COVID-19 can have a variety of effects on people. Some people are asymptomatic, while others suffer from severe symptoms or long-term consequences. A COVID-19 disease can create physical and emotional stress, contributing to another unpleasant side effect: hair loss.
The body might be put under a lot of stress while recovering from a coronavirus infection. The adverse effects of fighting a COVID infection can be quite severe, affecting major organs such as our heart, lungs, and brain.
While hair loss can be a minor inconvenience we face daily due to various circumstances such as poor diet, environmental conditions, and stress, nothing compares to the experience of post-COVID hair loss. If you’ve ever had an infection and you’re losing a ridiculous amount of hair every day despite taking precautions, then this article is for you. Hair loss after COVID is not only real, it’s also a worrisome issue that many recovered patients experience.
But what is the reason behind it? What causes your hair to fall out when you’re infected with a virus?
Is hair loss a COVID-19 symptom or a stress response?
Hair loss is common in the months following a COVID-19 infection. More than 20% of COVID-19 patients lose their hair 3 to 6 months after getting infected.
Stress is one of the most common causes of hair loss, and telogen effluvium is a medical name for hair loss caused by stress. It usually occurs three months after a stressful event and can last up to six months. The same condition (telogen effluvium) frequently occurs following other stressful life events, such as childbirth or major surgery.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of cases of telogen effluvium has increased by approximately 400 percent. People of race and other groups adversely affected by COVID-19 have the highest illness rates.
While we don’t know why this occurs, it’s assumed to be tied to the stress of having COVID-19. There is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is directly responsible for hair loss.
Can hair loss affect both mild and severe cases?
While there isn’t much information about who is at risk for this severe complication, those who have had a moderate or severe case of COVID-19 are more likely to experience excessive hair loss. They are more likely to be dealing with complications, high inflammation, and poor dietary issues during their illness or infectious phase.
When will the hair grow back after coronavirus?
Hair shedding is expected to begin a month or two after a person has recovered from COVID-19. While the condition may be manageable to some level, physicians believe that the period of acute and intense hair shedding following COVID-19 will only last 6 to 9 months. Hair will eventually grow back after that.
Is our hair wellness related to immunity?
Our immune system is a superb regulator of a variety of bodily activities. This is because our immune system may hold hints to hair health, in addition to how healthy or susceptible to illness you are, hair issues can be triggered or aggravated by any immune system imbalance. And because of the drop in immunity and other causative factors, hair loss can occur post-COVID while the body’s still healing.
What can you do to help prevent stress induced hair loss?
You can do the following to prevent hair loss if you have a stressful event, such as a COVID-19 infection.
- Maintain a healthy diet and good nutrition. Hair needs proper nourishment to develop and remain healthy. Make sure to get enough protein, iron, Vit. D & C, zinc, folic acid and B vitamins.
- Find techniques to cope with stress. Exercising regularly, meditation, and quality sleep (up to 8 hours) can help reduce stress levels.
- Take good care of your hair. Avoid tight braids, ponytails, and exposure to excessive heat and hair treatments. It’s vital to be patient and understand that your hair will grow back, but it may take some time.
When to consult a doctor?
You should visit a doctor if your hair loss lasts more than six months after recovery or if you experience any additional symptoms such as patches of hair loss, itching, or other irritation. Other reasons for hair loss, such as hormonal changes, dietary deficiencies, or autoimmune hair loss, may require thorough investigation. There are treatments available though, while you wait for your hair to regrow.
Many people notice that they are losing hair months after recovering from COVID-19. The stress of having COVID-19 is assumed to cause this disorder, known as telogen effluvium. The good news is that this condition can be reversed, but it will need patience and time.
If you’re experiencing hair loss post-COVID and looking for a hair loss clinic in Boston, don’t hesitate to contact our hair experts at Scalp Designs for a free scalp micropigmentation consultation.