The best part about going to the hair salon is having your hair shampoo and scalp massaged. However, did you know that in some cases, this act can actually cause a stroke?
Elizabeth Smith, 48, is suing her salon after suffering a stroke two weeks after her hair appointment. Her doctors are saying she had “Beauty Parlor Stroke Syndrome,” a rare but legitimate condition. It occurs when the arteries in the neck are compromised, either by hyperextension or whiplash-type motion, while the neck tips over into the shampoo sink.
“When one of those cervical arteries is damaged in some sort of way, you can get what’s called a dissection, which is damage of the inside of the blood vessel, leading to abnormal flow and clotting, and then those clots can shoot north into the brain and cause a stroke,” Steven R. Zeiler, M.D., Ph.D., head of stroke research at Johns Hopkins, tells Buzzfeed.
What’s even more shocking though is that the symptoms don’t occur right away. Smith told Buzzfeed that she “had weakness in my left arm and leg” and “couldn’t stand” eight days after her visit.
While this all sounds super scary, you should know that this is a very uncommon occurrence. Some ways you can take extra precautions are padding up the neck rest with towels or asking for a foot rest, so you’re not extending your neck as much. And if you feel any discomfort at all, speak up!