 3 strands of my hair.  (Which was good because one came out purple, one came out black, and the third was a shade of red I wanted!).

Making metal barettes/concord clips hair safe, long hair style how to:

Posted By: DesertDavid
Date Posted: April 28 2005 at 6:46pm
I'm a lawyer and have been frequently asked this question given my well-known preference for longhaired women. The answer is YES. First, if a client gives a stylist express instructions, and the stylist does something else, intentionally or not, it is a breach of contract. The client is not liable for the fee, and given the strong emotional attachment many women have for their hair, a Court would probably award emotional distress damages. A woman with 36" of hair cut to 10" would probably be able to collect a considerable amount of money, given the radical shortening and lack of utility (unfortunately, no more buns for a while) resulting a drastically changed look for a long period of time, possibly affecting her marriage. It could also be a tort action for battery, since any cutting beyond what was instructed would be an unconsented touching of her person. If it was intentional, the stylist would be looking at punitive damages, and so would the stylist's employer if the evidence showed that the shop had a pattern and practice of this kind of thing.

Second, as to whether this kind of litigation should be pursued, that is another question. These cases are tough to prove and the damages even more difficult. However, if I had a client willing to pay me my usual fee of $225 per hour, I would take the case if it had merit. The loss of beautiful long hair, not to mention good buns, etc., is a tragedy, and if it is the result of something the law considers actionable and the evidence is there and the client has a big enough bank account, I say go for it!

Posted By: Kalika
Date Posted: May 06 2005 at 3:23pm
*shakes head* this is why I refuse to hairdress professionally, because you get a few gung ho sue happy people.

Posted By: CoolAzFemale
Date Posted: May 12 2005 at 12:20pm

I have a question for you ladies.  I recently had a girl come to my house to put in extensions and they were horrible.  I'm a black woman and my hair is chemicals whatsoever because I had chemo and now I have this baby soft wavy/curly hair that I refuse to damage with chemicals... anyway. I asked for wavy hair, she shows up at my house with straight hair stating that they didn't have wavy hair in the length I desired.  I'm thinking she could've called and told me this.  But she said that in her experience the hair waves up a bit so I let her put them in.  Of course she flat ironed my hair first and I told her my hair didn't hold heat well.....anyway it flat ironed ok but i told her again that my hair didn't hold heat well.  When she finished it looked nice.  Then I turned on the shower.....had to go out and show off my new do!  The steam from the shower hit my hair (not even in the shower yet mind you) and there  went my natural hair back to its original state.  I immediately called the stylist and informed her what happened  since she hadn't been gone 15 minutes.  She told me to try and work with know keep flat ironing my hair daily!  I told her this was not going to work, the whole point was less maintenance.  She said she would re-do it.  I put a stop payment on the check, because I didn't want to pay until the finished product. 

She pressed charges, we talked it out, she promised to re-do my hair, gave her another check, made an appointment for he rto come to my house again, didn't happen, tried to contact, no luck. Finally threatened to take her to court, she called back saying no refunds!  Is this automatically assumed?  I feel that since it was never discussed then I'm entitled.  I'm even willing to compromise...either she comes and redoes it or at least give me 50% of my money back.  Her salon manage refuses to compromise on the money and won't allow her to come to my house to redo my hair, wants me to drive an hour to the salon!!!!!

Do I have a case for court?  What should I do?  Please give me some advice!!!

Posted By: demodoll
Date Posted: May 12 2005 at 1:21pm
It sounds to me like you do have a case.  It is a real good idea to have before and after pictures if possible, as well as pictures of what your hair looks like now since she has messed it up.  You also need to have proof that you have paid her and that she has refused to assist you further.  If you can prove what you have stated above then I think you could definitely take her to small claims court and win!  Good luck.

"It is better to look marvelous than to feel marvelous" Billy Crystal

Posted By: jean32
Date Posted: July 13 2005 at 3:24am
You may not need a lawyer  if you to the justice of the peace[small claims court].You may be able to sue for punitive damages.

Posted By: LiliBeach
Date Posted: July 21 2005 at 12:32am

Coolaz has a very good case.  I don't blame you for being upset and stopping payment.  But let me add this........

Since we all have mishaps, weather it be a bad car mechanic or a bridal dress, we should look for the discoveries in the situation.

The number one thing to learn from this and I want everyone to listen...................NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER allow a stylist, beauty school student, former hairstylist of anyone for that matter come to your house or go to their home for some "under the table" hairstyling.   This is why state boards are in place to protect you the consumer from damages.  In this industry we call these underhanded stylist "Kitchen Witches".  We usually are the ones repairing their damage to your hair. They attempt to do hair at home and when the mess up, there is nothing to protect you the consumer from their damages except a lawsuit.  Then the "stylist" does not have the insurance to cover the lawsuit and lose thier house, car, investments,everything.  The whole thing is a bad idea.  You may think "it's a good deal"  but think again.  They just hurt everyone involved.  I've seen it happen WAY too many times.

