What Connects COVID and Hair Loss?
COVID is a name that we’ve heard daily and are continually learning new things about. People may experience the virus in different ways or varying degrees, including the side effects of infection. One side effect that has been growingly documented is COVID hair loss. Though the number of reported hair loss cases being reported is growing, it may not be directly caused by COVID. Instead, doctors believe that the loss of hair is linked to another condition known as telogen effluvium.
What is Telogen Effluvium?
Telogen effluvium is the second most common hair loss condition that dermatologists diagnose. Hair growth in follicles occurs in three phases: Anagen (active phase), Catagen (transitional phase), and Telogen (resting phase). The majority of follicles are in the anagen phase, actively growing hairs for two to six years. During the catagen phase, growth stops, and the hair becomes known as a “club hair” before entering the telogen phase. The telogen phase is when hair loss typically happens.
Telogen effluvium is a condition in which follicles that should be in the anagen phase are forced into the telogen phase due to some kind of shock. Triggers that can lead to telogen effluvium include:
- Acute or Chronic Illness – especially when there is a fever
- Psychological Stress
- Certain Medications
COVID and Telogen Effluvium
It is understandable why COVID hair loss is being linked to telogen effluvium. One of the main symptoms related to COVID has been the presence of a fever, which can force hair into the telogen phase prematurely. In addition to the fever, COVID can cause strain and stress on individuals, which also can trigger telogen effluvium. This hair loss isn’t immediate, however. Most cases have reported hair loss happening two to three months after the trigger event.
How Much Hair Loss is Normal?
Though seeing hair fall out is concerning for many, it is actually a natural occurrence. On average, a person will lose 100 hairs a day. Most people won’t notice this amount, which is why the increase from telogen effluvium is often concerning. Contact a physician if you are worried or notice more hair loss than normal. A doctor will be able to assess if the hair loss is normal or related to another condition.
Is COVID Hair Loss Permanent?
Telogen effluvium is self-correcting. This means that once the trigger event has been addressed and removed, hair growth should begin again. COVID hair loss isn’t permanent, and in time, the hair that fell out from the stress or illness will grow back naturally. There isn’t a specific treatment to telogen effluvium, though there are things you can do to support hair growth:
- Be gentle with your hair. Avoid over-handling, combing, or brushing hair.
- Maintain a nutritious diet that includes vegetables, fruit, and plenty of protein. If there is any kind of nutrient deficiency, you can take supplements in addition to your diet.
Though COVID hair loss isn’t permanent, some conditions linked to hair loss can have permanent results. At Robotic Hair Rx, our goal is to get your hair back in its prime. We use the most advanced hair restoration methods and technology to deliver natural-looking results that will last. If you’re ready to start your hair journey and gain a newfound confidence, contact us today!