Hair loss after COVID: Here’s what you want to know
Published 5:24 am Wednesday, October 5, 2022
By AnaClare Barras
Our understanding of COVID is altering on a regular basis. Though some issues concerning the virus nonetheless stay shrouded in thriller, one of many issues we all know extra about is the seemingly ever-growing checklist of long-term unwanted effects following COVID-19 an infection.
Most are conscious of the lack of style and scent that some declare by no means return to their authentic state, however hair loss has additionally been ceaselessly reported as a post-COVID symptom.
“All my coworkers have seen it with their clients,” mentioned Keli Perry, a hairdresser at Rain Salon and Day Spa in Monroe. “It’s something we’ve been seeing for a while. It was the worst during the first two strains of COVID. One of my coworkers said her client lost 75 percent of her hair.”
“I had a client lose a good 45-50 percent of her hair,” mentioned Ashley Hidalgo, a hairdresser at Ok & Co salon. “It took several months for it to come back right.”
In a examine performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 58.3 p.c of respondents with a optimistic SARS-CoV-2 check outcome reported hair loss as a symptom lasting greater than 4 weeks, making hair loss the most-frequently reported long-term symptom of COVID.
Dr. Melissa Rasberry, a household medication doctor at Imperial Health, mentioned that whereas hair loss is likely to be one of the vital alarming unwanted effects of COVID, it’s usually solely momentary.
“A significant loss of hair can occur after any sort of physiological stressor,” Rasberry mentioned. “So, we see sometimes like with women after they have a baby, they’ll lose hair. We see it after illness, or anything that can create a physiological change in their bodies.”
Thus, it’s not the COVID virus inflicting the hair loss, however moderately the stress led to by it. A phenomenon often called telogen effluvium is what causes the post-COVID hair loss, and it’s a situation during which hair sheds in response to a stressor.
According to Rasberry, hair goes via three completely different phases. At any given time, about 90 p.c of our hair is in a stage of progress, and the remaining 10 p.c is in a stage of resting. At the tip of this stage, hairs are shed from their follicles and steadily changed by new hairs, and the cycle continues.
“Following any sort of physiological stressor, we see a large portion of that normal 90 percent of hair in the growth stage transferred to the falling out stage prematurely,” Rasberry mentioned. “If you think about it, on average, you’re losing about 1 percent of your hair at a time, and when you transfer from something like that to about 30 percent or more, that’s a noticeable difference.”
The shedding can begin shortly after an an infection, however it’s normally six to eight weeks after a physiological stressor. Raspberry mentioned hair progress will return after the sickness resolves, however as a result of hair progress occurs so slowly, it takes some time to have noticeable progress to interchange that, typically six to 12 months.
As anxiety-provoking as it could be, Rasberry mentioned COVID-related hair shedding is momentary, and the hair will return.
“Replacing any sort of deficiencies and getting rid of any sort of stimuli that may precipitate physiological stress … is important to allow hair to grow back and stop further loss,” she mentioned.
“I’ve heard taking collagen has helped some women grow their hair back,” Perry added. “Taking supplements with zinc and biotin help with hair growth, but they’d need to talk with their doctor to make sure they’re getting the correct dosage.”
“A good haircut and patience goes a long way,” Hidalgo mentioned.