Beauty Parlor Stroke - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/29/06

Beauty Parlor Stroke

Hair-dressers may not like this story, but some doctors think it's worth mentioning.

If your head is leaning back in the shampoo bowl and you're hurting, say something, and change position to avoid a rare, but real problem known as "beauty parlor stroke".

"Beauty parlor strokes are strokes that usually occur when you are in a reclined position with the head and neck flexed all the way backwards for a long period of time," said Thomas Hemmen, MDD, a neurologist.

"It was my carotid artery on the right side, and because I had hyper-extended my neck into the sink, apparently I tore the lining of the artery," said stroke patient Marilyn Noonan. 

When Marilyn lifted her head, her hairdresser noticed her pupils were dilated. A few hours later, she fell victim to a stroke. A tear, in a beauty parlor stroke, can happen in any of the four major neck arteries and cause a blood clot to form, that travels to the brain and triggers a stroke.

Here are suggestions from the doctor:

  • Ask for padding or put a towel on the neck of the shampoo bowl.
  • Take breaks if you're leaning back a long time.
  • Or just lean forward over the bowl instead.
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