People Are Having Strokes At Hair Salons And This Is Why
Here's everything you need to know.
In January 2014, Elizabeth Smith, a mother of two, had a stroke caused by a visit to the hair salon.
A CT scan revealed that an artery in her neck had been damaged by this shampoo chair and sink at Blowbunny: Blow Dry & Hair Extension Bar in San Diego, according to court documents.
In the medical world, they actually have a term for this: beauty parlor stroke.
While someone's hair is getting shampooed, the arteries in their neck can get cut or torn due to hyperextension or any whiplash-type motions that happen during a salon visit.
Smith's first symptoms appeared eight days after a 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."
After months of rehabilitation, Smith is suing the salon and is trying to spread the word about this relatively unknown phenomenon.
"I asked every friend I had to check with their stylist, and it came back about 80% [of stylists] knew — not about the mechanism, but knew you could have a stroke getting your hair washed. So I thought, If they all know, this isn't right," said Smith.
The exact cause of beauty parlor strokes is still not entirely known because it is so rare.
This injury has caused Smith to spread the word about beauty parlor strokes in hopes they can be avoided in the future.
To prevent future beauty parlor strokes, look for a chair where the neck is adjustable and there's adequate neck support.
And if you're ever concerned you've had a stroke, go straight to an emergency room.
"Common symptoms are loss of a use of a limb; all of a sudden you get weak on one side of the body; your face begins to droop; you begin to speak like you're drunk; you might lose vision; the world is spinning around you horizontally or vertically; double vision," said Zeiler.