Hair Dye Allergic Reaction Claims Guide

By Lewis Hendrix. Last Updated 8th August 2023. Welcome to our guide on hair dye allergic reaction claims. Here, we look at making a claim for a mild hair dye allergy or a serious allergy to hair dye due to negligence. We answer questions such as ‘how long does an allergic reaction to hair dye last?’ and ‘How much compensation for hair dye allergy symptoms could I receive?’

We have put this guide together to help explain how making a compensation claim works if you suffer an allergic reaction to hair dye. If you are reading this article, you have probably suffered from adverse effects of a hair dye that has been used on you at a hairdresser’s or a beautician’s, or a hair dye which you have used at home yourself. This may have arisen because the wrong product was used or because it was used in the incorrect fashion.

A hair dresser applying hair dye for a client

In any case, if it can be proven that a business’s duty of care towards you was not properly upheld, you could be entitled to claim compensation.

If there is anything in this article that you wish to know more about, or if you have additional questions or if you want to try to start a claim, please call us to get in touch with our team of advisors by calling 0800 073 8801.

Select A Section

  1. A Guide To Claims For A Hair Dye Allergic Reaction
  2. What Is A Hair Dye Allergic Reaction?
  3. How Does Dye Affect Your Hair?
  4. Symptoms Of Allergic Reactions To Hair Dyes
  5. Treating An Allergic Reaction To Hair Dye
  6. Causes Of Hair Dye Allergic Reactions
  7. Ingredients Used In Hair Dyes Which Could Cause Allergic Reactions
  8. Calculating Compensation For Hair Dye Allergic Reactions
  9. What Special Damages Could You Claim?
  10. No Win No Fee Hair Dye Allergic Reactions Compensation Claims
  11. How To Make A Hair Dye Allergic Reaction Claim?
  12. Talk To Our Team
  13. Hair And Beauty Claim Resources

A Guide To Claims For A Hair Dye Allergic Reaction

Welcome to our hair dye allergic reaction claims guide.

Hair dye is a commonly used product by both women and men who wish to either give themselves a new look or to disguise the fact that their hair is starting to turn grey. If you buy a hair dye product to use at home or if you visit a hair salon to have a hair dye service done for you, you are entitled to receive a product or service that is safe.

If you suffer an allergic reaction to hair dye that you use yourself despite following the instructions correctly and reading the label for any allergy warnings, then you could be entitled to claim compensation from the manufacturer or the distributor of the product.

Could I claim?

Should you be given hair dye treatment in hairdressers or beauticians and you suffer from an allergic reaction to the hair dye, then you could be entitled to claim compensation from the business in question if there is proof that the procedure was performed incorrectly or with the use of the incorrect hair dye.

Allergic reactions to hair dye can range in severity, with some very severe reactions having potentially permanent and life-changing impacts. Reading this guide and then working with our team of professional legal advisors can inform you about what amount of compensation you could be entitled to for the allergic reaction you have suffered from. 

Time Limit For Hair Dye Allergic Reaction Claims

Following an allergic reaction to hair dye, you’ll typically have three years from the date you were injured to start your personal injury claim. This time limit is set out by Limitation Act 1980.

However, under the following circumstances, the limitation period may be suspended:

  • If a young person has an allergic reaction because of hair dye, the three-year time limit is suspended until their 18th birthday. From this date, they will have until their 21st birthday to start a claim.
  • When an adult does not have the mental capacity to make a claim on their own. In this case, the limitation period is permanently frozen unless the claimant regains the mental capacity required to claim by themselves. If this happens, they will have three years to start a claim from the date of recovery.

In both instances where the time limit is suspended, a court-appointed litigation friend could make a claim on the claimant’s behalf. This should be someone who will act in the claimant’s best interests and could be a solicitor or parent, for example.

To see whether you may have a valid claim and are within the appropriate limitation period, you can contact our team of friendly advisors.

What Is A Hair Dye Allergic Reaction?

Before we look at how to make hair dye allergic reaction claims, let’s first take a look at what an allergic reaction to hair dye actually is.

Hair dyes use various ingredients and chemicals to change the colour of the user’s hair. Some hair dyes can pose a greater threat than others. They can contain ingredients that cause allergic reactions to their users. This is because some people have allergies to certain chemicals and ingredients included in hair dyes, and some dyes contain materials such as ammonia which can cause adverse reactions among most people if exposed to the skin for too long or in large amounts.

The most common cause of allergic reactions to hair dyes is a chemical called paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which can cause reactions in people who suffer from contact dermatitis.  

Suffering from an allergic reaction can cause minor short-term problems or serious and potentially permanent damage. We will discuss the specific effects of hair dye allergic reactions later in this article. This is a useful health resource about hair dye allergies.

