What Is Hair Grooming Syncope? Causes, Symptoms

While hair grooming syncope is not a well-known condition, people who experience it during their regular hair care routines may experience serious side effects. This article aims to clarify the definition of hair-grooming syncope as well as its causes, symptoms, available treatments, and precautions.

1. What is Hair Grooming Syncope?

Hair-grooming syncope, sometimes referred to as shampoo syncope or hair-washing syncope, is a condition in which people have episodes of fainting or near-fainting while doing tasks associated with hair grooming, like brushing, washing, or styling their hair. Blood pressure fluctuations, vasovagal response, and stimulation of scalp nerves are thought to be contributing factors to this condition.

A sudden drop in blood pressure and heart rate, known as the vasovagal response, is a common cause of fainting episodes and can cause a brief loss of consciousness. This reaction can be triggered in susceptible individuals during hair grooming, especially when washing the hair in the shower or over a sink due to the combination of warm water, head movement, and stimulation of the scalp nerves.

2. Symptoms of Hair Grooming Syncope:

Similar to other vasovagal reactions, hair-grooming syncope can be linked to a number of symptoms prior to, during, and following the episode of fainting. Typical symptoms include the following:

Nausea: Feeling queasy or having an upset stomach is a common precursor to a fainting episode.

Sweating: Profuse sweating, especially in the palms of the hands or on the forehead, can occur.

Dizziness or Lightheadedness: Individuals may experience a sensation of being unsteady on their feet or feeling light-headed.

Blurred Vision: Vision may become blurry or tunnel-like, and some individuals may even see spots or experience temporary visual disturbances.

Weakness: A sudden onset of weakness or feeling physically drained can occur.