Beauty parlour stroke: What triggers stroke during hair wash; how to prevent it | Health


It is common for ladies to get a hair wash at salon before a hair cut or otherwise and the experience is usually relaxing and something to look forward to. However, a 50-year-old woman developed dizziness, nausea and vomiting during her hair wash at a parlour which was later diagnosed as a stroke. Dr Sudhir Kumar, Senior Consultant Neurologist, Apollo Hospital, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, tweeted about the case to raise awareness around this rare condition the symptoms of which should not be ignored to prevent disability. (Also read: World Stroke Day: Signs of a silent brain stroke; how it affects your brain)

“I recently saw a 50-year old woman with symptoms of dizziness, nausea and vomiting, which started during her hair wash with shampoo in a beauty parlor. Initially, she was taken to a gastroenterologist, who treated her symptomatically. Symptoms did not improve, the next day she developed mild imbalance while walking. She was referred for my opinion. She had mild right cerebellar signs. MRI brain revealed infarct in right posterior inferior cerebellar territory, MR angiogram showed left vertebral hypoplasia. A diagnosis of beauty parlor stroke syndrome involving right PICA territory was made. Possible mechanism is kinking of vertebral artery during hyperextension and turning of neck towards wash-basin while washing hair with shampoo. She had well controlled hypertension too,” said Dr Kumar in a series of tweets.

“Take home message: Stroke affecting vertebro-basilar artery territory can occur during shampoo hair-wash in a beauty parlour, especially in women with other atherosclerotic risk factors and undetected vertebral hypoplasia. Prompt recognition and treatment can prevent disability,” added Dr Kumar.

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WHAT IS BEAUTY PARLOUR SYNDROME

Neck massage and putting cold water suddenly over the head and neck area are the other factors which may aggravate constriction of the neck vessels which supply blood to our brain.
Neck massage and putting cold water suddenly over the head and neck area are the other factors which may aggravate constriction of the neck vessels which supply blood to our brain.

Further elaborating on beauty parlour syndrome, Dr. Tarun Sharma Director Brain & Spine Surgery unit, Marengo QRG Hospital, Faridabad told HT Digital that salon stroke or beauty parlour stroke is a rare entity which may happen suddenly due to neck manipulation or massage which causes lack of blood supply to the brain and may cause damage to areas of the brain.

“Common etiology behind this stroke is vertebrobasilar insufficiency – the term for a stroke thought to be caused by sudden flexion or hyperextension of neck while getting hair washed at a salon. Neck massage and putting cold water suddenly over the head and neck area are the other factors which may aggravate constriction of the neck vessels which supply blood to our brain. In extremely rare occasions tear or dissection of the arteries causing formation of blood clots at the base of the skull can cause a major stroke in the brain,” says Dr Sharma.

BEAUTY PARLOUR STROKE: WHO’S MORE AT RISK

People with pre-existing diseases like diabetes, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, previous history of brain stroke or heart diseases are more prone to this event but this can happen in previously healthy young adults also, especially if they are obese or heavy smoker, says Dr Sharma.

BEAUTY PARLOUR STROKE: IS IT DIFFERENT FROM A REGULAR STROKE?

Dr Sharma says this stroke is different from other strokes as the origin of pathology is only in the neck vessels. “Mechanical compression or tear of blood vessels in the neck can cause it while in other brain strokes blood clot comes from the heart and it’s major blood vessels,” he says.

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HOW TO PREVENT BEAUTY PARLOUR STROKE

Dr Sharma lists the following precautions to avoid the beauty parlour stroke:

– Avoid sudden and excessive neck manipulation during head wash or massage in saloon.

– Always put lukewarm water while washing the head.

– People with pre-existing health conditions should be more careful.

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