Can a haircut cause brain damage?

Didier A. Depireux didier at rai.isr.umd.edu
Mon Nov 3 14:24:55 EST 2003


In bionet.neuroscience Wolf Kirchmeir <wwolfkir at sympatico.can> wrote:

> And violent manipulation of the head, as described by the original poster,
> can also cause minor and not so minor traumas to the cervical vertebrae,
> which could cause the kinds of symptoms he reported. He should have posted to
> a neurology NG, he would have received a more sympathetic hearing IMO.

Haircuts can be dangerous if you have a Rhabdomyomatous mesenchymal
hamartoma. 

It's amazing how many papers you bring up if you type "haircut" in PubMed. I
mean, there's "Salon sink radiculopathy: a case series", showing that you
_can_ get problems from the shapooing. 

Viz: Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 1999 Jul-Aug;78(4):381-3. 
 
Salon sink radiculopathy: a case series.

Stitik TP, Nadler SF, Foye PM.

Cervical radiculopathy can be diagnosed on physical examination with the
Spurling test, which narrows neural foramina via neck extension along with
coupled rotation and side-bending. In the presence of cervical
radiculopathy, this test can reproduce radicular symptoms by transmitting
compressive forces to affected nerve roots as they traverse the neural
foramina. Treatment of cervical radiculopathy includes patient education to
avoid obvious postures that exacerbate radicular symptoms and to assume
positions that centralize discomfort. A potentially harmful position to
which many patients are unwittingly subjected at least several times per
year occurs when their hair is being shampooed in a salon sink before a
haircut. This posture causes neck extension and is combined with rotation
and side-bending as the patient's head is being manipulated during the
shampooing. When the stylist then also applies a mild compressive force
while shampooing the patient's hair, hyperextension of the neck is produced.
We present two patients with cervical radiculopathy that was significantly
exacerbated after the patient's hair had been shampooed in a salon sink;
subsequently, these patients required oral administration of steroids. These
cases illustrate that patients with suspected or known cervical
radiculopathy should be forewarned to avoid this otherwise seemingly
innocuous activity.

						Didier

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