Chemical scalp burns after hair highlights

Pirko Maguina, Miraj Shah-Khan, Gary An, Marella Hanumadass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Hair highlighting using chemical solutions to alter the pigmentation of hair is a popular procedure. Given their chemical properties, these solutions also are potentially caustic to the scalp. However, the actual incidence and range of injuries is not well reported in the American literature. We report a representative case from the severe end of the injury spectrum, that of a full-thickness chemical burn as a result of direct contact from hair-lightening solution. We review the composition and potential side effects of the chemicals used. Meticulous attention to the instructions of use is recommended to prevent these injuries. To our knowledge, this is the first case report of a full-thickness chemical scalp burn as a result of highlighting in the American literature, and we hope that it will serve as an educational resource with respect to the potential risks of this very common procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-363
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Surgery


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