It Was Just a Normal Day at This Hair Salon, Then Tragedy Struck

by Awareness Act

Going to a beauty salon is a normal everyday thing, hundreds of people do it every single day. But, one woman’s (as well as many others) worst nightmare came true after a routine trip to the beauty salon.

Elizabeth Smith, California resident is suing a beauty salon, because she says getting her hair washed there nearly killed her. She got her hair done at a San Diego salon in January of 2014, and almost two weeks after the visit, doctors told smith that she had suffered a stroke.

The doctors said that a CT scan revealed that an artery in Smith’s neck had been damaged by leaning back in the beauty parlor’s shampoo chair.

Is that even medically plausible?

As it turns out, the answer is yes! The condition has been nicknamed Beauty Parlor Stroke Syndrome. Doctors say it can happen when necks are hyper-extended.

“When a patient is leaning their head back, you could possibly tear or irritate these posterior circulation or have these kind of strokes, ” neurologist Dr. Clifford Segil

“When you hyperextend your neck, there can be a little bit of compression on the artery from simply just changing the position or the bones slide a little bit one over the other.”

That can cause a tear in the blood vessel, resulting in a blood clot, which can travel to your brain and cause a stroke.

Here we are two years later, Smith still has strength, balance, and vision issues. But, her biggest concern is the clot that remains in her brain. Doctors say if it moves, she could die.

“So I do live with that every night. I go to sleep wondering, will I wake up tomorrow?” said Smith.

Smith says she is hoping to create more awareness about the condition and hopes her lawsuit will lead to a change in the salon industry.

The salon denied any negligence and alleged that she “failed to exercise any degree of care for her own safety and as a result proximately caused her own injuries.”

The initial warning signs of beauty parlor stroke syndrome are a little different than those of a typical stroke. They include dizziness and unsteadiness in your hands but can also include migraine type headaches, loss of vision or blurred vision, neck swelling, and change of taste.

While Beauty Parlor Stroke Syndrome is rare, it is a thing. To lower your risk, you can ask your stylist to place a towel underneath your neck to prop your head up. Try to keep your neck tilted at no more than a 20-degree angle. You can also choose to face the wash basin and flip your hair over.

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