Page last updated at 10:05 GMT, Sunday, 29 November 2009

Hairdressers should be monitored 'to prevent injuries'

Hair dresser
Lawyers have dealt with 40 cases in London within the last year

Hairdressers should be regulated to help prevent injuries, say lawyers acting for people who have been harmed.

Currently hairdressers can voluntarily register with the Hairdressing Council. Fewer than 10% of the 130,000 hairdressers in the UK are members.

The calls are backed by industry bodies who say checks would help prevent scalp damage, baldness and burns.

The government says that it does not want to add to the regulatory burden and current measures are sufficient.

'Falling apart'

Aside from the requirement for hairdressers to register with their local authority, there is no legislation which applies specifically to the hairdressing industry.

Habia (Hair and Beauty Industry Authority) says the health and safety checks by local authorities are generic and not specific to the hairdressing industry.

London: 40
Newcastle: 17
Manchester: 14
Bristol: 13
Birmingham: 4

Katherine Hindhaugh almost cancelled her wedding after a reaction to a hair dye left her with a burned scalp.

"It was a big nightmare, I've never gone through something like this ever," she told BBC Breakfast.

"I've never been so scared; my life felt like it was falling apart."

To register with the Hairdressing Council a hairdresser must have a minimum of NVQ Level 2 or six years' provable experience.

Amanda Stevens from The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) said: "Compulsory regulation would mean improvements in safety and people would know what to expect and would have a better prospect of not being injured."

Stylist Andrew Barton told the BBC the measures would be the "only way we can get rid of cowboys in our trade".

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