A woman who suffered agonising hair loss and scalp burns following a botched bleaching treatment has received £12,500 damages after suing her hairdressers.
Rachel Ludlow, 34, said it took more than two years for her hair to recover after an appointment at Identity, in Duston, on December 21, 2015.
She took legal action against her local salon after accusing them of leaving bleach in her hair for 45 minutes which caused excruciating burns to the top of her head.
The former receptionist also claimed she developed mental health issues as result of her ordeal - including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Leicester County Court heard several weeks after having her nightmare hair cut Miss Ludlow began to suffer hair loss and bald patches.
She said did not go out or socialise and when she did leave the house she had to wear a bobble hat to hide the poor state of her hair.
She eventually went to see a specialist who told her it would take six months for her scalp to heal and 26 months for the hair to return to its prior length and condition.
Yesterday (Friday) Miss Ludlow was awarded thousands of pounds in compensation after successfully suing the salon for breach of contract and negligence.
Judge Alison Hampton said: “In a busy salon with a lot going on there is plainly the opportunity for mistakes to occur, particularly when the stylist is not holding on to the relevant timers.
“Miss Giles [hair stylist] did not seem to be familiar with the bleach product specification.
"She did not realise she needed to check the root treatment every five minutes. She also did not realise she had to avoid contact with the scalp.
“I accept the evidence of Miss Ludlow that she was subject to the initial dying process for too long. I find this was an error of judgement.
“I find that was a breach of duty in this case. It was simple misjudgement.
“It was a mistake. We all make mistakes. Mercifully this mistake did not have permanent consequences.”
Miss Ludlow, of Northampton, had claimed the bleach had been left in her hair for 45 minutes, longer than the 25 minutes she was used to.
When her scalp became red, the hairdresser decided to apply an all-over “bleach bath” to the rest of her head.
Giving evidence on Thursday, Miss Ludlow, said: “Ellisha Giles the hair stylist did not return at any point while my hair was bleached in the first instance.
“I was sat there for 45 minutes. I think they forgot about me if I’m perfectly honest. There was no timer.
"It was 7pm when I found the sores on my head - I called the salon but they were closed.
“It was a couple of days later I first noticed breakages in my hair.
“I had bald patches after a couple of weeks.
“A couple of days after I saw the specialist I saw another hairdresser and she was quite disgusted at how my hair was cut.
“She was shocked at how much hair had fallen out.”
Ellisha Giles, the hair stylist who had carried out the bleaching, claimed she had used a timer and checked back on Miss Ludlow during the appointment.
She said: “I am a professional stylist - I would never forget to check it. This is why we set timers, so that things like that don’t happen.”
I have never had any complaints, I’m very passionate about what I do.
“The process did not go wrong.”
Kelly Weston, the owner of Identity, said: “Rachel had damage to her hair but that’s not necessarily down to us - there could have been a number of reasons.
“It can happen if a client has scratched their head or if they have had any hot flushes.”