Survivors of COVID-19 are Losing their Hair, Here’s Why
It’s just been a month since Ishaani has recovered from COVID-19. She feels as if she can still feel the effects of that disease in her body. There is a strange sense of lethargy in her body and she has been losing her hair at a very fast rate.
She has heard that feeling tired and a sense of lethargy is common after recovering from COVID-19. However, she has never heard about hair loss related to COVID-19 and she is worried about what could be the cause behind this.
There are dozens of people out there who have posted about suffering from hair loss after recovering from COVID-19. This was not surprising for experts as COVID-19 is a devastating disease that is known for having lingering effects on the body.
But can COVID-19 really make people lose hair? Further, what is the exact cause behind COVID-19 survivors losing hair? Let’s find all this out in this article today.
Listen to What the Doctors Say
Doctors believe that there are high levels of physical and emotional stress associated with COVID-19. This stress is responsible for telogen effluvium, which is a type of reversible hair loss condition.
Telogen effluvium can occur a few months after a stressful event, including major surgery, emotional distress, and high fever. These inferences are based on data and statistics collected while studying the effects of COVID-19 on the body.
As of now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not include hair loss in the list of COVID-19 symptoms. However, doctors believe that there is compelling evidence that it can be one of the long-term effects of the illness.
COVID-19 and Hair Loss
As of now, the one thing that most experts know about COVID-19 and hair loss is that this is a common problem. Ishaani wants to see it for herself and if you do too, then all you have to do is hop on social media pages who have been suffering from COVID-19 and you will definitely see a mention of this.
Because of this, these people are also known as the ‘long haulers.’ The term long haulers basically refer to those who have suffered from COVID-19 months ago but are still experiencing its lingering effects.
It was shown in a recent study that almost a third of people suffer from hair loss after enduring COVID-19. Even though hair loss as a symptom hasn’t been documented in official journals properly, it is still a very common symptom of COVID-19. And the one fact to blame here is stress.
Who’s to Blame? Stress
As of now, there is no concrete scientific evidence that the novel coronavirus is responsible for directly causing hair loss. Instead, the doctors believe that the physical and emotional stress that accompanies COVID-19 is responsible for reversible hair loss or telogen effluvium.
Temporary hair loss can also occur after a few weeks if an individual has suffered from emotional distress, high fever, or gone through major surgery. These problems shift the person’s hair to the telogen, also known as the resting phase, of the hair growth cycle. This will result in losing hair.
In other words, whenever there is a shock to the system, the body goes under a state of lockdown. During this state, the focus of the body is only on essential functions. Hair growth is not an essential function and will be put on the side for the time being.
This condition is usually diagnosed through the process of elimination of other potential causes of hair loss. Doctors might also perform a blood test to rule out other issues like thyroid issues or nutritional deficiency.
In these cases, the patient needs to look over the last few months to pinpoint the exact event that caused the temporary hair loss. The main focus should also be on how one can relieve the stressor.
How to Cope with Temporary Hair Loss?
Ishaani knows that she has been losing hair every day due to the physical and emotional stress caused due to COVID-19. Doctors have told her that she is losing around 300 strands to fall out every day. This has further distressed her. This seems like an endless cycle to her. Is there no way out? How can she cope with her hair loss and reverse the condition?
The good news, in this case, is that telogen effluvium is temporary. So, Ishaani’s hair will eventually grow back. However, it can take time for her hair to achieve its original fullness and length.
Hair grows slowly so it might even be hard to notice any regrowth in the first couple of months. There is no quick fix in this situation. The timeline for hair reversal can even take around 6 months to a year.
During this waiting period, Ishaani is very tempted to try out some hair regrowth supplements and products. She has a big question regarding whether this is the right practice or not.
Ideally, this is not the right practice. Taking hair regrowth supplements and products will not lead to the sort of results that Ishaani is looking for. This is why if you are suffering from the same problem, then you should try to stay sane and avoid falling into any traps.
On top of all this, these hair supplements are not vetted in science. Most of these companies are desperate to make money and end up making crazy or exaggerated claims to get their sales up.
It is better for you, Ishaani, or anybody else who is suffering from the same problem to focus on developing a healthy lifestyle. Try to find different ways to manage your stress levels so your hair will grow back. Try to eat a nutrient-rich diet and avoid smoking or indulging in other unhealthy habits.
Hair Returning to Normal
Ishaani has tried her best to have a healthy diet. She has stayed away from hair regrowth supplements and medications. She has taken good care of her health and hasn’t experienced a lot of stress or illness.
It didn’t take her long after that to observe her hair getting back to normal. It was definitely a slow growth and progress pattern but Ishaani is happy that everything is finally back on track.
Ishaani has even consulted with a hair loss expert and dermatologist to be at ease. And she has received the same advice from them.
You can also consult a hair loss expert or dermatologist if you think that the hair loss you are suffering from is due to some other reason. But if you think that stress is the main cause for you, then follow the medical advice to get a similar regrowth to Ishaani!