Hair-Grooming Syncope

Mom Sheds Light on Rare Condition that Can Cause Kids to Lose Consciousness While Being Groomed

Getting one’s hair braided is an age-old childhood pastime. It turns out, though, that in rare cases getting your hair done can lead to a rare condition called hair-grooming syncope. The condition typically affects children between the ages of five and sixteen and is triggered by someone getting their hair brushed, braided, curled, trimmed or blow-dried. 

Children triggered by hairstyling can lose consciousness or convulse as a result. Additionally, they can experience migraines, abdominal pain or blurred vision. The condition is caused by nerve stimulation on the scalp caused by gently tugging on the hair.


Dr. Alison Tothy, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Chicago Medicine, shared with Today: “We think it is either from pain, pulling on the scalp or scalp stimulation, or fear — and the body feels like it is going to pass out and they do.”

Mom’s Post on Hair-Grooming Syncope Goes Viral

Alicia Brown, a mom of three from Tennessee, recently shared her experience with hair-grooming syncope after witnessing her sister have a seizure after she was curling her hair. Alicia appeared on Good Morning America to share her story and raise awareness for the little-known condition. 

She was unresponsive and not moving. I was screaming for my husband to come into the bathroom, and he was taking her pulse, trying to say her name. It was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever seen,” she shared. 

Fortunately, Gracie soon recovered and was later diagnosed with hair-grooming syncope.

The hair-grooming syncope condition is very rare, affecting only a handful of people each year. Still, it’s something to keep in mind the next time you go to braid your little girl’s hair.

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