With all the misery being heaped upon us as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, both to our health and finances, a new consequence is emerging: hair loss.
New information on the effect that Coronavirus has on the body is coming to light almost weekly, as scientists learn more about the physical manifestation of the virus. The list of symptoms associated with COVID-19 is constantly being updated, along with the understanding that they can last far longer than the initial infection period.
A persistent cough, shortness of breath or breathing difficulties, muscle and body aches and fatigue are all being reported anecdotally as the long-term side effects of COVID and now significant hair loss can be added to the list.
COVID and hair loss
It seems that two to three months after the initial COVID infection, sufferers are experiencing a sudden and marked hair shedding and we have seen this pattern in a number of our female hair loss patients recently. The hair loss is typically diffuse in that it presents across the scalp and is therefore very different in appearance to male pattern hair loss, for example.
Due to the timing of the hair loss, this is likely to be a type of hair loss known as telogen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium is a form of hair loss that is the result of a shock to the system that prematurely forces more hair follicles that usual into the shedding stage of the hair growth cycle. Surgery, trauma, serious stress, extreme weight loss due to crash dieting can all be causes of telogen effluvium, but one of the main culprits is often an illness or infection.
As our founder Ranbir Rai-Watson explains: “Regarding COVID, it is the fever and associated increase in temperature that is the main cause of loss however the other effects on the body will add to the cause of loss too.”
Sufferers can experience up to 50% hair loss, but the good news is that it is usually temporary. However, there are treatments or products that can help stimulate your hair regrowth.
Getting the correct hair loss diagnosis is always essential though to rule out any other potential causes. At the Hair Loss for Women, we can assess your blood results and we ask for patients to either bring their most recent blood test reports or we can refer you to a diagnostic centre.