How Does Dye Affect Your Hair?

Next in our allergic reaction claims guide, we’re going to look at how hair dye might affect your hair.

Hair dyes come in two different kinds that work differently and have different effects on the user’s hair. There are hair dyes that are intended to only temporarily change the colour of the user’s hair. This type of hair dye works by coating the outside of each hair stem. Temporary hair dyes do not normally contain any harsh chemicals, and the dyes can be washed out of the hair in just a few washes.

Other hair dyes are intended to be permanent, and a single treatment is enough to make long term changes to the user’s hair, with occasional top-ups needed in order to maintain the colour. In order to make permanent changes to hair colour, permanent hair dye employs stronger chemicals, including ammonia and peroxide.

Ammonia is an alkaline, which is used to “open up” the lining of the hair stems, allowing the molecules which make up the hair dyes colouring to enter the inside of the hair stem, rather than coating the outside, as in temporary hair dyes. The peroxide is used to remove the original hair colour.

Symptoms Of Allergic Reactions To Hair Dyes

At this point in our hair dye allergic reaction claims, let’s look at some common symptoms of allergic reactions to hair dye.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to hair dyes can take up to, or even longer than, 48 hours to emerge after the application of the dye. In very strong reactions, the onset of symptoms may be rapid. Symptoms that start out mild can escalate into more serious symptoms, so at the first sign of a negative reaction to hair dye, you should contact a doctor.

In an allergic reaction, all the regions of skin that had contact with the dye product can become irritated, including the scalp, the forehead, the neck, ears and eyelids. You could experience redness, swelling, itching, blistering, dryness and cracking of the skin. Burning and/or stinging may ensue.  If the eyelids become swollen, the swelling might become severe enough to prevent you from seeing properly.

Severe reactions

In more severe reactions, the symptoms can spread across the rest of the body. In cases of anaphylactic shock (otherwise known as anaphylaxis), these symptoms can include:

  • Swelling of the hands, feet and lips
  • Lightheadedness and/or fainting
  • Swelling of the mouth, throat and tongue can cause difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Wheezing
  • Stomach pains
  • Vomiting and/or nausea
  • Unconsciousness

You can read more about allergic reactions to hair dye products and what to do if you experience one in this NHS guide. If you recognise any of these symptoms from your own experience and would like more information on hair dye allergic reaction claims, speak to our team today.

Treating An Allergic Reaction To Hair Dye

If you begin to suffer from the effects of an allergic reaction during or after the application of hair dye, you should immediately attempt to wash out the dye from your hair using warm water and mild soap or shampoo. There are also some other remedies that may prove useful which you can administer to yourself at home; these include:

  • Taking an antihistamine tablet
  • Gently applying moisturising cream or emollient cream to the affected area
  • Applying steroid cream (such as cortisol) to the affected area
  • Applying Hydrogen Peroxide to the affected area
  • Applying permanganate peroxide to the affected area.

Antihistamines can reduce the body’s allergic response to the allergens in the dye. Moisturisers and steroids can reduce the damage being done to the skin. Oxidisers like Hydrogen Peroxide and permanganate can reduce the effect of allergens like PPD by oxidising them and rendering them less dangerous.

You should always contact a doctor if you experience any form of allergic reaction symptoms before even thinking about making hair dye allergic reaction claims for your suffering.

Causes Of Hair Dye Allergic Reactions

There are a number of reasons why people both with and without pre-existing allergies, which they are aware of, can experience reactions to hair dyes. Many hair dyes contain ingredients that include harsh chemicals such as ammonia, which can cause nasty reactions if they have prolonged exposure to the skin.

Why Am I Allergic To Hair Dye?

There are many potential causes of a reaction to a hair dye product. The most common is a pre-existing allergy to certain ingredients in the dye. This is usually something that’s known as contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is a condition where the skin experiences redness, swelling, itching, cracking and pain when it comes into physical contact with a material that triggers an allergy or which reacts with the skin.

One of the irritants and allergens most commonly found in hair dye products is paraphenylenediamine (PPD). PPD is safe in limited amounts even though it is an allergen and an irritant; however, the amounts of PPD that a hair dye product can contain is strictly limited by law. When using a hair dye product, the user must follow safety instructions closely or else they could be putting themselves at risk of an allergic reaction.

Please continue reading to learn more about how to make hair dye allergic reaction claims.

Should You Use “Natural” Hair Dye Products?

You may sometimes come across hair dye products labelled as “safe” or “natural”. UK law already regulates and controls what kind of materials hair product manufacturers can and cannot put in their products. All products sold legally in the UK should already be safe to use anyway. Just because a bottle of hair dye is labelled as being “safe” or “natural” does not automatically mean that it is any more safe or organic than any other products.

