Woman Threatens To Sue Salon Over Horrible Haircut

The photo at left is an actual photo of the damage done to this lady’s hair and head. Lane writes:

I’m sure you get hundreds of complaints about salons, but have any of the salon owners in question put a lien on the car of the injured party? Mine has.

Nutshell: I went to have a perm done in a Tony Cao salon in Trophy Club, Texas. Three different people worked on me, including a boy who told me he had no idea what he was doing. He was the one in charge of rinsing out the solution on my head. I ended up with burns and bald spots (see attached picture), and severely damaged hair. Not only would the salon owner not give me a refund, he told me it was my own fault for having had damaged hair prior to visiting his salon. He also charged me for a full haircut, when I had not asked for one…

I asked for my money back three times, and he refused, so I wrote on the back of my car window with shoe polish, “Tony Cao Salon Ruins Hair No Refunds.” And he PUT A LIEN ON MY CAR! (In Texas, you can put a lien on anything for any reason.) [ed. A lien is a claim by one party on a second party’s property that entitles them to a specific amount of money in the event of that piece of property’s sale.]

After calling and speaking with Tony Cao, I found out that this was not even one of his salons, but it is a man he is suing to get the name taken down. I would never have set foot in the place if I had known it was just some guy off the street!

So I have filed a small claims lawsuit to recoup the cost of his salon’s services, the cost of the salon services I needed to manicure out the major damage he caused, and the cost of my dermatologist. I got a letter from his attorney last night saying that they will pay me my claim and remove the lien from my car, if I am willing to sign documentation basically stating that it never happened, and promising my complete silence and confidentiality. So, in effect, they are saying they will stop trying to TAKE MY CAR if I promise never to tell anyone that this horrible place burned bald spots in my hair.

If nothing else, it’s an amusing story to everyone I know.

Lane B.

The next day, Lane sent an update:

Late yesterday, I spoke with their attorney and they made a correction on the suit. So we have settled, and the salon is giving me back my money.
Thanks!Lane B

That’s one bad hair day, and just about the worst customer service we’ve ever heard of. Ruin someone’s hair, overcharge them, refuse to refund, then claim a piece of their car when they complain about it. Classy. Even though Lane had to go through a lot of hassle, you gotta figure that unless she publicly voiced her complaint in shoe polish on her back windshield, she wouldn’t have ever ended up with a refund. We’re not sure what happened at the point of the transaction, whether it was cash or she had given her credit card beforehand, or what, but I would have just refused to pay them.


Edit Your Comment

  1. BrockBrockman says:

    People still get perms?

  2. arch05 says:

    So is the majority of that alopecia a result of the perm or was it a pre-existing condition? I hope she got money for damages past the cost of the perm!

  3. Rando says:

    Fucking rednecks and their liens

  4. savvy999 says:

    Late yesterday, I spoke with their attorney and they made a correction on the suit. So we have settled…

    She didn’t say if the revised ‘settlement’ still included a no-fault, or non-disclosure clause. If it did, oops! Back to square one.

  5. chipslave says:

    Is part of the confidentiality settlement posting this awful experience on Consumerist?

  6. wellfleet says:

    You can still sue for damages resulting from pain and suffering, which you obviously have had to endure. If there is no prejudice on this settlement, you still have the right to go after them.

  7. bohemian says:

    Remind me never to go to Texas.

  8. ncboxer says:

    Someone can get a lien on something that easy? If the lien was put in under false pretenses, can they be sued or prosecuted ? Does anyone know?

  9. loganmo says:

    And you didn’t hear the gunshot because you were in the shower?

  10. Honus says:

    I am now declaring that I own EVERY CAR IN TEXAS.

    Make checks payable to C.A.S.H. and send them to my soon to be reserved PO Box.

  11. homerjay says:

    Seriously, can we just give Texas to Mexico and call it a day? Its like a whole different world down there!

  12. ShortBus says:

    What? How can you get a lien without winning a judgment first?

  13. Spyrojoe says:

    Take it easy on Texas. There are stupid people everywhere.

  14. boandmichele says:

    @homerjay: i am fine with that, with the mandatory inclusion of california.

  15. DMDDallas says:

    @RandoTheKing: I fail to see what skin color has to do with anything.

  16. karlrove says:


    Well, crap. I’m putting a lien all sorts of things I see now. Giant SUV? Lien. McMansion? Lien! PS3 and Wii? Lien!!

  17. topgun says:

    “So, in effect, they are saying they will stop trying to TAKE MY CAR if I promise never to tell anyone that this horrible place burned bald spots in my hair.”

    Well not really. If I understand correctly they are also paying the claim.

