We are all aware that Covid-19 has been the major news story of 2020 and it continues to be surrounded by mystery. Every day we learn more about this coronavirus and what it has the potential to cause. Now, scientists have linked coronavirus and hair loss, and this is what you need to know about this symptom.
There are many different symptoms associated with Covid-19 including a cough, chills, fever, difficulty breathing, body or muscle aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, runny nose, loss of smell and taste, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. These are the known common symptoms that scientists have been able to associate with this virus but there are many that we may not yet know about. This is a time of uncertainty and it may take more time before more common symptoms can be added to the list.
One of the new potential common symptoms of Covid-19 that is being reported increasingly is hair loss. This is especially true for people that are known as “Long Haulers”, which are individuals that have had symptoms of Covid-19 on a long-term basis. As well, many people that have suffered from coronavirus have reported skin, eye, whole body, and brain symptoms both during the height of the symptom flareups and during the recovery phase. As well, according to a recent report, 423 respondents of a survey reported hair loss as one of their symptoms.
Although there is a lot of further study to do regarding the link between hair loss and coronavirus, one logical conclusion that can be made is that the loss of hair is something called telogen effluvium. This is a condition that involves temporary hair loss and shedding hair after a shock to the system.
Many individuals that are reporting sudden and significant hair loss are saying that their hair starts to fall out months after the illness has subsided. Others that have been suffering from symptoms for a long time are also experiencing this hair loss effect. In the case of telogen effluvium, it usually takes between 3 and 5 months for the hair to shed following a stressful experience, a shock or illness.
There are a lot of things that can contribute to this type of shock including the following:
- Physical trauma
- Psychological trauma
- High fever
- Extreme/fast weight loss
- Diet changes
- Major stress
- Autoimmune disorders
It is now suspected by several scientists that hair loss is or can be a part of the list of conditions that turn up when a person has or is recovering from Covid-19.
The Good News
Although hair loss could be considered a minor symptom when compared to the life-threatening symptoms that can appear, it is still extremely concerning for many. Fortunately, this condition is likely to be temporary and will not last forever. There is an incredibly good chance that the problem will self-resolve and that the hair will grow back. It will, however, take some time for the new hair to catch up with existing longer hair.
How Hair Grows
The life cycle of hair includes 3 parts:
- Growing phase
- Resting phase
- Shedding phase
At any one time approximately 90% of the hairs are growing, 10% are shedding and 5% are resting. A major event such as shock or stress can send up to 50% of the hair into the shedding phase. Since it takes anywhere from three up to five months for this to occur, we have not seen a lot of talk about hair loss thus far. This may be due to the fact that we have recently entered the 3 – 5-month timeframe in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hair loss professionals are seeing more and more new patients arrive on their doorsteps as each week passes and many are complaining of hair loss that has occurred for the first time in their lives. On top of having to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, many people are feeling extremely stressed about having to quarantine, income uncertainties, the loss of loved ones and much more.
Covid-19 started in North America around the beginning of the spring season. It is normal for people to have what is commonly referred to as a “spring shed” in March, April, and May. It is not known why many people shed extra hair during the spring season, but it may be related to stress following the holiday season in late December and early January. As a result, many individuals that are losing their hair may be dealing with not only Covid-19 hair loss but also with a regular spring shed.
How to Handle Coronavirus Hair Loss
If you have suffered from hair loss due to the Covid-19 outbreak and do not know where to turn, it’s important to talk to a professional about it before trying any fancy hair products on your own. Make sure that you are eating well and getting the right nutrients into your body to help with hair growth. Vitamin D, biotin and more protein may also make a difference.
Another thing you can do that may help the situation is to lessen your stress if possible. If you are feeling stressed about hair loss, visit a hair loss professional for a consultation and remember that in most cases this is just a problem that will get better in about 6 months’ time. Patience is key.
If you have experienced a problem with hair loss and need to get advice or want reassurance that this is going to get resolved on its own, please contact Antech Hair today. We provide free consultations and give you the information you need so that you can feel much more confident about the regrowth of your hair. We can also provide you with options that may help your hair grow back to the best of its