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When things come to a head

Neurologist K R Shankar has reported that washing long hair and plaiting it acts as a surefire trigger for a migraine headache.

india Updated: Apr 23, 2007 23:03 IST

A headwash is a headache is fuzzy logic for women with flowing tresses. Now, an Indian headache specialist (such a specialisation exists) is backing this claim, in ways more scientific than the long-haired really bargained for. Neurologist K.Ravi Shankar has reported his finding that washing long hair and plaiting it while wet acts as a surefire trigger for a migraine headache. His study was published in the International Headache Society’s journal Cephalalgia.

If this conclusion is accepted in medical annals, it will really be just one more queer trigger for the horror of horror headaches. There is little in the world that can’t set off a migraine headache. From food to weather, to light and darkness, from mood to sleep patterns, a migraine trigger is essentially “anything that gives you a headache” — as recorded by neurologists in the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Thankfully there are as many ways to reduce the pain of migraine as there are triggers. The oldest among these for acute migraine that lasts days on end is the preventive and curative option of application of a hot iron to the head or in worse cases, inserting a garlic pod in an incision made in the temple.

Needless to add, this treatment is no longer prescribed. That said, the results of the study are not that hair-raising. After all, this is a trigger easily manageable. Just go for that haircut. Better a bald spot than a blinding headache.

First Published: Apr 23, 2007 23:00 IST