PDA

View Full Version : Any one run into Medical issues/biases or fallacies related to long hair?



CavySong
August 16th, 2014, 09:47 PM
My daughter-in-law was told by her doctor that her long hair (barely halfway to BSL from flip length) was the probable cause of a carpal tunnel flare up. With my hair now hitting a new record of 40" (on me this is tailbone even in a braid) I am afraid to leave my hair un-bunned when I go for help with a recently developed and newly diagnosed nerve impingement in my neck/shoulder.

Has anyone else been encouraged to cut when the hair is not the problem? Or was it?

ooglipoo
August 16th, 2014, 09:52 PM
I've been told that my hair is the cause of my migraines by more than one doctor. I even cut it once, and disproved the theory. Not saying it can't happen, just not in my case...

That sounds fishy, to me.

dreamingstar
August 16th, 2014, 09:57 PM
My mother had a friend that once had classic length (and beautiful!) hair - and it turned out to be the "cause" of her migraines, so she cut it. However, I think it was much more of an issue of inconsistent (or lack of) good weight distribution techniques. Even with short hair, if you put all its weight in one area for a long time it will cause problems. I'd say most doctors, especially those with comparably shorter hair, don't even think of this.

Creagan
August 17th, 2014, 12:12 AM
I think the issue is the doctor's basically going, "Well, we've ruled out all the obvious stuff. So it must be the unusual physical trait we don't see too often! Yeah, that's it!" They also probably do not understand that hair sticks don't pull on hair as much as headbands and basic bobby pins.

That being said, putting my hair back, even in a french twist, makes my head feel unbalanced. Although that may be because I have historically weak neck muscles and was born with a tilted head.

mz_butterfly
August 17th, 2014, 12:20 AM
I know a lady who had very thick, very curly, tbl+ length hair. The Dr told her that her hair was causing her headaches and instructed her to cut it. After she cut it, the headaches continued. She regretted cutting her hair, was upset and angry at the Dr for suggesting it and missed her hair a great deal.

I was shocked when she told me what had happened, I would never take that kind of advice, especially knowing that headaches aren't usually the result of long hair.

PrincessBob
August 17th, 2014, 02:15 AM
I, too was told to cut my hair because it was in his opinion the root of my headaches/migraines. It didn't help and I looked awful. Never again.

Rosetta
August 17th, 2014, 02:53 AM
There are actually doctors saying long hair can be a cause of migraine? :eek: Seriously?! I'm totally flabbergasted...

ghost
August 17th, 2014, 03:04 AM
How could hair cause carpal tunnel syndrome? Isn't that in your wrists?...(Not questioning the validity of OP's post, questioning who would honestly think that!)

I've had people try to link my long hair to my occasional migraines (starting in childhood when my hair was about APL to present day) and I'm still kinda dumbfounded that that's actually a thing people think. I seriously doubt that anyone's hair is heavy enough all by itself to cause that much excruciating pain. I've noticed that if I have a minor headache, sometimes it helps a little to take my hair out of a bun, ponytail, or braid, but that's about it. It's absolutely not the cause of the headaches :p

SkyChild
August 17th, 2014, 03:05 AM
Yeah I've had that too. Despite the fact that my hair isn't that long and I've had headaches and migraines at pixie. I think it's a hormonal imbalance.

I've also had doctors tell me that long hair causes my weirdly rashy, spotty back (which it did, but only because of my horrible toxic shampoo and conditioner choices) and that it can cause earache because the wax can't get out and evaporate at night time when I was sleeping (?!) This seems somewhat odd, especially as when I braid my hair at night time it's no-where near my ears.

Marika
August 17th, 2014, 03:16 AM
There are actually doctors saying long hair can be a cause of migraine? :eek: Seriously?! I'm totally flabbergasted...

I can't believe this either! Maybe they've bought their dr diplomas online! :D Doctors have only commented my hair in a positive way. After all, poor health usually shows in hair condition. But of course, I've also had my blood tests done to make sure I'm healthy.

humble_knight
August 17th, 2014, 05:08 AM
I've seen more understanding from healthcare staff who have long hair themselves. My partner was told by some hospital staff that she would need to cut her kneelength hair short, so that it would be 'more practical,' when she worked in operating theatre. Fortunately, she met a lovely nurse - with classic length hair - who showed her a nice way to keep her hair up neatly. It would be interesting to hear the opinion of any doctors and nurses here, who have long hair.

MissBubble
August 17th, 2014, 06:04 AM
My mother had headaches and neck muscle problems because of :confused: her hair. That was what she was told. It was about the hair weight and the humidity because of he fact that she always let it airdry, sleep with wet hair etc. She gave it a try and cut it.
She is completely fine the last years with the collarbone length and her blowdryer :rolleyes: whenever she let it airdry and goes out, she has the same problem again.

embee
August 17th, 2014, 06:14 AM
It's not just hair.

When I was a teen I got a nasty ear ache/infection - swimmers ear - and the doctor told me the problem was that I had pierced ears. Geez, the infection was *inside* my ear, not in the earlobe. I thought he was a fool. He gave me no meds either.

chen bao jun
August 17th, 2014, 07:54 AM
Yea, my neighbour with knee length hair was told that it was the cause of her back and neck issues. she cut to a pixie. It turned out she had a pinched nerve and a lot of problems in the discs in her spine. Nothing to do with her hair at all--which she didn't bun by the way, it was in a long braid.
I've suffered from migraines all my life. I've mostly had short hair. I do get headaches from congestion and allergies too and have sun sensitive eyes, so its a combination. the things that contribute to migraines so far as docs know are a woman's menstrual cycle (a lot of women get relief in menopause), stress, eyestrain--and there's a lot of mystery about it. I find that when I have a migraine, if I have a bun or tight hairstyle, it makes it worse--but then, so does everything else (a hat, the light, even the tightness of collars). I still don't have hair longer than brastrap, so I can't be having migraines from long hair. What helps with them is cold clothes on my head to shrink the veins that get engorged, as well as meds, with caffeine the meds are better--nothing to do with hair.
Hair just does not weigh not much, either. Even when very long. There's a thread here somewhere about that. I used to get, not headaches, but scalp aches from buns, quite different from migraines but learned to rearrange my hair for its current length. New hairtoys that are heavy can cause scalp aches too--ficcares did at first and so did flexi 8s (size x large) but that is now past. Madora has excellent advice somewhere on how to do buns so that the weight isn't pressing in one place.
I seriously doubt that anyone's hair causes health problems. This reminds of the nineteenth century when drs. used to cut off women's hair if they had high fevers (you read about this in books), doesn't sound like good medical knowledge to me, but yes, prejudice. I would think hair extensions would be much more likely to cause pains around the head than anyone's natural long hair (because the weight, such as it is, would be sudden) but I don't hear anyone saying anything about THAT.

lapushka
August 17th, 2014, 07:56 AM
Well it sounds fishy to me too. I've had migraines ever since hitting puberty (my mom same until she hit menopause), and I've had my hair shaved, pixied, shoulder length, what have you. My migraines stayed just the same. It's hormonal, probably, and hereditary. Nothing you can do. I think doctors are human too. :shrug:

DreamSheep
August 17th, 2014, 08:50 AM
Made me think of this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2396679/The-real-life-Rapunzel-World-record-holder-says-55ft-long-dreadlocks-paralyse-cut-them.html

But then, there's a different between 19kgs of dreadlocks and waist-tailbone length hair which probably weighs less than a kilo.
Also, unless you spend all day bunning and braiding your hair, I don't see how hair length could be related to health issues.

For me, all I know is that I got lots of spots on my face with shorter hair, and now it doesn't jab into my face or shoulders I have the clearest skin ever. :) So if anything, longer hair = better health over all!

Madora
August 17th, 2014, 09:22 AM
How could hair cause carpal tunnel syndrome? Isn't that in your wrists?...(Not questioning the validity of OP's post, questioning who would honestly think that!)



I thought that was weird too, Ghost. But then I thought, perhaps the motion of using a comb or brush on the hair are hurtful to her carpal tunnel syndrome. You need flexion in your wrist when you brush or comb. I can't begin to imagine how painful that would be to a person suffering with this.

Pengwinner
August 17th, 2014, 09:44 AM
Hey this is my first post!! I have been a member for a while and look at threads every once in a while for advice but haven't posted yet.

Anyways, I have almost waist length hair and I think that when I wear it down all day my headaches get worse. Hairstyles that help for me are hair forks with a lot of prongs or something similar to a crown braid.

truepeacenik
August 17th, 2014, 09:58 AM
I thought that was weird too, Ghost. But then I thought, perhaps the motion of using a comb or brush on the hair are hurtful to her carpal tunnel syndrome. You need flexion in your wrist when you brush or comb. I can't begin to imagine how painful that would be to a person suffering with this.

Exactly this. It's the grip on the brush or comb handle and the reaching. All your body position.
Try different grips, but listen to your body and especially shoulders. Impingement in shoulders can really make attending to hair painful.
Maybe combing hair upside down would help relieve the pressure in the carpal tunnel.
(Short version of what that and thoracic outlet syndrome are is pathway hole in a bone used by a nerve bundle, coating on nerves swells from friction, causes tingling or pain.)

Anabell
August 17th, 2014, 11:27 AM
This video shows a hair weight experiment. She has a thigh length hair (48'') with average thickness and it weight 225 gr. It not super accurate but it gives an idea of how much long hair can weight.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XduqBu1s44Y&index=8&list=PL6763115ECB8074E3

I have no idea if this scale of weight could cause medical problems or not. I will glad to hear an opinion of nurse or doctor if there are members with this profession in this forum.

Imalath
August 17th, 2014, 11:38 AM
My mother had calf-length hair as a teenager that actually was the cause of her migraines. As soon as she cut back to a shorter length, the headaches disappeared. I think she mostly wore it loose or in braids, but she's always had a pretty sensitive scalp, and very thick hair.

Peggy E.
August 17th, 2014, 12:20 PM
There are actually doctors saying long hair can be a cause of migraine? :eek: Seriously?! I'm totally flabbergasted...

these tend to run in my family - and I've read they do, indeed, tend to be hereditary.

my dad's hair was in a butch when he was suffering from migraines and my sister had a "mia farrow" super-short haircut, so can't imagine that their hair really made much difference in their headaches....

as a person with multiple health issues - and a long history with the weirdness you can find in the medical field - I've grown to take a doctor's advice as a suggestion, one which I decide to take, if it sounds feasible, or ignore, if not.

CavySong
August 17th, 2014, 01:04 PM
My D-I-L said that they were concerned that weight of her hair was probably affecting her neck muscles and aggravating the carpal nerve farther up. Having had CTS and the release surgery myself, I seriously doubt it as my hair was thick and BSL at the time of my diagnosis. My Doc at the time said it was because I was over 35BMI, but that is another story for another time. DIL does not have very thick hair, is tiny thin and I think they are grasping at straws. I have this lovely shoulder impingement and yes, it is making taking care of the mane a pain. It is more likely that my problem started when I A) started playing an MMORPG with my husband in April, or B) when I got a new purse that was significantly heavier with narrower straps on mothers day.

As for migraines, that is more a vaso-dilation issue and I don't see how it could be hair related. I did have hip length hair and headaches in the late 80's and cut the hair, while it seemed to help initially, the headaches were not gone. It is most likely that her carpal tunnel is acting up because she is toting my 10 month old grandson around on her hip. Now that she is wearing him in a wrap most of the time it should get easier, and soon he will be walking.

spidermom
August 17th, 2014, 01:08 PM
A lot of people think that long hair weighs more than it does. I remember a former LHCer claiming that her hair weighed 6 pounds. Ummmmm, no. I weighed my classic-length hair a few years ago by letting it collect in the cup of a kitchen scale while I bent over, and it barely weighed 6 ounces.

I'm :confused: about any mechanism that would connect long hair to carpal tunnel syndrome. It involves the forearms and wrists.

CavySong
August 17th, 2014, 01:10 PM
as a person with multiple health issues - and a long history with the weirdness you can find in the medical field - I've grown to take a doctor's advice as a suggestion, one which I decide to take, if it sounds feasible, or ignore, if not.

After having 6 babies in 8 years, with all the close contact with "medicine" that brings, I have decided Medicine is an ART, NOT a SCIENCE: As it goes for artists, Some practitioners are truly gifted, most are not.

CavySong
August 17th, 2014, 01:15 PM
Thank you, every one for replying and offering your thoughts. I was pretty sure, but is is so good to know others feel the same. Any one that has worked in a salon and done the sweeping up and toting out of the hair from dozens of folks a day can tell you, 20 inches of hair isn't going to cause that kind of problem.

Kaelee
August 17th, 2014, 01:47 PM
I'm :confused: about any mechanism that would connect long hair to carpal tunnel syndrome. It involves the forearms and wrists.

I could see how caring for long hair could cause issues if you already have carpal tunnel from something else (just like a lot of things would become difficult, not just hair!!). However in order for it to CAUSE it...I suspect that the doctor is under the impression that those of us with long hair spend hours a day brushing, combing, braiding and fixing our hair. Which we don't. :laugh:

chen bao jun
August 17th, 2014, 02:50 PM
Ok. Yeah. This lady could have back and neck issues because of her hair. However, I don't think that those of us who don't have a few feet of shed hairs and dirt (Yes, dreadlocks trap dirt) trailing after us need to worry too much.
Also, vaso-dilation is what I was thinking of for migraines. The veins are engorged. this has nothing to do with hair. And carpal tunnel is repetitive motions, usually computer related (or gaming related) nowadays, I got it from a combination of that and piano playing. I 'guess' you could get it if you are one of those people who brush a hundred times each night and didn't do it ergonomically, but it doesn't seem all that likely. I don't comb my hair since joining LHC (I just fingercomb), so am not going to worry.

Every since the thing with my neighbor, I have been wary of people saying long hair causes bad health in some way, doctors or not. I had a stiff neck and my mother was saying it was probably my hair but it was a handbag issue (and possibly an ill fitting bra. Ill fitting bras create a myriad of back and neck issues-- I am aware of this because I am very busty on a small frame, and people are always saying people built like me get backaches and
need' breast reductions. But actually, mostly we just need a bra that fits right--and so does everyone else.


Made me think of this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2396679/The-real-life-Rapunzel-World-record-holder-says-55ft-long-dreadlocks-paralyse-cut-them.html

But then, there's a different between 19kgs of dreadlocks and waist-tailbone length hair which probably weighs less than a kilo.
Also, unless you spend all day bunning and braiding your hair, I don't see how hair length could be related to health issues.

For me, all I know is that I got lots of spots on my face with shorter hair, and now it doesn't jab into my face or shoulders I have the clearest skin ever. :) So if anything, longer hair = better health over all!

pixldust
August 17th, 2014, 03:39 PM
My mum suffers from migraines and she's had her hair short for as long as I can remember, so I can't see long hair as being a valid cause of them :D