Work Related Contact Dermatitis: Hairdresser Compensation

It’s not just hairdressing customers who experience skin problems such as dermatitis – a dry, itchy, irritating skin condition to the hands which can be caused by exposure to irritants used in shampoos and colours.

Those who work in the hair and beauty industry are also at risk. In fact, the incidence of contact dermatitis in hairdressing salons is over 15 times the national UK average. So it’s not surprising there have been many cases for hairdresser compensation claims for dermatitis.

There are two types of contact dermatitis: ‘irritant’ and ‘allergic’.

Irritant contact dermatitis can flare up after a few contacts with strong chemicals, such as bleach. More commonly it develops gradually through frequent working with milder chemicals found in shampoo.

Allergic contact dermatitis can develop quickly after only a few contacts with substances such as shampoos or hair dye. Sometimes it can take months or even years for the allergy to develop. Once you are allergic, you are allergic for good and this could well mean you develop allergies to common detergents, cleaning products or scented soaps.

If you work in a salon and use substances that are known to cause dermatitis, it is the responsibility of salon owners to provide staff with protective gloves. If not, employees are at risk of injury and the employer can face a hairdresser compensation claim against them.