  18. matt says:

    @BrockBrockman: Yeah, and some people (coughgirlfriendcough) need to spend $90 on it.

    I chop at my hair with dull kitchen knives.

  19. na says:

    I had a bad perm (in 1995) that wasn’t nearly as bad as hers, but still quite bad. Burn marks around the scalp line, not to mention a really terrible perm. They used the smallest rollers available, creating a stacked afro (for a white girl with chubby cheeks – not so good).
    I was quite young and was told, go ahead, pay now, sleep on it, if you still are unhappy come back tomorrow and we’ll refund. I came back with my mom and they refused to refund. We refused to leave. The police escorted us out (we were well behaved, we just didn’t leave).
    I disputed with VISA and the charge never went through.
    A month later, I was received notice. I was being sued.
    I had to settle, as I couldn’t afford a lawyer for this nonsense.

    I know nothing about the many no-show appointments he had the following April Fool’s Day, nor the following New Year’s Eve (I understand that’s a big-business day for salons). Must have been some teenage pranksters. My word.

  20. ClayS says:


    Lien on a leftist.

  21. Syunikiss says:

    @Spyrojoe: Exactly. I have my own problems with the people here in Texas, but that is because I live here. It is like any other State. My mother and father are not related, nor their grandparents, and so on. I also have never worked on a farm, and am in a family full of nerds.

    I have never heard of anything like this happening, that is insane. Poor woman! I hope there wasn’t any permanent damage.

  22. snazz says:

    it was a cold an rainy day in march
    i went to Christoph’s where i usually get my hair done
    but Christoph has mysteriously disappeared
    in his place was a stranger named Renaldo
    he said, “I’ll streak your hair, and I’ll give you a body wave”
    he worked very quickly
    and then, as he turned my chair to face the mirror, i saw it…

  23. youbastid says:

    @boandmichele: The difference between TX and CA is that as the 5th largest economy in the world, CA pays for a great deal of the rest of the country. Careful what you wish for.

  24. Buran says:

    if I were her, I would have put a lien on HIS car.

  25. ColoradoShark says:

    @ncboxer: You can pretty much put a lien on anything to kind of reserve your spot. You’ll get nothing if you do not pursue the lien. When you want to collect based on the lien then you have to start proving stuff.

  26. Smackdown says:

    @youbastid: Well, Texas is the 15th largest economy in the world, so if you guys want to get rid of us, you might want to reconsider that as well. Unless somehow Rhode Island is going to start doing some shit that’s worth talking about.

  27. wring says:

    oh god i would probably sue them to the ground if they did that to my hair!

  28. meeroom says:

    Farklefish, what a great revenge idea! So impressed! I was a hairdresser, and my advice is: if you’re doing anything remotely chemical (color/straightening/perms) it’s worth it to go to a GREAT stylist and ask the receptionist if you can come in for a 15 minute consultation on a day BEFORE you come in. Let the stylist talk to you, check out your hair, and have a plan of action. This will also ensure they have the correct supplies and enough time booked to make sure you get a perfect job. You have to go to a decent salon too. Make sure they seem professional and are paying attention to what you are saying. Sure, expensive stylists are going to present you with a big bill when you’re done, but you will more than likely LOVE your hair and if anything goes wrong they will not give you grief like these schmos did.

  29. UpsetPanda says:

    Thank goodness I never had such a horrible experience…but I have had bad highlighting jobs. The last time I highlighted my hair, it ended up looking blondish and I hated it. I was told that it would start dulling in a few days, and it did, so it wasn’t such a big deal. A few months later, the blonde streaks turned to a deep reddish orange, which I got a lot of compliments on, but was a completely freak thing.

    Not to blame the victim, cause her treatment was horrible, and I’m glad she got her money back… but this is why you ask friends with awesome hair where they go, before you step into a place. Shelly’s Hair and Care might not sound so snazzy, but they might do a better job than the people at John Frieda, because it’s not actually John Frieda doing your hair.

  30. youbastid says:

    @Smackdown: Well, there’s one hell of a dropoff between 5 and 15. Craigslist, I believe, is the 12th largest economy in the world.

    Ahh, I’m just joshin’. I like Texas. ‘Cept for the executing retards part.

  31. Saboth says:

    I need to see a “before” picture before rendering a verdict!

  32. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @loganmo: Hahahahahahaha!

    You can’t get your hair wet for 24hrs after getting a perm!

  33. Aphex242 says:

    You idiots, this has nothing to do with Texas. People get bad haircuts everywhere, and there are lousy business owners everywhere.

    Deflecting this issue to some kind of silly anti-state one is not only pointless but it completely misses the point.

