Eeeek! A teen burned off her hair trying to get an ombre at home

Things seemed to be going fine for 16-year-old Courtney Andrews and her mother Claire Coles-Morton as they used a box of hair dye from a local drugstore to create a bleached ombre look on Courtney in the comfort of their own home. That is, until Courtney’s hair turned scorching hot to the touch and proceeded to fall out in huge chunks. false

Having your hair abruptly fall out is any teenager’s nightmare, but it became Courtney’s reality. She and her mother were using a box of Superdrug Blonde Permanent High Strength Blonding Kit, and all it took was 30 minutes for the product to burn off Courtney’s long locks.

You couldn’t touch her hair it was so hot, it had gone from slightly warm to red hot. You could not touch it,” the 35-year-old mother Claire recalls. “We rinsed her hair and put a comb through and the hair just kept coming away with each brushstroke.”


Courtney was in hysterics, her hair was breaking off and falling out in front of her eyes,” Claire said. The damage was so significant that she finally had to take Courtney to a few salons to have her mane professionally chopped off and restored, and now her once long hair sits above her shoulders.

In their official complaint against the company Superdrug, Claire noted that she kept checking Courtney’s hair every 5 to 10 minutes, claiming she followed directions. Superdrug begs to differ.

Superdrug claims the mom and daughter duo should have done a strand test on Courtney’s hair with the dye before they proceeded to use it full force. Claire said they did a skin test and it was fine, so they thought that was enough to go on.


We strongly recommend [a strand test] as it not only allows customers to gauge the color results but also helps to highlight any underlying problems, this is especially important when using a bleach based hydrogen peroxide product on previously colored hair,” a Superdrug rep said.

Celebrity stylist George Papanikolas confirmed to Refinery29 that the strand test is essential if you want to get busy with an at-home dye it. Papanikolas also urges women to understand how strong bleach can be compared to regular dyes. “Unlike hair color that stops processing after 45 minutes, bleach can continue bleaching until it dries out,” he says. “It’s more reliant on timing and a professional eye.”

So consider this a lesson learned. The next time you feel the urge to bleach any part of your hair, maybe save the job for a seasoned stylist.

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