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16th Mar 2016

People Are Reportedly Suffering Strokes Because of Hair Salon Wash Basins

It's commonly seen in the medical world

Cassie Delaney

It has been widely reported in Internet land today that women are suffering strokes from hair washing basins in hair salons.

The news has gone viral following the story of Elizabeth Smith, a mother of two, who had a stroke in 2014.

According to Buzzfeed, a CT scan revealed that an artery in Elizabeth’s neck had been damaged after a visit to a hair salon in San Diego.

Elizabeth sued the salon in December 2015.

Apparently it’s a common phenomenon and has been dubbed the Beauty Parlour Stroke in the medical world. The damage to the arteries in the neck is due to hyperextension or whiplash in the neck.

“In older people, neck motion beyond a certain degree can be extremely dangerous, particularly hyperextension and rotation,” said Dr. Weintraub, chief of neurology at Phelps Memorial Hospital in North Tarrytown said to the New York Times.

“It’s been known that this could happen during chiropractic manipulations of the neck, and this is a variation on that theme.”

Elizabeth first suffered symptoms 8 days after her visit to the salon.

“I had weakness in my left arm and leg,” Smith told BuzzFeed. “I just didn’t feel right. I was standing up to point, and I couldn’t stand.”

Later, Elizabeth experienced nausea and vomiting and was taken to hospital by ambulance.

Elizabeth made a recovery after months of rehabilitation.

Peter Humphrey, a consultant neurologist at the Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Liverpool spoke to The Telegraph and explained the cause.

“It is not due to pressure on the artery cutting off the blood supply to the brain but is much more likely to be caused by a small tear in the lining of the vertebral arteries which run from the back of the neck up into the base of the brain. Clots could form on the rough, irregular torn area, break off and be swept upstream into the brain to cause a stroke” he said.

“This is not an epidemic,” said Dr. Conrad Estol, a stroke expert at the Institute for Cardiovascular Diseases of Buenos Aires.

“People have been getting shampoos for years. But at the same time, I would be cautious and avoid significant hyperextension, especially in elderly people. It is a small thing to do and it can avoid a potentially devastating situation.”

Mark Phillips of the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority said all trainee hairdressers should be aware of the risks.

“All trainee hairdressers should be carefully supervised,” he says. “We also advise customers who feel uncomfortable to say so.”