  34. stinkingbob says:

    Well, why didn’t she put a lien on the salon itself for damaging her hair?

  35. Superborty says:

    I agree, where is the “before” picture? Thought the “after” picture was pretty sexy though.

  36. Gopher bond says:

    Flowbee for the win. I cut my hair in the summer and let it grow wild all winter. I couldn’t relate less to this article.

  37. youbastid says:

    @testsicles: There’s a very good reason that everyone doesn’t have a Flowbee.

  38. Derp says:

    Yeah, just put a lien on the salon, problem solved.

  39. homerjay says:

    @testsicles: You must be a hit with the ladies. :)

  40. Rawkus says:

    Thats what happens when you live in texas. I visited there for a very short time, and omg it seroiusly is the worst place on earth. I can see how laws like putting a lein on someones car for any reason would be considered ok to do.

  41. @youbastid: Thank you. That’s pretty much what I was going to say. California is a) not as insane as Texas by a LONG shot, and b) supports a huge chunk of the economy.

  42. wednesdayam says:

    My aunt lives just south of Trophy Club. It’s not backwoods Texas, it’s rich white suburban Texas, just northwest of Dallas. Some of the most vile people I’ve ever known live in suburbs like that one. Petty, selfish and haughty. It’s part of the reason I ended up moving to Austin, because those people tend to keep out of the main part of the city. They like their McMansion suburbs. I’m totally not surprised she got that kind of treatment from the salon up there – it’s all par for the course for that area in my book. Completely wrong, but completely not unexpected.

  43. youbastid says:

    @aphex242: Actually, it does, since a lot of the talk here is centered around the ability to place a lien on anything.

  44. Imhotep says:

    She lives in TROPHY CLUB(!!!), Texas. ’nuff said.

  45. badhatharry says:

    I wasn’t aware they exercised liens in Texas. I thought they just executed everyone. Or do they just reserve that for the mentally retarded?

  46. guroth says:

    Her hair looks like it was in pretty bad condition before a perm. A responsible place will tell you ahead of time that they do not recommend chemical treatments for your hair if it is already damaged, and some will even flat out refuse.

    The article says a worker was quoted as saying her hair was damaged already, but fails to mention if this was brought to attention before the perm process begun.

    If she was informed that her hair was already damaged and that a perm would cause even more, possibly severe damage and she went through with it anyway, then she deserves nothing.

  47. Munsoned says:

    I can’t believe the owner of the salon even knew what a lien was and how to obtain it. How many on this website (of arguably pretty intelligent consumers) even know that? I’m impressed.

    That being said, I would have stood on the side of the road in front of the store with a huge sign saying “look at what this salon did to my hair” until I felt like I’d taken enough flesh out of them.

  48. MercuryPDX says:

    @Itzpapalotl: I hope there wasn’t any permanent damage.


  49. Aphex242 says:

    @youbastid: For the record, I’m utterly unable to find any resources online that support the dubious claims given in this article re: liens on autos in Texas. Two ways it can be done:

    By a bank, for the purposes of a loan for the purchase of the vehicle, or by a mechanic, who is unpaid for the work done to said automobile.


    So while everyone’s getting their jollies off bashing Texas based on one ignorant person’s myopic view of the law, I’m trying to focus the conversation on haircuts, salons, and customer service, which I’m pretty sure was the point in the first place.

    Any contrary evidence you can find to support the “(In Texas, you can put a lien on anything for any reason.)” claim in the original article, I’d love to see it. The statement, taken on it’s own, flies directly in the face of common sense. You mean I can put a lien on my neighbor’s cat because I like it?

    I can put a lien on a house I drove by because I hate the shutters?

    Starting to see the obvious holes in the logic here?

    It’s a boneheaded statement, and it takes a bonehead to use it to bash Texas. There’s plenty wrong with Texas, but there’s plenty wrong with a lot of states. The lien issue described here is farcical.

  50. Leofan7 says:

    @RandoTheKing: I used to work near Trophy Club, and it’s a pretty stuck-up little country club town. It’s not really a town, though, since they have to go to Roanoke to get their mail.

  51. mrspoz75 says:

    I got a bad perm once (yeah, people still perm their hair, especially to make it look fuller.) My hair was fried and a lot was burned off at the roots, and when I started to brush my hair when I got home, it came out in handfuls. I took the hair in a bag back to the salon (the salon was full of people.) They started saying they would condition my hair, and I told them they weren’t touching it. They refused to give me a refund, so I took the hair out of the bag and said to the other customers “This was on my head two hours ago-be careful here!” and they gave me my money back immediately. This happened three years ago- it took over a year for my hair to recover from the frying, and I am still regrowing the length of the burned off hair. So these things do happen.