Beauty salon in £1m injury compensation claim after customer suffers a stroke

Posted Aug 23, 2018.
Following a visit to a beauty salon in April 2016 for a cut and colour, a mother of two is claiming that the treatment she received caused a massive stroke, leaving her unable to see, speak or move for 24 hours.

Adele Burns, 47, who went to the Rainbow Rooms beauty solon in Glasgow for the £200 treatment, has launched legal action and claim for £1m compensation, claiming that the stroke was caused by her head being pulled back six times as her hair was washed six times as stylists at the salon struggled to get the cut and colour right. Mrs Burns’ medical team claim that the repeated washing injured her neck, causing a clot that prevented blood flowing to her brain – a condition that has become to be known as beauty parlour syndrome. 

Beauty Parlour Syndrome

Beauty Parlour Syndrome is caused when a backwash basin, commonly used in beauty salons and hairdressers, creates pressure on the neck, damaging arteries and causing a blood clot, which can easily starve the brain of oxygen. Medical experts and vascular surgeons say that you may be at higher risk of beauty parlour syndrome if you have existing conditions such as high blood pressure or if you’ve previously had a stroke. Even if you don’t suffer a stroke, the condition also encompasses symptoms including significant neck discomfort and pain.

Compensation claim

Mrs Burns suffered a headache soon after leaving the salon, which she initially put down to light-headedness as she hadn’t had chance to eat during the treatment session. However, her condition deteriorated rapidly the next day when she lost her sight and felt dizzy at her home. She managed to briefly call and alert her husband, who raced home to find her to find his wife slumped on the floor, unable to speak and with the right side of her face drooping. He called an ambulance and she was rushed to hospital, where she suffered a stroke.
Partially recovered, Mrs Burns still struggles to read, write and speak, and the accident has left her unable to drive or work, which has resulted in her and her husband having to sell their house. Mrs Burns said:

“A stroke isn't like a physical injury like a leg break where you take time out and heal then carry on as normal - it changes your life and the lives of those around you…i've completely lost my independence and I sometimes feel like my life is no longer my own…this hasn’t just left me isolated from society – I’ve been isolated from my own body”

Her lawyers are accusing the salon of negligence in failing to offer her a front-facing sink, or provide neck protection during the washes.  Medical reports also show no evidence of a family history of strokes, and a CT scan has confirmed that the stroke happened following her trip to the salon.

Mrs Burns is hoping that by taking legal action and highlighting the potential risks of such treatment, that standards will improve across the UK’s hairdressers and beauty salons. The salon owners, rainbow Room International, declined to comment.