14 August 2018
While it's statistically very rare, hair salon stroke syndrome (also known as beauty parlour syndrome) can have devastating consequences for clients. Consequently the number of insurance claims is starting to rise.
What is hair salon stroke syndrome
So what is it? Tilting the head back too far back into a backwash for 10 minutes or more can lead to neck extension which could restrict the flow of blood to parts of the brain, increasing the risk of a stroke or brain injury in vulnerable patients.
If a client suffers loss of vision, dizziness, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, nausea, vomiting or slurred speech while in your salon, you should immediately seek emergency medical care.
The difficulty for salons is identifying who could be vulnerable and taking practical steps to avoid the risk. The number of reported cases is very low indeed, but they suggest that people who are probably most vulnerable to arterial tears caused by pressure on the neck are the over 50s, especially those with cervical arthritis, and those who smoke, who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, artery disease or diabetes.
It's also worth checking with your insurance adviser on the cover provided by your policy in the unlikely event your salon faces a claim.
Hilary Hall, NHBF chief executive said: 'Unfortunately, many clients could fit this description so our advice is always to use a cushion or pad under the neck to avoid over-extending the neck, to avoid clients spending long or repeated periods of time at the backwash, to check with clients that they’re comfortable, to wash hair at an angle of no more than 20 degrees or offer a front facing wash. It's also worth checking with your insurance adviser on the cover provided by your policy in the unlikely event your salon faces a claim.'
Also: Contact your insurer if you have any staff providing services such as hair washing who are unqualified or have ‘time served’.