5 Vital Tips to Prevent Lawsuits and Accidents in Your Hair Salon

April 13, 2018

When you give a client the hair they've always wanted, they will remain loyal for years. The stakes can get much higher, though, if something goes wrong in the salon. All it takes is one tiny slip with the scissors, one slip on the floor, or the mistake of leaving those chemicals on a client's head for just a little too long to create serious legal claims against hairdressers. That’s why many hairdressers turn to insurance for hairdressers.

Can you sue a hairdresser for damaging your hair? The truth is that people can and often do.

For example, back in 2014, Women's Health magazine reported that Brazilian model Ikeda sued the famous New York City salon J. Sisters for $1.5 million when she got chemical scalp burns and bald spots that ended her modeling career and caused "emotional trauma." Don't become one of those salons mentioned in the tabloids.

Top 5 hair salon misfortunes you can prevent

1. Don't let your clients feel they're victims of overzealous cutting

To better ensure client satisfaction, keep communication lines open so that you’re both on the same page about what the client wants out of their haircut. You could even establish a rule that you always have a quick consultation before a haircut to ensure you’re applying the right services depending on your client’s hair type and the style they want.

If your professional opinion differs from what the client wants, make sure to clearly state why you think that, but ultimately it is the client’s decision.

2. Don't send clients home with an unintended hair color

Since everyone's hair colors differently, discuss a client's options before jumping to pick out a color formula. Ask your client if they notice their hair breaking often to get an idea how sensitive their hair is to dyes. Many people use a box dye at home and forget to tell their stylist that it's still in their hair, so always ask your client if they’ve used at-home dye to determine the strength of the dye you'll need to use.

Also, whenever someone books an appointment to color their hair, remind them to bring a photo of the kind of hair they want when they come in. It's the most effective form of communication. Then, tell the client how much upkeep the style they're asking for requires to help them decide if this new look is really what they want.

It doesn't hurt to make a photo album for your salon to illustrate hair coloring definitions so that your clients can point to what they want if they can't describe it to you. Most people won't be able to tell you the difference between "ombré" and "sombré" coloring techniques unless you can show them what it looks like.

3. Prevent heat or chemical damage to hair

You know that coloring hair requires chemicals that often cause some amount of damage to hair, but your client might not. If you dye their hair before treating any damage, your client might comment that it looks weaker. It's always a good idea to explain  about why your client needs a conditioning treatment before coloring damaged hair.

Since they may forget to mention it to you, you should remember to ask clients when, if ever, they've used a keratin straightener.

4. Reduce the risk of injuries

Slips and falls can happen at any time and may lead to accidentally cutting yourself or a client. Make sure that you have policies in place to keep your floor swept and dry at all times to minimize these risks. Check your chairs regularly to make sure they don't need repairs, and make sure that all of your client's valuables or anything else they could trip over stay out of your work area.

5. Prevent chemical burns

Many good salons can stay busy all day, so it's easy to forget how long a chemical treatment has been sitting on your client's hair when you're attending to many different things at once. However, once you've burned a client's scalp and their hair starts falling out, they may never trust you or your salon again.

That's why you should use a timer every time.

Check the client's scalp before applying a product that could cause a chemical burn. Look out for any sores or signs of irritation and point them out to your client. You may need to reschedule with them for their own safety, and they will appreciate your concern.

Protect your salon against liabilities

No matter how much you try to prevent these common claims against hairdressers, it's also important to prepare yourself for accidents with the right insurance. If you wait until the worst has already happened, it will be too late to save yourself from a mountain of legal fees. Professional liability insurance is both practical and affordable, so take a moment to consider what it can save you from.

These professional liability insurance options from Hiscox can protect you from lawsuits due to many different hairstylist incidents:

  • Hiscox provides insurance coverage for beauty professionals, including general liability and professional liability
  • professional liability coverage protects against claims of negligence, emotional trauma, lost wages, and leaking of sensitive client data
  • general liability coverage protects you from claims of property damage, bodily injury and associated medical expenses, and slander.

By following the tips mentioned above and choosing the right insurance protection for claims against hairdressers, your salon will have the most important tools needed to serve your clientele better.