Alyssa Milano and COVID hair loss

Can COVID cause permanent hair loss?

In recent months, we have noticed an increase in women seeking help for sudden and significant hair loss, a few months after they either tested positive for Coronavirus or experience COVID-like symptoms.

Since Alyssa Milano shared a video on her Twitter account detailing her hair loss after struggling with the long-term effects of Coronavirus, more and more women are coming forward with their own experiences. Understandably, one of the first questions we get asked here in the clinic, is whether this hair loss is permanent.

Is Coronavirus hair loss permanent?

The good news is that the hair loss you’re experiencing two to three months after your initial infection is likely to be temporary. This is because the hair loss condition you’re suffering from is known as telogen effluvium.

The hair growth cycle is three distinct stages, known as the anagen, catagen and telogen stages. The anagen phase is the growth phase and lasts approximately three to five years, although this can vary widely. Your hair will then go into a short transitional phase of about ten days, known as the catagen phase, before it goes into the shedding or telogen stage. The hair follicle is then inactive for about three months before the process is repeated.

Normally, your hair follicles are all going through independent growth cycles which is why you only lose about 80 to 100 hair follicles a day. However, with telogen effluvium a shock event or stressor causes more hair follicles than normal to be forced prematurely into the telogen stage.

In the case of Coronavirus, the initial infection and particularly the associated high temperature is what triggers telogen effluvium. Sufferers can experience up to 50% hair loss, but this will usually resolve itself in about three months once the stress on the body has alleviated.

Reversing COVID hair loss

Promoting general good health is obviously then key to recovering from a Coronavirus infection and stimulating your hair regrowth. At Hair Loss for Women, we always offer our patients nutritional advice as diet plays such an important role in your hair health. We can also recommend topical products such as our Hair Growth Ampoules.

Call us on 0121 809 2747 to arrange a consultation.