Beauty Parlour Stroke Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

Dr Shiva Kumar Sakra World Hospital

Dr. Shiva Kumar R, Senior Consultant – Neurology & Epileptology, Sakra World Hospital Bengaluru.

Be it a woman or a man, all of us enjoy a relaxing and refreshing experience at the beauty parlour. But did you ever wonder that taking care of yourself can be dangerous? Yes, you read that right! Sometimes, something unexpected can happen, which would end up in emergency medical care with a beauty parlour stroke syndrome.

Beauty parlour-induced stroke is a reality, with several incidents reported in various medical literature that can strike a panic button among all of us. Recently a woman suffered a stroke with weakness, vision, and balance issues a few days after a visit to the salon for a hair wash.

What Is Beauty Parlour Stroke Syndrome?

Beauty parlour stroke syndrome is a condition that causes severe neurological after visiting a beauty parlour. It is also known as a hairdresser-related ischemic cerebrovascular event (HICE) or vertebral-basilar ischemia (VBI). The beauty parlour stroke syndrome is a sporadic and acute occurrence that is either caused by artery dissection or vertebral artery compression owing to incorrect or inadequate positioning of the neck while getting the hair washed at the salon bath basin. This condition is also prevalent among men.

Causes Of Beauty Parlour Stroke Syndrome

Our neck connects the head to the rest of the body. The brain requires a regular supply of oxygenated blood from the arteries through the neck. Two vertebral arteries travel up to the neck via the spinal column bones, also known as vertebrae.

These bones form the basilar artery located at the base of the skull, and this artery provides blood to various vital areas in the brain, chiefly the posterior and middle regions. Any hindrance to the blood flow via these arteries owing causes transient ischemic attack.

Symptoms Of Beauty Parlour Stroke Syndrome

The symptoms may show up immediately or after a few weeks

Sudden Dizziness
Nausea and Vomiting
Blurred vision and double vision
Loss of balance
Numbness in the face
Weakness of a limbs
Slurring of speech
Pain in the neck

Risk Factors

However, do not worry about getting into the parlour for your beauty regimen. This syndrome is rare and does not affect everyone. Nevertheless, certain health problems that can up the risk of a person, includes:

Earlier partial impediment to the artery
A longer time of the extended position of the neck
Presence of smaller vertebral arteries
Chronic smoking
Uncontrolled diabetes
High blood pressure
Arthritis of the spinal column of the neck


Beauty parlour stroke syndrome is done by running a few imaging tests. The diagnostic tests that may help healthcare providers diagnose the condition include:

Imaging tests like CT scans and MRIs to evaluate for any changes in the brain
Magnetic resonance angiography to check blood flow to the brain
Tests like ECG and echocardiogram to rule out any heart-related cause of stroke


Beauty parlour stroke syndrome is usually treated like other strokes that are caused due to poor blood supply or ischemia to the brain. Anti-platelet medications and blood thinners are prescribed that may help the patient to avert the worsening of the condition. Some patients may also need rehabilitation therapy if the condition is severe.

Preventive Measures

While visiting a beauty parlour, try to follow some of these simple measures to prevent the risk of beauty-parlour stroke syndrome:

• Ensure that your neck is placed in a comfortable position while your hair is being washed. Your neck should not be bent backward for more than 20 degrees

• Ask for additional neck support to reduce unwanted risk

• Inform your beautician if you have any risk factors for stroke, then it is best to get your hair washed face downward rather than looking upward

Consult your physician and get immediate medical attention if you face any symptoms of beauty parlour stroke syndrome.