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Man has stroke after bending head backwards for hair wash at salon

'Beauty parlour syndrome' is a rare but dangerous injury that occurs when one of the main arteries in the neck is over-extended and torn

Katie Forster
Monday 12 December 2016 19:00 GMT
Stock image of a man having his hair washed at a salon
Stock image of a man having his hair washed at a salon (Rex Features)

A man who had a stroke after a visit to the hairdressers developed a life-threatening blood clot when his head was bent back over the basin, doctors have said.

Dave Tyler, a 45-year-old sound engineer, developed headaches, felt his body go numb and collapsed in a business meeting two days after he went to a salon in Brighton.

Doctors believe Mr Tyler, who was paid £90,000 in damages by the salon, suffered what is known as ‘beauty parlour syndrome’.

This rare but dangerous injury occurs when one of the main arteries in the neck is over-extended and torn, resulting in a blockage or blood clot which limits the blood supply to the brain.

Mr Tyler, who has two daughters, told the Mail on Sunday he was in hospital for three months after the incident.

He said he is still in pain, uses a walking stick and can no longer drive due to vision complications caused by the stroke.

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When he collapsed, he felt “the whole side of my body go numb and while waiting for the ambulance my eyes went ping and started rolling,” Mr Tyler told the newspaper.

Doctors at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, where he was treated, asked Mr Tyler if he had had his hair cut recently.

The Stroke Association said the risk was “very small”, according to the BBC, but a number of cases of so-called ‘beauty parlour syndrome’ have been reported over the years.

Elizabeth Smith, a 48-year-old woman from California, suffered a serious stroke after having her hair shampooed for 10 minutes in 2013.

And in 1997, a 42-year-old woman had a stroke when she had her hair washed at a salon, according to a report published in The Lancet.

The term ‘beauty parlour syndrome’ was first used in 1993 by American neurologist Dr Michael Weintraub.

Dr Weintraub published a survey describing five separate incidents in which women aged between 54 and 84 were hospitalised after having their hair washed at salons, reported the New York Times.

Four out of five of the women suffered strokes resulting in permanent brain damage.

Mr Tyler has called for increased awareness of the risks among hairdressers and the possibility for customers to have their hair washed facing forward, while others have suggested hairdressers could use a cushion.

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