You can see the advertisements on television all the time—women running their fingers through their hair, happy because they have dyed their hair to a “brilliant” color. But what happens if the hair dye is a defective product? After all, hair dye contains chemicals that come in close contact not only with your scalp, but with your eyes, nose and mouth, creating the potential for a serious personal injury. Some women say they suffered severe burns after using hair products, including dyes and relaxers.
According to the FDA, some problems reported from hair dyes include hair loss, burning, redness, itchy or raw skin, swelling in the face and trouble breathing. Sometimes, the issue is an allergic reaction, and the FDA warns that such a reaction can occur even after years of using a hair dye product.
Some lawsuits have been filed against hair dye makers, alleging their product caused women to permanently lose their hair. In 2006, a lawsuit was filed against Procter & Gamble, alleging that Clairol “Nice ‘n Easy” hair dye left the plaintiff with chemical burns on her scalp and caused her hair to fall out.
Hair dye chemical burns do not just happen at home. In fact, lawsuits have been filed against salons alleging that clients suffered chemical burns during hair dye treatments. In 2014, a woman filed a $12,000 lawsuit, alleging she suffered a severe chemical burn to her scalp. Her lawsuit seeks expenses for medical care as well as damages for physical and mental pain and suffering. An article in the FDA’s Consumer magazine notes that hair straighteners and hair dyes are among the agency’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors top consumer complaint areas. Although some complaints are caused by misuse of the product, others may be related to the product itself, and reactions vary from hair breakage to emergency room visits. According to the FDA article, there have been cases where products were labeled as “chemical free” when they actually contained ingredients that most people would consider “chemicals.” In those cases, the products were eventually removed from the market or had their labels changed. Chemical burns can be incredibly painful and can have severe consequences for victims. They can take a long time to heal, putting patients at risk for infections. The recovery can be expensive, requiring various medicines, including steroids, to heal the burns and creams to stop the pain. Of course, there is also the emotional impact associated with such chemical burns. The scarring of the head and face can be emotionally traumatic for a person, leading to depression and anxiety.
In cases where a defective product has caused personal injury, it is possible to file a lawsuit to hold the company accountable for putting a defective product on the market.