The case involves a male hair salon client that suffered an injury to his head and neck while his hair was being washed. While the stylist was washing the client’s hair, the man’s head and neck were pressed down on the rim of the sink which had no padding or protection of any kind. The man felt a sharp pain in the right side of his neck and head. He complained that he was in pain and was dizzy, but the stylist continued to wash his hair. As a result, an artery in the man’s neck became torn from hyperextension causing severe pain and inability to work. The stylist who washed the man’s hair was a new trainee who had started at the hair salon only 3 weeks before the incident. It was alleged that the salon did not adequately train the new stylist to provide safe hair-washing care to clients.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please briefly describe your work training hairdressers.
- 2. What steps must be taken when washing a client's hair?
- 3. Is applying downward pressure to the client's head during washing proper practice? Please explain.
Expert Witness Response E-140928
I have 29 years of experience as a beauty school director. I am the owner of a salon, and I have served on the disciplinary review committee of a state board of barbering and cosmetology. I directly oversee the training of students at the beauty school and my own salon. In addition, 8 out of the 9 staff members at my salon were personally trained by me. Although I do not normally use padding on the sink edge, there needs to be proper draping of a towel around the neck area and a waterproof shampoo cape in order to create a cushion for the neck. It is hard to imagine someone using an extensive amount of pressure and this should not be done. I have reviewed many cases while serving on the disciplinary review committee.