Hair tourniquets


  • Also known as hair thread tourniquet syndrome
  • Prompt diagnosis needed as ischemia can result

Clinical Features

  • Crying infant


  • Typically involves toes but can be located on fingers or genitals
  • Constricting band with edema and/or redness distally


  1. Simple removal with scissors
  2. Depilatory agent can be used if skin is intact (Nair)
    • Apply for 8 minutes and rub agent and hair off
    • Not effective on cotton or synthetic materials[1]
  3. Consider dorsal slit for cases where skin is broken and tourniquet is too tight for other methods
Hair Tourniquet.jpg


  • Discharge home

See Also

External Links


  1. Plesa JA, et al. Effect of a depilatory agent on cotton, polyester, and rayon versus human hair in a laboratory setting. Ann Emerg Med. 2015; 65(3):256-259.