Hair loss

The link between COVID-19 and hair loss

Many people have reported hair loss after having COVID-19. Here’s what causes it and what you can do to minimize shedding.

Ever since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in cases of hair loss. For some, it’s minimal and temporary, while for others it appears to be more severe and long-lasting.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), it’s not uncommon to experience hair loss after having a fever or illness. In these cases, it’s usually just a question of being patient and hair will return to normal. Going through a stressful situation or trauma can result in hair fall. This is a disorder known as telogen effluvium. And, considering the increased stress levels faced by everyone over the last two years, it makes sense that more people would be losing their locks. But, as research into this disease continues, more and more professionals and patients are asking: Is it a stress response or a symptom of the disease?

hair loss

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Many people start noticing excessive shedding after recovering from COVID-19. Some even report hair coming out in clumps. But there has been a lot of questioning as to whether it’s the disease itself causing the hair loss or the stress of contracting it? The answer is both!

Telogen effluvium is a condition that disrupts the natural hair cycle. And recent studies have found acute onset to be common among those who have been infected during the recovery stage. The good news is that, in most cases, hair will grow back and return to normal. The bad news is that there isn’t much that can be done to prevent it and full restoration will be a waiting game.

For most patients, the shedding will only start two to three months after having COVID-19. This can then last between six and nine months before it stops and new hair can start to take root. In the meantime, there are some things that can minimize the damage. These include:

  • Maintain a nutritious diet that is rich in protein, vegetables, fruit and grains, and nuts.
  • Establish a self-care routine to get you grounded when you’re feeling stressed.
  • Biotin is safe and can enhance hair and nail growth. The low risk and possible benefit make a several-month trial appropriate.
  • Only brush your hair gently when necessary, and avoid tying it back to prevent strain.

Struggling with excessive shedding and hair loss after COVID-19? Click here to find your nearest APDerm location and schedule an appointment with one of our physicians for expert care.


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