January 30, 2008

Can a shampoo session at a beauty salon trigger strokes in the elderly?

woman getting her hair shampooed at a salonShampooing hair at a salon can prove to be dangerous and even fatal to the aged. Ever heard of the ‘Sink Shampoo Syndrome (SSS)’? During a shampoo session at a beauty salon, the head is bent backward over the edge of a basin and if this position is maintained for a long time it can trigger strokes in elderly persons.
Arching the neck backward over a sink and in extreme positions can apparently diminish the blood supply to the brain, triggering a stroke. This can also occur to those who hwoman-getting-her-hair-rinsed-in-a-salonave to bend back for other reasons like during a chiropractic treatment. Dr. Weintraub, the neurologist after a comprehensive study spanning a year has said that although the risk of this hazard is more in elderly, it can apply to other persons, (esp. youngsters born with hidden malformation of main artery leading to the brain) who visit beauty salons as well, as such an extreme position of backward arching and bending of the neck for prolonged periods interferes with the blood flow to the brain.

There have been quite a few cases (5 to be precise) reported in women 54 to 84 years of age where during or immediately after a shampoo, they developed various stroke symptoms, including slurred speech, nausea and weakness on one side of the face. 

Though such strokes are rare, older people are advised to avoid circumstances requiring head hanging for long periods. Also, the neck must not be arched back or rotated more than 15 degreees. The arteries at the back of the brain are particularly vulnerable in the elderly. Dr. Weintraub, suggests that beauty parlors should consider shampooing elderly clients in a leaning forward which is less likely to compress the arteries.

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  1. Thanks for contributing this post to this week’s Carnival of Family Life, hosted at A Child Chosen. The Carnival will be live on Monday, February 5, 2008, so I hope you and your readers will stop by and check out all of the fabulous entries included this week!

  2. I never would have thought of this danger, but it certainly makes sense. Thanks for informing us of this hidden danger.

  3. Marty2:45 AM

    I have a product that may help. Please check out www.lilrinser.com
    It was designed for children, but we have seen much interest from Salons and caregivers. Hope it helps.

  4. Very informative post. Who would have imagined such a study? Thank you for participating in Fitness for Moms Carnival.

  5. I really enjoy the shampoo and haircut session in my favorite salon. This post is very interesting.


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