NCDRC grants Rs 2 crore compensation to model for wrong haircut

New Delhi, September 23

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has directed a luxury hotel chain to pay a compensation of Rs two crores to a woman after a salon at their Delhi-based hotel allegedly gave her a wrong haircut and hair treatment, observing that it shattered her dream to become a top model.

A Bench of President RK Agrawal and Member Dr SM Kantikar awarded compensation after noting that women are no doubt cautious about their hair, spend a handsome amount on keeping them in good condition, and are emotionally attached to them.

The commission noted that complainant Aashna Roy was a model for hair products because of her long hair and had done modelling for big hair-care brands but due to haircutting against her instructions, she lost her expected assignments and suffered a huge loss which completely changed her lifestyle and shattered her dream to be a top model.

“She was also working as a senior management professional and earning a decent income. She underwent severe mental breakdown and trauma due to negligence in cutting her hair and could not concentrate on her job and finally, she lost her job,” the Bench said in an order dated September 21.

Apart from this, the hotel is also guilty of medical negligence in hair treatment, the commission said, adding that her scalp was burnt and there is still allergy and itching due to the fault of the staff.

A bare perusal of the WhatsApp chat adduced by the complainant reveals that the hotel had admitted the fault on their part and by offering the free hair treatment tried to cover it, the NCDRC added.

“The complaint is allowed partly and we are of the considered view that it would meet the end of justice in case the complainant is granted compensation of Rs 2,00,00,000. Hence, we direct the Opposite Party No.2 to pay a compensation of to the Complainant within eight weeks,” it ordered.

In April 2018, complainant Aashna Roy visited a salon at the Delhi-based hotel a week before an interview and specifically asked for “long flicks covering her face in the front and at the back and four-inch straight hair trim from the bottom”.

However, she alleged that the hairdresser did not abide by her instruction and chopped off her entire hair leaving only four inches from the top and barely touching her shoulders.

She complained about this to the management of the Salon, who in turn offered her a free hair treatment, which she claimed caused permanent damage due to excess ammonia, which resulted in excessive irritation in her scalp.

She brought the incident to the notice of the higher authorities of the hotel but “in vain”.

“Rather, they misbehaved and threatened her to face consequences,” Roy said and knocked on the doors of NCDRC seeking a written apology from the management as well as compensation of Rs 3 crores for harassment, humiliation, and mental trauma.

She claimed that she stopped seeking herself in the mirror, avoided social activities, lost her self-confidence due to little hair.

She also suffered a loss of income due to a mental breakdown and left her job, which Roy submitted before the commission.

However, the counsel appearing for the hotel chain, submitted that the entire hair of the complainant was not chopped off, they were cut as per her request, and that during the hair treatment no harm was caused to her scalp with the excess ammonia.

The counsel submitted that the complainant is not a “Consumer” as no consideration was paid by her for hair cutting as the payment was declined and the hair treatment was also provided to her free of charge.

The hotel claimed that Roy filed the complaint with a mala fide intention to malign its reputation and goodwill and to extract unreasonably high and exaggerated compensation.

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