Most individuals making appointments with beauty or hair salons or medical spas do not anticipate the risk of injury associated with these businesses. However, it is essential to do your homework before making an appointment for a salon or spa procedure – even just a simple highlight or coloring job! It is important to sign up with only licensed, bonded, insured and well-qualified beauticians and establishments. Most establishments will be very happy to share their credentials and all should have their professional and business licenses and credentials on clear display as well.
By way of example, a few “salon and spa” injury cases we have handled at the Women’s Injury Law Center at Locke & Quinn include:
- Hepatitis C contracted by a client getting treatments to reduce some tummy fat;
- Client contracting MRSA and spending eight days in the hospital on intravenous antibiotics from a hair weave/braid performed so tightly that it opened up her pores to infection;
- Client’s hair completely burnt off when having it colored by, unknown to her, an unlicensed beautician. Most unfortunately, her hair never grew back other than some sporadic fuzzy little tufts of hair;
- Third degree burns to a client’s neck from a curling iron dropped by a stylist; and
- Nerves in the neck of a client accidentally sutured during a face (chin) lift.
The procedures and services offered at medical spas include massages, skin treatments such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels, fillers, injectibles, facials, laser procedures for wrinkles, tattoo removal, scar/cellulite minimization, radio frequency treatments, and hair removal. Some of these establishments also offer cosmetic surgery procedures such as face lifts.
Medical spas are often led by physician directors, many with plastic surgery and dermatology backgrounds. However, the rapid growth in the medical spa market suggests that physicians from other specialties and non-physician directors are entering the business. Medical spa staff members also come from varied backgrounds including dentists, advance practice nurses, physician assistants, registered nurses, medical assistants, aestheticians, and cosmetologists.
When making an appointment, to ensure a satisfied “salon or spa” experience, rather than experiencing a mishap, be certain to investigate credentialing, licensing, bonding, insurance coverage and expertise.