Reports Indicate Many People Are Experiencing Covid-19 Related Hair Loss or Shedding
The Coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented amount of illnesses, hospitalizations, and fatalities. There is much about this virus that we still don’t understand. Its characteristics have varied from difficulty breathing and headaches to the loss of smell and taste.
Many individuals who have “recovered” from Covid-19 continue to have symptoms and side effects of the virus.
Some people still have shortness of breath, can’t smell or taste months after testing negative for the virus. Others have more serious side-effects of Coronavirus, affecting the heart or lungs. The true long-term effects and possibly permanent ones remain unknown.
One particular side effect that individuals are reporting with frequency is hair thinning. NBC News reported that several survivors of the Covid-19 pandemic are experiencing a significant loss of hair in the months following their recoveries. One woman told NBC News that she was losing “handfuls upon handfuls,” just from washing her hair. Others also reported losing copious amounts of hair and similar clumps of hair coming out.
This woman is just one of hundreds of “long haulers,” the name given to those who claim to have ongoing covid-19 symptoms long after they test negative for the virus. Actress Alyssa Milano was one of the first to report mass shedding months after she became one of the lucky Covid-19 survivors.
Coronavirus is Causing Increased Hair Loss For Covid-19 Patients and Non-Covid Patients
Experts say that excessive shedding after any serious illness should not be entirely unexpected. People can experience an uptick in hair shedding after any number of stressful events, including sickness.
Physicians, health care workers, and researchers tend not to believe that Coronavirus itself attacks the hair follicles and causes hair thinning. Instead, they think Covid-19-related hair thinning is from pandemic stress. Excessive shedding may be “the body’s reaction to the physiological and emotional stress that the disease caused, rather than a symptom of the disease itself.”
Can Pandemic Stress Cause Excessive Hair Thinning?
Yes, it can. Telogen Effluvium is the name given to hair loss that occurs due to physical and emotional stress or shock. It usually occurs 3-6 months after a major stress event or events and is considered a form of temporary hair loss.
Events can include a variety of things such as major surgery, a high fever, extreme weight loss, psychological stress, illness, job loss, an accident, financial stress, physiological stress, or emotional trauma.
The telogen phase is the hair’s natural resting phase when you experience little or no hair growth. Trauma and stress can interrupt the growth cycle and cause your body to extend the length of time your hair is in the telogen stage, which eventually causes it to shed. It is often a temporary condition.
People experiencing telogen effluvium shed many more than the average of 100 hairs per day of a typical person. Telogen effluvium can lead to chronic shedding and a badly broken hair growth cycle when emotional distress is uncompromising. Usually, however, most people with stress-related hair loss see improvement after 4-6 months.
Some doctors report that they have seen increased numbers of patients experiencing excessive hair shedding since March when the Covid-19 stay-at-home orders were first implemented.
A professor at the University of Alabama School of Dermatology told NBC News that many of these patients never had Coronavirus. “It’s just all the other tolls of the pandemic that are leading to the hair loss.”
Losing hair is, for many, a stress-induced condition that causes significantly more emotional distress, resulting in a hair cycle that perpetuates hair thinning. Whether the onset is due to stress from having Coronavirus, other pandemic-related changes, losing a loved one or job, or seeing your hair falling out, it can be upsetting. The distressing experience can affect self-confidence.
When self-confidence suffers, you might feel depressed and anxious, which can increase hair thinning.
Riviera Hair Replacement Can Help Restore Your Hair
There are solutions to hair thinning. Call Riviera Hair Replacement to find out how we can help find a hair loss solution that is right for you. Our discreet, professional, compassionate team can work with you to design and create a solution that leaves you feeling self-confident and beautiful.
We don’t want thinning to compound any stress you might be experiencing post-Covid-19. Call Riviera Hair Replacement today at 516-364-0110 to schedule your free hair replacement consultation. You will be glad you did.