Stunning women left with permanent bald patch after appointment at Toni & Guy

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A stunning woman celebrating her 21st birthday has been left with a permanent bald patch after a botched hair appointment at Toni & Guy.

Becca Peet, from Alton, Hampshire, was celebrating her 21st birthday when she opted to have her hair dyed at the well-known salon.

But it ended in disaster and Becca was rushed to hospital with chemical burns on her scalp.

She later required an operation as the open wound on her head became infected and needed to be cut out.

Becca has been left with a tennis ball-sized bald patch in the middle of her head which has been severely scarred.

Her confidence has hit rock bottom and she had to wait three years for Toni & Guy to pay out a five figure sum.

She now manages to cover her bald patch by carefully styling her hair to the side every morning.

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Becca, a nursery worker, said: “I was hoping to change my hair colour from dark to blonde with highlights for my 21st birthday celebrations that night.

“But my birthday treat turned into a nightmare after the colour was applied.

“When I was having the colouring done my head suddenly felt like it was touching a hot pan that just kept getting hotter and hotter.

“The foils were steaming and I said that it was burning and asked the girl to stop. She said ‘no it’s fine’.

“Eventually, I was taken to the sink and the foils were pulled out.

“My head was numb, like when you burn yourself with an iron but the blow dryer made my head feel hot and sore and I stopped them.

“They said they would not charge me for the treatment and apologised.

“I left and was crying and after going to my sisters, the blisters started to form.

“I was devastated but at the time I had no idea how horrific it looked.

“My skin was blistering and there was puss on it that caused an infection.

“I later had to undergo an operation to remove the infected burn, leaving me with a permanent bald patch and 9cm scar.

“My hair was thick and brown, I loved it but now I have a huge patch that I’m conscious of every day.”

Becca, now 24, has spent many nights crying herself to sleep and waited three and a half years for Toni and Guy to agree to pay her ‘without prejudice’ a five-figure sum through personal injury specialists Hudgell Solicitors.

She added: “It has been absolutely horrendous and after it happened I wasn’t just in pain, I was tearful all of the time and left very self-conscious about how I looked because of the bald patch and scar on my scalp.”

As part of her case against the salon, led by personal injury specialists Hudgell Solicitors, it was alleged that a trainee member of staff had wrongly mixed the treatment, leading to it causing the burns.

It was also alleged that staff failed to realise the damage being caused quickly enough, causing further pain by failing to remove foils and further adding to the pain by applying hot water and blow drying the hair.

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Becca did once want to become a hairdresser herself but has now decided to stick with being a nursery worker. She added: “In the weeks afterwards I was in constant pain from my scalp and severe headaches.

“My hair started sticking to the pus and scabs that were forming on my scalp due to infection and I moving my face or changing my facial expression moved my scalp and worsened the pain.

“The open infected wound on my scalp was also causing a nasty odour which was very embarrassing for me, and the pain stopped me sleeping.

“My boyfriend had to put cream on my burn for about eight months and wash and help me untangle my hair because it became knotted with the pus and scabs on the wound. This took over an hour each time. It was horrendous.

“One day when I was washing my hair it began to fall out in clumps. I opened my eyes in disbelief as there were clumps of hair in my hands. I screamed and cried as it was then that I actually realised how much hair I was losing.”

“A year later I had to have the surgery because the wound kept getting infected. For the operation, they cut out the middle of wound with the infection, pulled both sides of my scalp together and sewed it up, causing the most pain I have ever felt in my life.

“Even today I feel that I am restricted in the number of possible hairstyles I can have, because some hairstyles are more likely to reveal the bald patch on my head.

“If I go outside and it is windy, I worry that the wind will blow the hair across and expose the bald patch. I still feel tearful sometimes.”

zBecca booked her appointment at Toni & Guy two to three weeks before my actual 21st as she wanted everything to be perfect.

She added: “Finally they have paid me damages for my suffering but it can never take away the pain and stress they caused me.

“Lucky for them, it’s over now, but for me, I will now have to live with this bald spot for the rest of my life that still gets sore. I hope nobody else has to go through the same kind of suffering I have.”

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Matt Tuff, a personal injury claims specialist at Hudgell Solicitors who handled the case, said: “We are glad that Toni & Guy have finally agreed to pay damages to our client for her pain and suffering, and the impact these injuries have had on her.

“It was disappointing though that in the wake of her injuries, Toni & Guy tried to suggest that her injuries may have been suffered elsewhere. They even went to the length of asking to see bank and credit card statements, suggesting she may have paid for treatment elsewhere after being at their salon.

“The reality of the situation is she went to their salon injury free and left with chemical burns and scars for life. She entered the salon at 9.30am for her appointment and by midday she was in hospital.

“In this case, there has been no admission but an offered damages settlement to bring the matter to a conclusion, which she has decided to take to finally be able to move on.

“Our client’s frustration is totally understanding, but we are glad she has been compensated in the end.”

Tony & Guy were contacted for a right of reply, a spokesperson for the company said: “We see approximately one million clients come through the door of our salons each year.

“We have a duty of care to every individual.

“This was a distressing situation so we wish to reassure potential and existing clients that all of our stylists, including our Colour Technicians go through a rigorous education based training programme in order to ensure the highest of standards are met and maintained.”