Hair Dye Reactions and Covid-19

Various reports suggest that people are experiencing unexpected allergic reactions to hair dye after contracting Covid-19, indicating that the virus may be permanently changing the immune system of a minority and making them vulnerable to new allergies, including to hair dye products which they may have used for many years without any ill effect.

One woman who had recently recovered from Covid-19 told the BBC she experienced an adverse reaction following a patch test for the same hair dye product she had used regularly for 10 years. Multiple anecdotal reports from within the industry also appear to confirm that clients are suffering allergic reactions to various hair dye products which they previously used safely.    

There is currently no evidence of a direct link between coronavirus and allergic reactions, but the long-term effects of Covid-19 and its differing impact on certain individuals remains unclear. Researchers at Imperial College London are now investigating whether the virus does indeed have a permanent impact on some people’s immune systems in the same way that other illnesses do, making individuals more susceptible to allergic reactions to hair dye.

The National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF), the trade body that represents hairdressers and beauticians, is currently calling on all salons to carry out skin patch tests on existing as well as new customers to minimise the risk of allergic reactions among clients who may have only recently developed a sensitivity to hair dye ingredients like phenylenediamine (PPD). Many salons are now implementing compulsory patch testing for all clients, and this may be the only way forward in terms of minimising the risk of allergic reactions in the future.

Staycations & Bed Bug Infestations

With many people having recently returned from staycations in the UK this summer, an unfortunate few will have unknowingly brought unwelcome visitors home with them in the form of bed bugs. These small (roughly 5mm long) blood-sucking insects are often transported from hotels, B&Bs and holiday rentals in guests’ clothing and luggage, resulting in a domestic infestation which can be extremely difficult and expensive to eradicate.   

As they only emerge at night, bed bugs can be difficult to spot, although the bite marks they leave on all parts of the body are usually obvious, typically grouped together and becoming red, inflamed and itchy within 24 hours of a person being bitten. While bed bug bites can sometimes leave no mark at all, there are a number of other indications of an infestation, including blood and copper coloured fecal stains on sheets, bedding and mattresses. Bed bugs also shed their skin multiple times as they mature and lay eggs, both of which can be spotted, while a further telltale sign of an infestation is the musty, sweet and unpleasant smell which bed bugs release.

Bed bugs are resilient creatures and notoriously difficult to eliminate. The services of a professional pest control company will be necessary to eradicate a bed bug infestation, and multiple visits will normally be necessary to deal with the issue. Over time, bed bugs have become resistant to many insecticides and chemicals, and attempting to deal with an infestation without professional help can make the problem worse by only killing some of the insects and dispersing the rest to new locations at a property. While costly and time-consuming, professional pest control services are absolutely necessary for an infestation to be eradicated effectively.

Our firm has particular expertise in claiming compensation for bed bug bites and domestic bed bug infestations resulting from hotel, B&B and holiday rental stays. We have successfully represented hundreds of clients in these specialist claims over the years, and this experience means that our clients receive the most effective legal representation, as well as the highest amount of compensation for bed bug bites and infestations.

Housing Association Shamed on Twitter

Over a period of 18 months, a housing association tenant repeatedly begged his landlord for repair work to be done on his mould and vermin-infested property, but without success, during which time he and his two sisters were forced to live in appalling conditions.

The tenant’s property had multiple problems, including damp and mould caused by water streaming into the property, a missing ceiling, exposed asbestos, and a cockroach and rodent infestation. He informed his landlord (Europe’s largest housing association) about the issues on numerous occasions, yet no repair work was carried out until the tenant posted photos of the dilapidated flat on Twitter, after which his case quickly gained publicity and the housing association finally took action.

The chairman of the housing association told the BBC, “We have been publicly shamed by the quality of some of our homes. We took our eye off the ball.”

The tenant has since decided to campaign on behalf of other social housing tenants, and shame housing associations and local councils into taking action to deal with disrepair issues. Many social housing tenants have been living in squalid conditions for decades, but have had their complaints ignored time and again. This recent case highlights how social media can be important in circulating pictures of unacceptable living conditions, and in helping tenants band together to force landlords into taking immediate action to fix problems.

Our firm has considerable experience in suing housing associations and local councils for disrepair issues including damp and mould, vermin infestations, and structural issues with walls and ceilings. Contact our housing law team for a free consultation:

Walter Sickert Retrospective Opening

The highly-anticipated Sickert: A Life in Art exhibition opens at the Walker Art Gallery on 18th September (next Saturday), and will run until 27th February next year.

This major Walter Sickert retrospective will feature paintings by the artist loaned from national and international collections, as well as drawings from the Walker Gallery’s own collection of Sickert’s work, many of which are being displayed for the first time. The exhibition will showcase around 100 paintings loaned to the Walker Gallery for the Life in Art exhibition and 200 drawings.

A Life in Art is the largest retrospective exhibition of Walter Richard Sickert’s work to be held in the UK for more than 30 years, providing a once-in-generation opportunity for art lovers and anyone interested in the development of modern British art to explore the life and work of one of the country’s most radical and influential artists.

Walter Sickert was born in Munich, Germany and moved to the UK as a child in 1868. In a career spanning six decades, he became a pivotal figure in British avant-garde painting, influencing a generation of British artists as the leader of the Camden Town Group, an association of artists who advocated a rough and unromanticized vision of urban life.

Tickets for The Walker Gallery’s Sickert: A Life in Art exhibition can be booked in advance on National Museums Liverpool’s website:

A New Dimension at the Planetarium

The World Museum’s immersive fulldome Planetarium is currently screening a number of daily shows exploring the mysteries of the Solar System and Earth’s place within it.

The 20-30 minute shows allow visitors to travel through time and space and discover the wonders of the galaxy. The introductory screening, From Earth to the Universe, starts with a history of astronomy, and then embarks on a journey of exploration across the Solar System, out into the Milky Way and beyond. This is the perfect introduction to the mysteries of the universe for people of all ages.

A new show, The Edge of Darkness, explores the outer reaches of the Solar System and what can be found there, including the dwarf planet Pluto, asteroids, comets and other strange and mysterious objects. The Little Star That Could is a cartoon for young children about a newly formed star and how he discovers other stars and planets.

The Planetarium’s other three daily screenings cover one of the great mysteries in astronomy, Dark Matter; the ongoing search for planets orbiting distant stars (exoplanets); and a 20 minute show looking at the discovery and history of the telescope. Visitors will need to make sure they arrive at the correct time for each screening, as no late admittance to shows is possible due to the nature of the experience.

The World Museum’s Planetarium is the oldest planetarium in a British museum, and has been visited by more than two million people since its 1970 opening. The Planetarium’s opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 6pm, with screenings starting at 11.30am and ending at 5.25pm. Find out more: