Hair-grooming syncope

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.[1][2] These symptoms are followed by loss of consciousness and sometimes convulsions.[2] Migraines, abdominal pain, "feeling funny" or blurred vision may also occur before or after seizures.[1][3] 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.[2] 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.[4]

Hair-grooming syncope may be misdiagnosed as epilepsy, but is better described as a "paroxysmal non-epileptic event".[1] It may also be related to orthostatic hypotension.[3] The condition is not associated with heart abnormalities.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Riviello, James J.; Rioux, Stephen D. "Hair-braiding and combing-induced syncope: A paroxysmal nonepileptic event". Journal of Epilepsy. 6 (2): 115–117. doi:10.1016/S0896-6974(05)80099-4.
  2. ^ a b c Lewis, Donald; Frank, L. Matthew (1993). "Hair-grooming syncope seizures". Pediatrics. 91 (4): 836–838.
  3. ^ a b Igarashi, Masanori; Boehm, Robert M; May, William N; Bornhofen, John H. "Syncope associated with hair-grooming". Brain and Development. 10 (4): 249–251. doi:10.1016/S0387-7604(88)80006-8.
  4. ^ Evans, W. N.; Acherman, R.; Kip, K.; Restrepo, H. (1 July 2009). "Hair-Grooming Syncope in Children". Clinical Pediatrics. 48 (8): 834–836. doi:10.1177/0009922809339204.
  5. ^ "Fainting by Follicle". Pediatrics for Parents. 26 (3): 1. March 2010.