A 10 year-old girl suffered a frightening and rare form of seizure after her older sister curled her hair for church.

Gracie Brown’s sibling Alicia Renee Phillips says the youngster began to gag about five minutes after she began styling her hair at their home in Clinton, Tennessee, on July 7.

Phillips said Gracie’s condition deteriorated to the point where she turned blue and passed out, with the youngster then rushed to hospital.

Sharing her story on Facebook, Phillips wrote: ‘I asked (Gracie) if she was going to get sick and she shook her head yes.

‘I get my little daughters out of the bathroom and start to hold her hair up for her as she leans over the toilet.

’30 seconds later… she looks at me. She is extremely pale with blue lips and starts to pass out.



‘Her pupils got really big and I caught her. I start screaming for Dale to come help.

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‘Gracie has a blank stare and look on her face and is completely unresponsive and limp for about a minute.

‘Her hands were also shaking. Very seizure like.

‘She then comes back to and says she feels much better.

‘She says she remembers hearing us talk but couldn’t see us. I was crying. She was very confused.’

Once at the hospital, doctors scanned Grace’s head, and performed an electrocardiogram (EKG).

And Phillips was stunned to discover the youngster had suffered from a condition called hair-grooming syncope.

The condition sees brushing, curling, braiding or drying children’s hair cause nerve stimulation, and non-epileptic seizures.

Scientists believe this happens after the cranial stimulation causes blood pressure to drop.

Hair-grooming syncope is rare, and only affects children aged five to 13, with Phillips among those who’d never heard of it before Grace’s scare.

Recalling the moment she got the diagnosis, Phillips told Good Morning America: ‘I must have looked at him like he had four heads.

‘I said, “I’ve never heard of that before.”

‘He said, “This is real.”

‘He said he sees one-to-five cases a year, but there a probably a lot more — not everyone goes to the emergency room (for it).’

Phillips has shared her story to make other parents aware of the issue.

Pediatrician Michael W Riker, who works at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, where Gracie was treated, said the condition is benign, and that all children who suffer it will grow out of it.

Advising families on how to manage it, Riker added: As with almost all forms of syncope the recommendations are to avoid dehydration (by) increasing water and salt intake, as well as avoiding prolonged periods of standing and irregular meal times. ‘