Cool, I would advise you to also find out where she works (salon) if she is working in a salon, and report her to the owner.  The owner would like to know so that she would not be messing up someone else that may walk in to the salon.   

Second, I would contact the State Board in your state about this girl. You can find this usually in the state capitols yellow pages or ask any licensed stylist, they can tell you because the number and address should be listed on their framed license.

I hope you win this case.  This girl has no business touching hair.

Take care!! And I pray that you licked that cancer!

I am a professional Hairstylist/Haircolorist with 19 years experience. I have traveled all over the country for my advanced education. I am also a salon owner.:)........and I LOVE Redken!!!

Posted By: snoopval
Date Posted: August 30 2005 at 12:00am
I don't think thier is anything wrong with suing a hairdresser if they deliberatly mess up your hair, that's not being sue happy, it's malicious when people care so much about thier hair to mess it up.  I will stress though in the case of having too much hair cut off, be very carefull to tell your stylist exactly what you want cut off, for an example an inch means different things to many people, i myself have a comb with measurements on it, and i show it to the client, and ask exactly how much they want off, then i do a little less then they tell me, you can always cut more off.

Posted By: bdy67
Date Posted: April 21 2009 at 10:02pm
What if a hairdresser is negligent?  I had hair extension's put in and the stylist did not give any specific instuctions except not to put any conditioning products on my hair extension bonds that contain silicone.  One week after they were put in, I called her to complain that they were very dry and getting tangled all the time.  She said to get a good shampoo and conditioner, I did and called her back with they type and brand, she agreed that it was a good choice, in fact she had just started carrying the brand at her salon.  After using the hydrating shampoo, obviously at the roots and the conditioner on the ends, they began slipping out.  I have had the extensions one month and they are a tangled mess and I have lost over 20!!  The hairdresser, who advertised hair extension, says, "she didn't tell me to get that shampoo and that is the problem, I should not have gotten hydrating shampoo.  She didn't tell me this until after the fact, offered me no advise when I asked for it, I had to wash my hair with something and she never gave me any advise except get good shampoo!!  Isn't she responsible to refund me due to the fact that she, the professional, did not provide the proper care instuctions??

Posted By: AmbiSantana
Date Posted: September 26 2010 at 3:01am

Since receiving my terrible extension job on my birthday 9/23/10, this is my third night of being unable to sleep throughout the night due to the pain my extensions are causing me. I had to get up and get some Ibuprofen to ease the tension on my head. Kim told me they wouldnít hurt unless a hair was stuck during the process but my whole head is hurting right now. I called in to work on Friday morning because of the lack of sleep and pain. Not to mention needing to figure out what I am going to do about this mess and the embarrassment of showing up to work like this.


The day this happened I was at the salon from 8:30-2:30. Then I came back at 6:30 in the evening and was there until after 8. When I saw that it was still messed up and looked like a bad choppy cut, Kim told me to just go home and ďmess with itĒ. I went home and straightened all of the hair to get a good look at the cut. I was sure at that time that there was no messing with it that could fix or hide the horror. My friendís boyfriend even told me that from behind I looked like when I turned around I would be something scary! This Halloween I could go as myself!


My husband and I were arguing last night. I have been depressed about this whole situation since the day of my birthday and self conscious which has caused a strain between my husband and I. He even jokingly told me I look like Joe Dirt yesterday! I have had 3 of my friends tell me this is the worst extension job they have ever seen. Even my Grandma said she had seen better extension jobs than this and she canít even see that well. She just had cataract surgery this week. They say they feel really bad for me. I donít know what to do and I have been stressing over it since it happened.


I donít know who can take these out because I have talked to a couple of stylist since the incident and they said they donít do this type of extensions and donít know anyone who does. I am afraid this whole deal is going to cost an arm and a leg. Not only will I need to pay to get these taken out but I will probably have to get new extensions put in because of how much she chopped my real hair that I had been trying for a year and a half to grow out! I have never stopped payment on a check to a hair dresser or even not tipped for a job that I maybe didnít even like that much. But I have never had anything like this. I am embarrassed to go out in public because even in a ponytail it looks bad. She told me the beads wouldnít show up in a ponytail but they do. That is not even the main problem. Itís that I have a clump of short hair followed by very long hair. I have even seen people looking at it and whispering when I was at my daughterís softball game today. The ball cap couldnít hide it. When you pay that kind of money you expect complements, not this!


Well my head still hurts but I need to try to go back to bed, now it is 3 am. I have  my alarm set for 5:20 to get ready for work.

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