Beauty parlor stroke syndrome, also known as “hairdresser’s stroke,” is a rare condition that can occur as a result of having your hair washed at a salon. It is caused by a temporary decrease in blood flow to the brain due to the head being tilted backwards for an extended period of time, such as when washing your hair. When you hyperextend your neck, there can be a little compression on the artery which can cause a tear in the blood vessel resulting in a blood clot which can travel to your brain causing a stroke. It doesn’t just happen at the salon but can also happen at the dentist, at your chiropractor and even during yoga.
Symptoms of beauty parlour stroke syndrome can include dizziness, fainting, and even stroke. Some people may also experience headaches, nausea, confusion, and difficulty speaking or moving certain parts of the body.
There are certain factors that can increase the risk of beauty parlour stroke syndrome, including having a pre-existing medical condition such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or a history of stroke. Additionally, people who are older, or have a neck or spine condition that makes it difficult to hold their head in a tilted position, may be at a higher risk for this condition.
To prevent beauty parlor stroke syndrome, it is important to be aware of this risk and to inform your hairdresser if you have any medical conditions that may put you at a higher risk. Additionally, it’s also a good idea to take frequent breaks during the hair-washing process and to avoid having your hair washed for too long at a time. You can also make sure your neck is supported when you’re having your hair washed at the salon, for example by positioning a towel in a way that offers support.
Also, minimize or avoid activities where the neck is malpositioned for extended periods of time, more than 10 or 15 minutes.
The key takeaway is beauty parlour stroke syndrome is a rare condition. If you fall under the risk group, it is important to be aware of the risk and to inform your hairdresser.
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