A mother who claimed her enjoyment of her daughter's First Holy Communion was ruined after a salon hair colour treatment burned her scalp has been awarded €12,500 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.
Elaine Wilson (37) alleged that on May 22, 2013, she went to Rainbow Hair and Beauty, Convent Road, Clondalkin, to get ready for her daughter's Communion three days later.
Ms Wilson told her barrister Gareth Kinsella that she asked for an all-over colour treatment.
The court heard that shortly after the dye was applied Ms Wilson started to feel a tingling and burning on her scalp.
She said that after some time the manager checked her hair and she was helped from the chair and her hair was washed for 20 minutes. The dye had been on her hair for almost an hour.
Ms Wilson, of St Mark's Drive, Clondalkin, Dublin, said her scalp was very sore. When she asked why it hurt, she was told that "it was fine" and her hair was dried. She had felt distressed, but also felt obliged to pay the €51 charge.
Ms Wilson had then gone home and noticed her scalp was burned. She had blisters and was bleeding and had a bald patch on the back of her head.
Ms Wilson told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that she went back to the salon the next day. The manager had laughed and told her to see a doctor.
The court heard Ms Wilson had been in pain and needed to see her GP a number of times following the incident. She had been prescribed a scalp lotion, and took painkillers for several weeks.
Ms Wilson said the incident had made her daughter's Communion a disaster as she had been distressed by having to appear in public and have her photograph taken.
"I was embarrassed with my hair and didn't want to go anywhere," Ms Wilson said.
Mr Kinsella said Ms Wilson was so upset by the incident that she still has not gone back to a hairdresser and now prefers to apply hair colours herself.
Counsel said she had obtained judgment in default of appearance against Rainbow Hair and Beauty Ltd and the case was one of assessment of damages only.
Judge Groarke said Ms Wilson had a horrible experience rendered worse given the important family occasion. "I can certainly understand how terribly upset she was," he said.
He awarded Ms Wilson €12,500 damages along with her legal costs.