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Providing colour kits to clients and why you shouldn’t do it

As a result of the UK lockdown we have been receiving many enquiries from our therapists looking for ways to support their clients whilst they are unable to treat them. The most common query being the...

Providing colour kits to clients and why you shouldn’t do it

As a result of the UK lockdown we have been receiving many enquiries from our therapists looking for ways to support their clients whilst they are unable to treat them. The most common query being the supply of hair colour for clients to use at home. Our clients have been wondering whether they are able to provide an at home colour dye kit to their clients during the current pandemic. The simple answer is no and here is why…

The product liability section in our policies only covers the products given to the client in relation to a treatment, such as aftercare like a shampoo or serum. Accordingly, if you wanted to sell your existing customers shampoos and serums to use at home to keep their hair in good health until they return to the salon then this would be acceptable under the terms of the policy.

However, if you want to sell products to people you have never treated before, you would need a separate insurance policy for products liability concerning contracts of sale that falls outside the normal therapist/client relationship. This is a specialised cover that we do not offer under our salon policies.

The same goes for if you were to mix up the client’s dye for them to apply the colour at home, it will not be covered. Your clients would need to purchase it themselves and apply it themselves if they want to dye their hair, you cannot be a party to the process as the policy will not cover it.

Products labelled as “for professional use only” which many hairdressers do use should never be offered for resale or be supplied to clients – if you do so, you will be held liable for anything that goes wrong and your insurance won’t cover you for any claim made by the client. And remember – patch tests can sometimes be required every time you are to chemically alter a client’s hair, so you are being negligent in this situation as well. This is all dependent on your training and manufacturers guidance.

Our policy would only cover you to apply the product and you telling them to apply it themselves would be a breach of these policy conditions as you are actively telling them to ignore the manufacturer’s instructions. This means you could be held responsible for supplying a dangerous product for use by a non-professional but your policy would not respond because you have not followed the manufacturer’s advices.

Even if you provide live video tutorials on how to do a treatment at home, such as a root touch up, not everyone is going to do them correctly. When you work with hair for so long, it’s easy to forget that for a regular person, some things aren’t common knowledge. Even a seemingly simple root touch-up may lead to less than desired results.

The outcome of the treatment might not be the worst that can happen. The client may have a sudden, aggressive allergic reaction. Your insurance won’t cover this situation as you haven’t been the one to apply the products to the client – and in most cases, the client will hold you responsible.

It’s an idea to remember that YOU are the expert in this field, and you know how to use and apply these products. It will most definitely open too many doors for a claim if it isn’t applied correctly by the client as it could fall back on you.

Your clients have waited a substantial amount of time already to have their hair done, ensure them that a little longer will not hurt, remind them of the damage at home colouring could do and that you are doing all that you can in preparation for when you are able to trade again.

 

2nd June 2020