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Hair-grooming syncope (also known as hair-combing syncope) is a form of syncope (a fainting disorder) associated with combing and brushing one's hair. It is most typically seen in children aged five to sixteen.
Hair-grooming syncope typically manifests as presyncopal symptoms during hair combing, brushing, braiding, trimming, curling, or blow drying. These symptoms are followed by loss of consciousness and convulsions. Migraines, abdominal pain, "feeling funny" or blurred vision may also occur before or after seizures. Possible causes of the condition include pain or nerve stimulation on the scalp (similar to parade-ground syncope), or compression of blood vessels or nerves resulting from neck flexion or extension. A 2009 study identified 111 pediatric cases of hair-grooming syncope in the United States, almost three-quarters of which were in female patients; that study found that the condition is most associated with hair cutting in males and brushing in females.
Hair-grooming syncope may be misdiagnosed as epilepsy, but is better described as a "paroxysmal non-epileptic event". It may also be related to orthostatic hypotension. The condition is not associated with heart abnormalities.
This form of syncope is a possible explanation for hair-brushing syndrome, an extremely rare condition in which static electricity is said to interrupt brain or organ function. Only two cases of hair-brushing syndrome have been reported worldwide, one of which garnered media attention in 2011 when the Daily Mail announced that hair brushing could cause death.
References[edit | edit source]
- Riviello, James J., Rioux, Stephen D. (NaN undefined NaN). Hair-braiding and combing-induced syncope: A paroxysmal nonepileptic event. Journal of Epilepsy 6 (2): 115–117.
- Lewis, Donald; Frank, L. Matthew (1993). Hair-grooming syncope seizures. Pediatrics 91 (4): 836–838.
- Igarashi, Masanori, Boehm, Robert M; May, William N; Bornhofen, John H. Syncope associated with hair-grooming. Brain and Development 10 (4): 249–251.
- Evans, W. N., Acherman, R.; Kip, K.; Restrepo, H. (1 July 2009). Hair-Grooming Syncope in Children. Clinical Pediatrics 48 (8): 834–836.
- (March 2010) Fainting by Follicle. Pediatrics for Parents 26 (3).
- For this girl, brushing her hair could be life-threatening. Huffington Post.
- includeonly>Barnes, Julie-Anne. "Brush with death", Daily Mail, 18 August 2011.
- includeonly>"Teen with rare condition could die from brushing hair", Fox News, 18 August 2011.
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