When using a “natural” or “safe” hair dye product, you should still always read the label carefully for the instructions and ingredients list. You should also perform a “patch test”, wherein you place a small amount of the product on your skin prior to using it to ensure that you know whether or not you will suffer a reaction when using the product.

You may benefit from reading this guide to anaphylaxis.

What Should I Do If I Am Allergic To Hair Dye?

At this point in our hair dye allergic reaction claims, we’ll look what to do if you have a hair dye allergy.

If you suffer from an allergy to hair dye products or wish to check to make sure that you are not likely to experience an allergic reaction, you can perform a patch test. It is advisable, in fact, that you always perform this test whenever you are about to dye your hair, even if you are using the same brand you always use without issues.

The patch test is quite simple, just apply a small amount of hair dye on either the back of your ear or on the skin of your inner elbow and wait. If you experience any kind of reaction to the product, do not use it to dye your hair. You could also find an allergy clinic to perform a proper medical test.

Patch testing

If you perform the patch test without experiencing symptoms of an allergic reaction, you may continue to use it in your hair; however, there are still precautions that you should observe when using a hair dye product.

  • Use gloves when applying the product
  • Do not leave the dye in longer than the time specified on the bottle or packaging
  • Thoroughly rinse the dye out of your hair afterwards
  • Follow all of the instructions that come with the dye carefully.

Needless to say, if you suffer from contact dermatitis or other forms of skin allergy, it is wise to try and avoid hair dye products that contain PPD if at all possible. For more information on what kind of ingredients could lead to hair dye allergic reaction claims, please read on. 

Ingredients Used In Hair Dyes Which Could Cause Allergic Reactions

Most hair dyes available in shops and hair salons are a chemical mixture containing many different ingredients. Most of these ingredients are perfectly harmless. However, there are ingredients contained in many hair dye formulas that can cause adverse effects through allergic reactions or through other ways of causing damage, such as chemical burns. Here are some of the particular culprits often contained in hair dye products.

Hydrogen Peroxide

This component is used to open up the outer layer of hair shafts (cuticle) and to clear out the natural pigment of the hair. This is what allows the colouring components of hair dye formulas to introduce the new colour to the hair. Hydrogen Peroxide is a toxic chemical. In addition, its oxidising effects can damage the hairs keratin by removing sulphur, an important component in the makeup of keratin. Prolonged use can cause the hair to become dry and brittle and lose its natural colour.


Ammonia is used in conjunction with Hydrogen Peroxide to assist the hair in taking on a new colour by opening up the hair shaft lining and cuticle. It is strongly alkaline and can cause damage to the skin, including even chemical burns if applied in strong concentrations, as well as causing breathing difficulties if inhaled. Ammonia and any products containing ammonia must be handled with care.

Paraphenylenediamine (PPD)

PPD is the material responsible for most allergic reactions suffered by hair dye users. PPD is manufactured as a by-product of coal tar and is usually used to create dark hair colours. It is used in permanent or long-term dye products and helps the pigments of the hair dye formula to bond with the hair shafts. Most hair salons will carry out a patch test 24-48 hours before a hair dyeing appointment to check for a reaction to hair dyes containing PPD.

Calculating Compensation For Hair Dye Allergic Reactions

We cannot provide a value that hair dye allergic reaction claims could be worth. Each individual personal injury compensation case must be calculated on the specific effects of the injury or illness suffered by the claimant. 

The amount of compensation you could be entitled to will depend on:

  • The severity of the injury and how long its effects lasted
  • How large the affected area of the body was
  • What amount of permanent damage or health problems were caused by it
  • Whether any permanently disfiguring effects were caused
  • What amount of physical pain (if any) was caused by the incident
  • What amount (if any) psychological trauma was caused by the incident


Injury Severity Compensation
Dermatitis Long term or permanent dermatitis, with symptoms such as cracking, soreness and impacting domestic life. £13,740 to £19,200
Dermatitis Dermatitis of one or both hands that settles after treatment but may otherwise last for a significant period. Some tasks may require use of gloves. £8,640 to £11,410
Dermatitis Short-lived dermatitis. Symptoms include itchiness, rashes and irritation. Resolves within a few months. £1,710 to £3,950
Hair damage Serious long term damage to hair and scalp causing pain, irritation and emotional trauma £7,340 to £11,020
Hair damage Less severe than above. Level of award will depend upon the length of time the hair takes to repair. £3,950 to £7,340
Mental Anguish Fear of impending death. £4,670
Less Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Virtual full recovery made in 1-2 years. £3,950 to £8,180
Moderate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Large recovery with no grossly disabling continuing trauma. £8,180 to £23,150
Moderately Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Partial recovery made with professional help but some disabling effects of trauma remaining. £23,150 to £59,860


The figures in the above table have been taken from guidelines produced by the Judicial College, which reviews compensation awards made by the courts. We can give you a more specific valuation if you get in touch with our team and explain your case to them in more detail. For more information on what other damages can be included in hair dye allergic reaction claims, please continue to the next section. 

