Black woman is denied beauty treatment
A BLACK woman was told she could not have a beauty treatment because of her skin colour.
Annie Inglis attended an appointment, but after a ten-minute wait was told laser hair removal could not be carried out because they were not insured to practise on dark skin tones.
The 35-year-old said she left The Treatment Rooms in Park Row feeling she had been discriminated against.
A spokesman for Habia – the heath and beauty industry authority – said there may be instances where beauty treatment providers may not be insured to perform certain treatments on certain types of skin.
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This is based on the equipment and the Fitzpatrick Scale – a five stage level of skin tone ranging from white to black.
This also affects people with a combination of fair hair and fair skin.
The Treatment Rooms manager told the Post that staff acted professionally and that while relevant information would try and be established over the phone it was not always possible.
She conceded that the website currently failed to explain who may not be eligible for laser treatment with the salon and said it would be rectified immediately.
Miss Inglis, who works in a wine warehouse, said: "It has been so humiliating and upsetting for me.
"I booked an appointment and they arranged for me to go and see them. I walked in and they told me to have a seat.
"I was waiting there for about ten minutes and then somebody called for me and said they could not do it.
"She said to me they don't do it for people who have the colour of my skin.
"I asked why and they said it is because they are not covered by insurance to do so.
"I was so angry and upset. I just had to leave because I could feel the tears welling up inside. I couldn't believe it.
"My partner picked me up and he wanted to go and talk to them because he was so angry at what had happened but I just said I wanted to leave.
"I just wanted to go home and try and forget about it.
"I have been telling so many people about it and nobody can understand why it happened. It just does not make sense. .
"I feel like I have been discriminated against because of the colour of my skin."
Lucy Meadows, manager of The Treatment Rooms, told the Post: "Our laser machine does not treat Afro-Caribbean skin, just as it can not treat the skin of people who are on certain medications, or those with certain health problems. This is to protect the skin and in the case of black skin is due to the pigmentation and the risk of burning.
"We are governed by the Laser Protection Advice and Medical Protocol, and we followed those guidelines.
"The lady in question booked an appointment by phone and was given a consultation.
"At the consultation the beautician in question was very professional and explained why she couldn't have the IPL/laser treatment.
"Alternatives were offered and the lady seemed very amicable, having a cup of tea and chatting to staff – she didn't seem upset when she left the shop.
"The safety of any of our clients' skin is absolutely paramount, therefore, we would not offer a treatment such as IPL/laser that isn't suitable for the client's skin type.
"We appreciate that there is currently nothing to explain the importance of a client's skin type regarding IPL/laser on our website but this will be rectified with immediate effect.
"We try our utmost to gain the required information over the phone however this is not always possible in a busy salon therefore a thorough consultation is imperative."
A spokesman for Habia said: "Typically IPL/laser treatment is not recommended for skin types V (dark brown) and VI (black) unless a particular type of IPL/laser equipment is being used.
"This is because of the intensity of the IPL/laser, which is measured in nanometers.
"It sounds as if in this instance, the salon in question does not have the correct equipment to perform treatments on skin types V and VI, so would probably be breaking the terms of their insurance."