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Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,111
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Watch Your Neck at the Beauty Shop!

Hi everyone. Haven't been on here much in the past few months as my mother lives with us (93 y.o.) and her dementia has really advanced. 

 

I take her into the beauty shop to get her hair done every couple weeks.  She missed her last appointment due to bad headaches and neck pain.  You may have heard of problems arising from hyper-extending the neck over the shampoo bowl. There is one problem called "beauty shop stroke syndrome" that happens when an artery is torn or pinched while the neck is hyper-extended. Well, that did not happen to my mother. My mother  suffered a fractured neck in the C1-C2 area. Fortunately, it did not extend into the spinal cord. Obviously, at 93, my mother is quite frail and has osteoporosis, so it is definitely not the fault of the beautician. However, just be aware that it can happen.

 

My mother walked around for almost a month complaining of severe headaches. The doctors did a CT scan of her head and neck...but the CT scan was one on the arteries. Finally, the night before last, my mother  took a fall at home. She bumped her head and the side of her face pretty hard, so I called the ambulance. At the hospital, they did CT scans on the bones of her head, neck, and face. They found the slightly healed fracture of the neck...and a fractured finger. She has no paralysis.

 

At her age, they have to be conservative, so they put her in a special cervical collar rather than one of those halos that get screwed into the skull. My mother hates it and is fighting it, so they are keeping her sedated. Today, she is moving to a nursing home to heal and for rehab. Good grief...who would have expected this? Please just be aware that weird things like this can happen. I don't know how she will get her hair washed in the future, but certainly not with hyper-extension.

A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal. ~~ Steve Maraboli
Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,665
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Watch Your Neck at the Beauty Shop!

@YardlieOMG, that's really bizarre, and not something any of us would normally be aware of, so thanks for telling us.  I hope your poor mother is doing better......sometimes it's just too much for us to handle at home when parents become so frail.

 

I just turned 70 myself, and am wondering what new joys lie ahead for me as I age.....I hope fractures aren't part of that process.  Your mother is lucky to have you helping her (I don't have any children, so I'm trying to take really good care of myself).

Laura loves cats!
Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,078
Registered: ‎10-04-2010

Re: Watch Your Neck at the Beauty Shop!

[ Edited ]

 I have to set very carefully since that shampoo bowl can kill my neck/back area.  No more perms for me.. Also at the dentist, they have a neck pillow that fits and prevents problems in the same way for those of us who need it.  So I'm glad you were able to find this out about her neck. Sorry for that, but it should be easier on her for awhile now.  Let her know, it's only a temporary fit for now.  She probably won't be aware of one day to the next, poor thing. See if the nursing home has a beauty operator there.  They may have a set up there to do her hair.

 

Take care of you too!!! 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 30,826
Registered: ‎05-10-2010

Re: Watch Your Neck at the Beauty Shop!

Yes!!!  You are quite right about that and I'm glad you are sharing.  My mother who passed away at 85 had this.  She loved to get her hair done at the salon every 10 days.  She went her for "wash and set" on Wednesdays when she got the Senior Citizen Discount.  Her neck pain started gradually.  A "crick" in her neck she would say.  The pain got worse as time went on and then she had trouble moving her neck.  To make a long story short, at her age the discs in her neck were fragile and bending her head backwards at the salon was the worse thing in the world for her.  Too much stress on her cervical vertebrae.  So, my sister and I started washing her hair at home and she would bend foward at the kitchen sink.  But the scary thing as that the the doctor told her she was LUCKY that she came in when she did because most certainly would have developed "Beauty Shop Stroke Syndrome", his exact words.  He explained that it happens when neck artery is torn when the neck is extended backwards.  It's relatively rare but it does happen.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,565
Registered: ‎06-10-2015

Re: Watch Your Neck at the Beauty Shop!

Wow, Im sorry your mom's had to go through that.  I was not aware of "the beauty shop stroke syndrome".  Thank you for posting this knowledge.

Saving time & trouble. If I offend you, I am sorry.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,113
Registered: ‎09-30-2010

Re: Watch Your Neck at the Beauty Shop!

@Yardlie    Sorry to hear this about your mother.  I appreciate you sharing this with us.  I, too, am a senior and all my life disliked going to the beauty parlor.  Always loathed stretching backward for the hair sudsing and rinse--never felt comfortable to me.

 

Way overdue to go to the salon for a wash and cut.  I will be mindful of this going forward.

 

Thank you so much and hope you stay well with all you and your mom are enduring.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,052
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Watch Your Neck at the Beauty Shop!

This has been known about for many years.  Extending the head and neck backwards to have your hair washed can be dangerous for some people.

 

Some salons have switched to the style of chair where you lean forward over the sink (my hairdresser does that), but I would guess for many salons they think it would be too expensive to switch to the newer style sinks now, since the current style has been popular for so long.

 

A friend of mine told me about this issue, when I was living in England over 20 years ago.  She never allowed anyone to wash her hair with her head bent backwards.

 

For the same reason, they stopped the common exercise of rolling your head backwards in schools in England at that time, along with straight leg-lifts (too much stress on the lower back and spine).  Hyper-extension is not good for the general population.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,739
Registered: ‎05-19-2012

Re: Watch Your Neck at the Beauty Shop!

Thank you, Yardlie, for this alert.

 

May your mother heal quickly and without much trauma.

 

Honestly, if it's not one thing, it's another.  How frightening.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,224
Registered: ‎01-26-2013

Re: Watch Your Neck at the Beauty Shop!

Sorry to hear about your mother, OP.  Hope she recovers as well as possible.  I no longer can lean backwards over the sink at the salon so my beautician just turns the chair around and I lean forward, been doing it for the last two years.  I have severe neck problems and my physical therapist said I should never lean backwards to get my hair washed.  My beautician has a couple other women who can only lean in forward for a washing so it's no big deal  to ask them to do it this way.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,206
Registered: ‎08-08-2011

Re: Watch Your Neck at the Beauty Shop!

So sorry to hear about your mother. I had not heard of that possibly happening. I guess it’s good that I have my beautician just spritz my hair with water while sitting in the chair before cutting it. I sometimes get vertigo if I lean too far back in a shampoo bowl.