What Special Damages Could You Claim?

Sometimes an injury or a health problem caused by an allergic reaction can have a big impact on our health. A major allergic reaction incident, particularly one with severe lasting effects, can have a big financial impact on you as well. These financial issues can be compensated for with special damages, a form of compensation intended to make sure that a victim’s finances are not damaged as a result of an injury or illness caused by someone else.

Special damages can cover a number of different expenses:

  • Loss of income from having to take time off work. If an injury or illness causes you to have to permanently leave your job or to take on another one with lower wages or salary, then you can be compensated to the tune of the equivalent value of your salary in the form of a yearly annuity until you reach retirement age.
  • Care costs arising from having to spend money on receiving support and assistance. This could include things like having regular nursing care on either a temporary or permanent basis.
  • Medical costs arising from any money you have had to spend on medical treatment for the effects of an allergic reaction.
  • Travelling costs arising from the effects of the allergic reaction, i.e. getting a taxi to the hospital.
  • Adaptation costs, for example, if you have been left with a permanent disability by the incident, which requires adaptations to your home or leaves you with special requirements.

To find out more about how much special damages you could be entitled to as part of hair dye allergic reaction claims, please contact our advice team for a free consultation.

No Win No Fee Hair Dye Allergic Reactions Compensation Claims

Some people might feel discouraged from attempting to make a personal injury claim because of what they perceive as the financial risk of taking on legal fees when there is not yet a guarantee of receiving compensation. 

If you work with Accident Claims, you won’t have to worry about that situation. All of our solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis. No Win No Fee hair dye claims are simple but effective and mutually beneficial for you and your solicitor to make a personal injury claim without the complications of legal fees.

The benefits of No Win No Fee claims are as follows:

  • You will not be charged upfront or ongoing legal fees by your solicitor
  • Your solicitor will not charge legal fees if your claim for compensation is rejected
  • If your claim succeeds, your solicitor will seek a small percentage of your compensation award to cover their costs. This contribution is capped by law. 

If there is anything else that you want to know about making hair dye allergic reaction claims on a No Win No Fee basis, please contact us to discuss your case.

How To Make A Hair Dye Allergic Reaction Claim?

There isn’t a shortage of solicitors on the market who offer compensation claim services for people who have been injured or made ill by another party’s negligence. But we think it would benefit you the most if you worked through Accident Claims to make your claim. 

Our team of professional legal experts can provide you with free advice and legal consultation. When you feel confident that you wish to attempt to start a claim, they can put you in touch with our specialist personal injury solicitors.

All of our personal injury claim solicitors operate on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning that working with them is much less financially risky than working with other solicitors.

Talk To Our Team

Person working out the compensation for their allergic reaction to hair dye claim

If you wish to find out more about how to make hair dye allergic reaction claims or if you want to start making a claim today, you can get in touch with our legal advice team for a free consultation to discuss your situation:

What happens when you make hair dye allergic reaction claims?

If you decide to claim for an allergic reaction caused by hair dye, it’s not simply a case of asking for some money to compensate you. Instead, you need to fully justify the amount you are asking for and substantiate your claim with evidence. Furthermore, you must be able to clearly show how your suffering was caused by the negligence of the beauty technician. What’s more, the claims process will be further complicated by the fact the business you’re claiming against won’t handle your claim, their insurance company will.

Insurers always aim to try to limit how much compensation they pay. After all, they are a business and want to remain profitable. We believe the best way of receiving the right amount of compensation from an insurer is with a specialist personal injury lawyer on your side.

If your case is taken on, one of our solicitors will begin by reviewing evidence and arranging for your suffering to be reviewed at a local medical assessment. They will then file your claim and deal with the insurance company on your behalf. If any objections are raised, they’ll try to supply additional evidence to counter them.

Throughout the case, you will be updated regularly and you’ll have the chance to ask questions if you have any. You can rest assured, though, that your solicitor will do all they can to try and achieve the maximum amount of compensation possible.

Hair And Beauty Claim Resources

Thank you for reading our guide on the legal services that we can offer you if you suffer an allergic reaction to hair dye. Below, you can find some more of our guides and external further resources that you may find useful.

Thank you for reading our guide on hair dye allergic reaction claims.