As you're lathering up your hair in the shower, you notice strands of it are coming out. You're not even close to menopause or going through any major life changes, so why the heck is your hair falling out?
It could be stress. It could be nutritional deficiencies. Or, it could be Covid-19.
Since the outbreak of coronavirus, we have learned a lot--one of which is that many people are now facing hair loss. While this adverse effect may appear to be the most frightening, it is typically short-lived.
If you have experienced hair loss due to Covid-19, don't despair. There are things you can do to help your hair recover and become healthy again. It may take a few months for your hair to start growing back, but it will eventually return to normal.
COVID-19 And Hair Loss
Losing your hair can be a sign of many things such as, aging, poor nutrition, even stress. But can a global pandemic be to blame?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, COVID-19 may be linked to noticeable hair loss.
Also, approximately 22 percent of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 face hair loss six months after being discharged from the hospital.
Hair loss differs from hair shedding in that hair loss occurs when something stops the hair from growing. When the cells in the hair follicle is damaged, it prevents the hair from growing properly.
This can happen due to a variety of reasons, including:
- radiation therapy
- thyroid dysfunction
- immune system overreacts
- intense emotional stress
- viral infections
Telogen effluvium is a type of hair loss that is actually hair shedding. It occurs when the hair follicle enters into a resting state. Every day, you lose around 50 to 100 hairs. This is a normal cycle in which hair follicles alternate between resting and active growth phases.
This can happen due to a variety of reasons including:
- certain medications
Any of these factors can push more hairs into the resting phase. This leads to increased hair shedding, which can be noticeable 2-3 months after the stressful event has occurred.
The good news is that the hair shedding is temporary and will resolve itself over time. So if you're feeling a little lighter these days, don't panic - your locks will probably grow back in no time.
Things to know:
- Hair loss may be brought on by a variety of factors, including emotional stress or trauma, which millions of Americans experienced as a result of the pandemic. According to the National Library of Medicine, as much as 70% of your hair may be pushed into the telogen phase as a result of intense physical stress, illness, or emotional stress.
- Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 may experience hair loss in large clusters a few months later.
- According to the AADA, hair loss associated with a fever or illness is normal. Fever has been linked to COVID-19 as a possible symptom. Two to three months after experiencing a fever or being ill, some individuals experience significant hair loss.
- Shedding can last anywhere from six to nine months. After that, hair will generally resume its normal state.
How To Take Care of Your Hair Post Covid
When you've had a lot of hair loss as a result of COVID-19, it's time to get back to basics.
Here are a few tips on how you can take care of your hair:
- Dealing with hair shedding requires time and patience. After somebody has fought off COVID-19, their body needs time to recover and for hair to grow back. It's a long process and it's important not to stress about it.
- Avoid tight hairstyles: We know that it can be tempting to try out the latest hairstyle trend, but during this time, it's best to avoid anything that pulls on your hair too tightly. This includes ponytails, buns, etc.
- Be gentle with your hair: When shampooing, conditioning, and drying your hair, be sure to handle it gently.
- Exercise, drink lots of water, and eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet is important for your hair, just like the rest of your body. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and protein.
- Getting plenty of sleep: Just like the rest of your body, your hair needs plenty of rest in order to recover and grow.
- Avoiding unnecessary stress: Stress can be a major trigger for hair loss, so it's important to find ways to relax and de-stress. This may include just taking a few minutes each day to yourself.
- Take hair supplements: In addition to a multivitamin, taking hair supplements can also help boost key nutrient levels that promote hair regrowth.We offer two hair supplements that are formulated to help strengthen the appearance of your hair, skin, and nails. Check out our vegan formula here and our original formula here. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new supplement.
- If you think your hair loss is due to anything other than telogen effluvium from stress or a fever, see a hair-loss expert, such as a dermatologist.
Covid-19 can cause temporary hair loss for many people. The good news is that it is usually only temporary and will resolve itself over time.
Although people might feel that their hair is thinner, eventually the hair density will go back to normal.
In the meantime, take good care of your hair by following the tips above. And if you're still worried, be sure to talk to your doctor.