This time last year, Sherree Morris had luscious long, thick hair that she took pride in – it was a key piece of her identity and became part of how she branded herself as a makeup artist.
However, by July 2022 that had all changed.
Having gone 10 years without a haircut, she thought while she was in Brisbane, having a wash and blow dry at Blue Diamond Hair Co, it wouldn’t hurt to have a trim.
That decision was the beginning of an almost year-long saga to restore her hair to its former condition.
“I’m feeling insecure and so embarrassed … People think it sounds stupid how much your hair can impact you, but my whole life I have been a bigger girl and my hair made me feel beautiful,” Ms Morris told news.com.au.
The 33-year-old said she walked out of her appointment in July last year not realizing the extent of what had happened to her hair, and it was only when a student of hers pointed out its bizarre appearance from the back that alarm bells were raised.
The student took photos that showed hair on the back of Ms. Morris’ head cut at multiple different lengths and angles.
The miss match hadn’t been obvious at first because she could not see it facing forward at the salon, and her stylist had curled her hair.
“I was like, ‘oh my god, why do I look like that?’,” Ms Morris said of herself after seeing photos, and said she subsequently contacted the salon and asked for her hair to be fixed.
Arrangements were soon made for a fix-up appointment, during which Ms. Morris was fitted with Weft extensions – a delicate process that demands precise sewing of hair close to the scalp.
Ms. Morris said that at the time, she was satisfied with the solution and that Blue Diamond had covered the costs of the extensions and their installation.
After living in and working with them for a while, however, she said it became obvious that something wasn’t quite right as her hair appeared “choppy.”
She raised the concern during subsequent appointments for the pieces to be “moved up”, and told her stylist in March this year she would pay to have more added, to curb the harsh appearance.
The salon later told news.com.au extensions could last up to one year when properly taken care of.
“Sherree had the extensions in for 6 months before any serious concerns were raised. Extensions have a lifetime of 6-12 months. If looked after correctly,” it said in a statement.
While the appointments – every four to five weeks – went ahead free of charge, aside from Ms. Morris buying some additional pieces, the relationship began to sour when Ms. Morris began to notice hair missing from her scalp.
It was her belief that incorrectly installed extensions were to blame for how much hair she lost, with photos revealing strips of bare skin across areas of Ms. Morris’ scalp.
A former area manager for the salon told news.com.au she was the one to authorize Ms. Morris’ initial free extensions and maintenance services.
“She [Ms. Morris] had problems with all the girls when they did her extensions aside from one other and myself,” she said.
The stylist behind the final application was “pretty much self-taught”, the stylist said, and was allowed to do them because “she’s good at sewing”.
“The beads were way too tight from what I saw and when Sheree messaged me I told her to have them removed ASAP. This was after I left the salon, but I was still happy to assist her,” she said.
Scalp ‘became patchy and scabby’
Ms. Morris’ scalp was particularly bad in April this year during a trip to Sydney, at which time she put a call out on her Instagram for help.
“My scalp was really patchy and scabby. It was just f**ked, it was yuck,” she said.
When she saw photos of her deteriorated scalp, she “started crying” at its distressing appearance, and opted to get back in touch with Blue Diamond for help.
An agreement was made for her to have the extensions reapplied by a different stylist, however prior to the booking date, Ms. Morris decided she would go elsewhere.
She opted to get a second opinion about her future treatment options at a separate salon.
She had the extensions removed and while there, had stylists put together a report on her hair detailing its damage and what was needed to restore her scalp health.
According to Ms. Morris, the second salon agreed the extensions had been placed incorrectly, with her stylist writing about them having “matted” in with her natural hair.
“Sheree came in for a removal for her Weft extensions that she has had done at another salon. She told me about her experience stating she has only had extensions this once due to a bad haircut,” the stylist’s report read.
“She expressed that she had been having lots of pain for numerous days for to the tension and matting. When I looked at her extensions they were matted in with her natural hair, the beads were done so tight to her scalp that she had welts and an incredibly dry scalp from not being able to clean it properly.
“Sheree lost quite a lot of hair in the process, about two big handfuls of hair. I have recommended to her that she needs to let her scalp calm down before proceeding with any hair treatment or extensions.”
They suggested she needed a variety of serums and vitamins, as well as specific shampoo and conditioner to help restore her hair, which Ms. Morris calculated to be worth $1500.
That amount would buy her three months’ worth of products – long enough to begin seeing improvements in her hair.
Ms. Morris contacted Blue Diamond following the recommendation.
She asked for compensation for the products needed which she claimed was “all as a result of a botched haircut”.
Their communication bittered further when Ms. Morris refused, at the salon’s request, to meet in person for the issue to be hashed out, saying she didn’t feel comfortable doing so.
They have since reached a tense stalemate, with the salon refusing to pay Ms. Morris compensation unless she meets in person, and Ms. Morris staying firm on all their communication being written.
When contacted by news.com.au, Blue Diamond claimed it had evidence that Ms. Morris was “not following the recommended weft after-care practices”, which included tying her hair up and “attempting to dye the extensions at home”.
Ms. Morris said she was never given instructions to avoid either practice.
The salon said both actions could “significantly compromise the quality of the extensions and their application”.
Ms. Morris claimed she only dyed her regrowth at home and didn’t believe doing so had any impact on the way the extensions pulled at her scalp.
“Despite these circumstances, we maintained a professional approach and made efforts to find a fair resolution with Sheree. We offered a complete refund of all money spent with Blue Diamond, totaling over $700. However, Sheree insisted that we cover additional hair treatments, provide new extensions, and supply approximately $1500 worth of other products,” part of a statement from the salon read.
“In an attempt to move forward and find a suitable solution, we proposed that Sheree meets with our customer experience liaison at the salon. This meeting would allow us to discuss the situation in person, evaluate her hair once more, and work towards a mutually beneficial outcome.
“Regrettably, Sheree declined the refund offer, considering it unprofessional, and refused to meet at our salon to pursue a final resolution.”