The late Karl Lagerfeld once said, “Trendy is the last stage before tacky.”
He was in all likelihood referring to clothing fashion, but the same can apply to all sorts of trends, including hairstyle trends. Our legal take on this is: if being tacky is a crime, so many people should be imprisoned without trial. But we digress.
Citizens deemed unfashionable can heave a sigh of relief because we don’t live in a world where wearing last season’s fashions or proudly displaying one’s bad haircut violates any laws. In other words, we live in a world where the likes of Anna Wintour, Joan Rivers, or Vidal Sassoon have never been chiefs of police, legislators, or justices.
That said, it’s not inconceivable that in the pursuit of style, one may commit a crime, become the victim of one, or play the victim.
When becoming a meme is hair-raising
One of the easiest ways to achieve immortality is to become a meme. But Aussie bloke Ali Ziggi "Ziggy" Mosslmani was not stoked about his haircut becoming one.
Ziggy could have blamed Jeremy Nool, the photographer who posted a photo of him sporting a questionable mullet while at a party in Sydney. Instead, Mr. Mosslmani sued the Australian media sources, Daily Mail Australia, The Daily Telegraph, and KIIS radio, which used all the mullet and hair puns at their disposal to mock his mane.
Mr. Mosslmani received separate settlement offers from the three news outlets. Unfortunately, his haircut will live on the internet forever.
Hitting the perm downward spiral
“Can I sue a hairstylist for giving me a bad haircut?” is not the kind of inquiry we get regularly at our law offices in Renton. But that is a question we expect some people may have after a styling session gone wrong.
Such was the case of a client in an unnamed salon in Dallas, who wanted to get a spiral perm despite being warned against it by a stylist at the salon. The stylist informed her that getting a spiral perm would be disastrous because the client’s hair was already slightly damaged, most likely as a result of a previous hair-color treatment.
Ultimately, the stylist caved in and gave her the perm on the condition that the client signs a waiver saying she assumes all risks for the procedure. Sure enough, the perm job resulted in a
The client demanded a refund, which the stylist freely gave.
However, the client was indignant and went back to the salon to get another perm. Being of sound mind, the stylist declined and the client threatened to sue.
Hairstylists know a lot more about hair care and are a hundred times the expert in perm mechanics and chemistry than you will ever be. In such a scenario, we might be moved to advise such a salon client to re-evaluate their styling decisions.
Horrifying haircuts are temporary, but some scars are forever
Harsh shooting conditions, punishing diets, and a massive blow to one’s self-esteem upon turning the ripe old age of 25 are some of the hazards of being a model. Freelance model Michelle Kalinkina suffered from none of these but she did suffer from an actual injury in the hands of celebrity stylist Martino Cartier, who accidentally nicked her neck during a 2016 haircutting show in New York.
Ms. Kalinkina’s suit stated that Mr. Cartier cut her hair “at too fast a pace” and that she was not allowed to leave the stage to tend to her wounds.
The stylist attempted to get away by citing a clause in the release form, which was supposed to protect Mr. Cartier from any liability arising from any “accident or unforeseen incident.” The judge asserted that the injury, which left a neck scar, was caused by negligence and was not an accident.
It would appear that Mr. Cartier needs to attend haircutting shows where a more careful stylist can show him how to avoid slitting throats while cutting hair.
Jaime Lannister’s rare display of humor
If you’re one of tens of millions who watched Game of Thrones, you’d know that plot and acting talent matter much less than the actors’ hairstyles. Although Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was one of the show’s better performers, his hair was arguably the most essential element in his portrayal as Jaime Lannister.
Here’s a little behind-the-scenes fun fact: Mr. Coster-Waldau decided to mess with the producers at HBO. He sent them an old photo of him with a buzzcut, pretending that his long golden locks were no more. His long, golden locks happened to be crucial to his character’s features especially in the early sessions. Without his perfectly Lannisterian hair, he would be just another character on a horse.
HBO executives weren’t amused and almost sued the actor. Wigs probably could have easily soothed the show’s coiffure concerns, but the Danish actor’s Westeros-inspired hairstyle — that is, elaborate and messy like most of the show’s plotlines — must have been serious business to its producers.
We are unlikely to take on clients who want to file suit against a haircutter who provides questionable hairstyles. But we are the legal team to call for any personal injury cases in Seattle, Washington. Call us at 425-228-6662.