Hair Loss and Covid-19
Contributing Author: Mary Brunetti
While there is no evidence at this time that the novel Coronavirus itself directly causes hair loss, there’s no doubt that the stress that comes along with it can cause what’s called “telogen effluvium”, a reversible type of hair loss.
With all the stresses brought on by this pandemic, it’s no surprise to me that hair loss would end up being one of the side effects, and not just by those who had been diagnosed with the virus. Many of my clients started complaining as early as the fall that they were finding lots of hair in their hair brushes, in their drains, or just coming out in clumps. It is highly common that telogen effluvium could occur a few months after a stressful event, such as Covid-19, or a high fever like those related to Covid-19, or just the stresses of life brought on by the various situations resulting from the pandemic.
First, let’s start getting familiar with the 3 stages of hair growth:
- The Anagen Phase
- The Catagen Phase
- The Telogen Phase
This is the growing phase, which lasts 2-7 years in which the hair can grow anywhere between 18-30 inches in length. At any given time, 85-90% of the hairs on the average persons head are actively growing in the anagen phase. The rest of the hairs are in the catagen or telogen phase.
This is the second and short transitional phase, lasting an average of 2-3 weeks. The hair stops growing and detaches itself from the blood supply, and the follicle is temporarily dormant. These hairs resting at the root of the follicle are called “club” hairs.
The 3rd and final stage, this starts the resting period for about 3 months when the club hairs will rest at the root, and they will eventually be pushed out by new hair growing beneath it. In order for the new hair to come through the follicle, the old hair must shed. We normally shed about 100 hairs per day. This is normal. All follicles are independent and go through their growth cycles at different times, so normal shedding is not so noticeable.
How Does Telogen Effluvium Happen?
This brings us to Telogen Effluvium, when more hairs than normal enter the telogen phase, (the follicle is forced prematurely to the telogen phase), and shedding increases to an average of 300 hairs per day. It typically occurs 2 to 3 months after a stressful event.
When a major stress event takes place it could force up to 50% of your hair to accelerate to the shedding phase, where normally only 5% of your hairs are in the resting phase and 10% are in the shedding phase at any given time.
Stress induced telogen effluvium is diagnosed through a process of elimination of other potential causes of hair loss. (medication, thyroid issues, poor nutrition, hormone imbalances) Other contributing factors could be high fever, also associated with Covid-19 symptoms.
When will my shedding stop?
The good news is that this type of hair loss is temporary, but it could take 6 months to 1 year to notice that your normal hair has returned. Hair loss is so emotional for the person experiencing it, and so the stress can become part of the problem again.
Try to relax knowing you are not going to be bald.
Because we see our hair every time we look in the mirror, it can affect our confidence and self image. There are ways to minimize the overall look of thinning hair. Learn here how you can style your hair while experiencing hair loss.
You’ll know your hair is growing back when you start to notice hair beginning to grow at the hairline, all the same length. That’s how I noticed my hair beginning hair loss this past fall. I researched the best options and I started to use the HairMax LaserBand 82.
I have to say I am the most skeptical critic of most hair loss treatments having tried so many. I researched HairMax and learned that they actually originated laser hair growth technology for home use and have been in business for over 20 years!
Also I read about the seven clinical studies and the FDA Clearances - being in the business, I know what it takes to do this kind of research and I knew I was looking at a company and product that I could really trust.
Both my husband and I have been using the HairMax LaserBand82 and we both notice new growth!
Also, look into stress relieving practices like yoga, meditation, go for long quiet walks, exercise, get lots of sleep....simply take time for yourself to do whatever it is you do to destress!
(Tip: You can even use your HairMax device while de-stressing)
***If you think your hair loss is caused by something other than telogen effluvium, speak to your health care practitioner or see a dermatologist. Your doctor may do a blood test to rule out thyroid issues or nutritional issues, both of which can lead to hair loss.
Learn more about understanding hair loss and find the right device for you at HairMax.com