Model suing hair clinic for £100,000 after treatment disaster ‘left her completely bald’


April Alexander, from Brockley, South London, has appeared in Vogue magazine, and specialises in hairstyling shoots – but said her head had to be shaved after her visit to the Belgravia Centre in London

A model is suing a top hair clinic for £100,000 after she says she was left completely bald because her her hair got “impossibly tangled” during a treatment and had to be shaved off.

April Alexander – who specialises in hairstyling shoots and has appeared in Vogue magazine – went to the Belgravia Centre in London in April 2016 after suffering partial hair loss.

But the 30-year-old’s hair became hopelessly tangled – “to the point of being entirely matted together” during a scalp treatment at the clinic, court documents claim.

The Belgravia Centre claims that her hair only became tangled because she had plaited it into weaves beneath the wig she was wearing and it denies negligence.

April claims some of her hair was “ripped out” as two therapists battled to untangle it, but they only made things worse, it is claimed.

The freelance model says she was left with no choice but to shave off the matted hair and the trauma caused her to develop a form of alopecia which leads to complete baldness.

Now she is taking the clinic – which bills itself as “Europe’s largest and most renowned hair loss centre” – to court in a lawsuit for as much as £100,000.

Miss Alexander, of Brockley, south London, was advised to go to a clinic by her GP after noticing she was losing some hair in early 2016, court documents show.

She was treated with oils, moisturisers and shampooing, but claims that the “vigorous rubbing motion” used to work in the treatment was “wholly unsuitable to her Afro-Caribbean hair type”.

“The pulling and tugging at her hair was very painful and Miss Alexander became extremely distressed,” her lawyers allege.

“She was at the clinic for six hours in total and became so distressed that a relative had to collect her to take her home.

“Before leaving the clinic she was offered some money to pay for her usual hairdresser to shave off all her hair as it had become impossible to detangle it.”

The Belgravia Centre dispute Miss Alexander’s account of what happened, insisting the model opted for a “non-clinical” scalp therapy after declining the treatment specifically prescribed for her.

They say the scalp conditioning she chose was only designed to clean her remaining hair – not to correct her hair loss – and her hair became tangled as she had plaited it into weaves beneath the wig she wore.

Nor did they offer her cash to have her hair shaved, they say.

Instead, the centre offered her cash as a gesture of goodwill so she could get her hair cut.

Suing the Pimlico-based clinic, April claims its hair specialist misdiagnosed her condition and adopted the wrong approach to treatment.

Staff had then “persisted with futile and inappropriate attempts to detangle her hair which were doomed to failure and bound to cause pain and distress”.

Miss Alexander says she already had patchy hair loss, but it would have cleared up within 12 months with the correct treatment.

However, the distress and trauma of her ordeal triggered “alopecia universalis” – total hair loss.

“As a model, she took particular pride in her appearance and her natural Afro hair was one of her distinctive features,” her lawyers say.

In a hearing at Central London County Court, Judge Alan Saggerson said Miss Alexander is still a “hairdressers’ model,” but she claims that the treatment’s “effects both in physical and psychological terms have not yet completely resolved.”

The case recently reached court as lawyers debated how best to budget mounting court costs – with a four-day trial still some way off.

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