A bad haircut has cost a luxury hotel chain Rs 2 crore, with the consumer court ordering damages to a model who had complained that her dreams were "shattered" and she lost assignments because of the hotel salon's negligence.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) on Thursday agreed that the woman "lost her expected assignments and suffered a huge loss which completely changed her lifestyle and shattered her dream to be a top model" because of a haircut against her instructions three years ago, according to news agency ANI.
"There is no doubt that the women are very cautious and careful with regard to their hair. They spend a handsome amount on keeping the hair in good condition. They are also emotionally attached to their hair. The complainant was a model for hair products because of her long hair. She has done modelling for VLCC and Pantene," said the panel's president RK Agrawal and member SM Kantikar in the order cited by ANI.
The commission said the model went through "severe mental breakdown and trauma" due to the negligence of the hotel salon and finally lost her job. The woman was also working as a senior management professional and earned a decent income, said the court.
The woman complained to the consumer court that she was to appear for an interview a week before, on April 12, 2018, she visited the salon of a hotel where she was a regular. Her usual hairdresser was not available, so another person took her on, she said.
She had reservations about this hairdresser but got the cut after an assurance by the salon that "she had improved".
The court order says the woman specifically asked for "long flicks or layers covering her face in the front and at the back and 4-inch straight hair trim from the bottom".
But the hairdresser allegedly chopped off her long hair, to her shock, leaving only four inches from the top and leaving it barely touching her shoulders.
When a simple haircut appeared to take over an hour, the stylist allegedly told the woman she was giving her a "London haircut".
The woman said when no action was taken against the hairdresser she went to the hotel management but "in vain".
Later, she also went for a hair treatment to the salon and came out feeling that her scalp was burnt with ammonia and her hair had turned rough.
Upset, she filed a complaint alleging deficiency in service and demanding a written apology from the hotel, besides compensation for "harassment, humiliation and mental trauma".
The hotel said the woman had a haircut "free of charge" as her card had been declined, so did not qualify as a consumer. It also said the compensation she had asked for was inflated, exaggerated and without any basis. The hotel also accused the woman of trying to harm its reputation and goodwill.