Migraine Problems: Haircuts

Thanks to my extreme sensitivity to odors, getting a haircut often triggers a migraine. Here’s how I’ve learned to avoid salon-induced migraine attacks.

1. Avoid salons that do nails. Need I say more?

2. Go to an Aveda salon. While the scent of Aveda’s products is too strong for me to use on my hair, the scents don’t linger in the air of hair salons. Even the hair coloring chemicals don’t bother me (much). I did a sniff test of all the hair salons within a few miles of my house, none of which were Aveda. Most of them had such a strong odor that I didn’t even have to open the door to know it would trigger a migraine. After smelling all those, I decided the extra time to get to an Aveda salon was worth it.

3. Take your own products. Even though I go to Aveda salons (and think their products smell divine), the long-lasting product scents always trigger migraine attacks, so I always bring my own. Some stylists turn up their noses at my homemade products. They’re usually understanding when I explain why, but I recently broke up with a stylist who was snotty about my obviously inferior products.

4. Try to schedule at a time when the other appointments don’t involve hair color. This one can be difficult, but most salons try to accommodate me, especially if I explain the issue.

5. Shower immediately after the appointment. It’s disappointing to wash out a beautifully styled haircut, but my hair and body pick up product odors just from the stylist touching me.

6. Use a neti pot. This is the newest and most ridiculous thing I have to do after a haircut. My current stylist is incredible, but, even though she uses a modest amount, I can’t escape the smell of her perfume. The scent is pleasant and isn’t strong enough to trigger a migraine while I’m at the salon. Still, it stays with me for hours unless I use a neti pot after I shower. Last week, I had to wash my nose out with a washcloth to eradicate the smell! (But I didn’t get a migraine.)

Do you have any tips for migraine-free haircuts? Please share in a comment!

Coping, Symptoms, Triggers

Cutting Hair for Headache Relief?

My 15-year-old niece who has chronic daily headache asked me if cutting my hair, which was to my mid-back, into a pixie cut reduced my head pain. Although I don’t remember noticing a correlation, I’m hoping you may have some experience with this. She said it always feels like her hair is pulling on her scalp and that she gets a horrendous headache whenever she straightens her hair. Any idea if cutting her hair may help relieve her head pain?