Charlotte Gilchrist was 16 at the time of incident and about to attend her school prom when she suffered a severe allergic reaction to a hair dye at a local salon. Five years on, and now aged 21, Miss Gilchrist has been awarded £20,000 in compensation.
In April 2004 Miss Gilchrist was a pupil at Colne Valley High School in Huddersfield. In preparation for her school prom, she attended a hair salon to have her hair dyed especially for the occasion. However the trainee hairdresser failed to run a skin test on Miss Gilchrist to check she wasn’t allergic to any of the chemicals in the dye.
Within minutes of applying the dye to her hair, Miss Gilchrist began to feel a burning sensation and her head started to itch. The following day the pain was so bad, she had to leave school. Her face had become covered in blisters and she was unable to open her eyes for 5 days. After attending the hospital she was prescribed antihistamines.
Miss Gilchrist described the affect the reaction had, “I was scared. When I woke up the following day the right side of my face was swollen. There was a clear liquid coming out of my head, it was just awful.”
Despite her horrific injuries, the 16-year-old struggled to attend her school prom, but spent the whole evening in tears.
Miss Gilchrist has now been awarded a total of £20,000 in compensation. The hair salon owner has been ordered to pay her £18,000 legal costs, and £2,000 for damages.