We can all agree that 2020 has been a crazy year! More and more individuals are complaining of an increase in hair loss and hair shedding. Due to the increased numbers of people being infected by Covid-19 and the addition of potential symptoms related to Covid-19, the question now becomes – “Does Covid-19 cause hair loss?”
The answer – no…but also Yes!
Huh?!? That doesn’t make much sense. So are you saying, “No, Covid-19 doesn’t cause hair loss, or yes, it does?”
We are saying both. No, hair loss is not a direct symptom of Covid-19. However, over the last six months, we have seen a record number of job losses, increased medication usage, poor diets, and decreased physical activity, all of which have contributed to an unprecedented level of stress due to the onset of Covid-19. This increased level of stress from Covid-19 is now significantly contributing to individuals noticing increased shedding in the shower drain, bathroom floor, or brush.
To help you better understand how the increased levels of stress from Covid-19 affect our hair, we must first understand the basics of hair growth.
Stress affects the body in many ways – One way is hair loss.
Our hairs grow in a constant growth cycle, rest, shedding, and regrowth. We shed around 80 to 100 hairs daily in a healthy hair growth cycle. However, this cycle can be disrupted by stress or stressors such as Covid-19, causing hair roots to be pushed prematurely into the resting state. This is known as Telogen Effluvium. The more common name for this is stress-related hair loss, recognized when the body sheds significantly more than 80 to 100 hairs daily. Stress can ultimately be one of hairs’ greatest enemies.
Telogen Effluvium has one main symptom: excessive hair shedding, usually triggered by stress. We all have some degree of stress in our daily lives; however, the stress outside the norm of the everyday stressors can cause excess hair loss. Some examples of stressors that may trigger excessive shedding can include the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job, or undergoing surgery with anesthesia.
Stress can be a constant factor in some people’s lives, turning stress-related hair loss from an isolated incident into a chronic condition. Some, like firefighters, may experience continuous stress from their occupation, while others experience constant stress from a loss of a job, a family member, anxiety, depression, or insomnia. As a result, excessive hair shedding can be very stressful. While it is usually temporary, if not correctly detected and treated, it can create a perpetual hair loss cycle.
Stress-related hair loss is usually not seen right away.
The challenge individuals experiencing stress-related hair loss often face is not recognizing the problem right away. Symptoms, like excessive hair shedding, occur around three to six months after the stressful period. In the case of Covid-19, stress levels began increasing around the March/April time frame, which means many individuals have already started to or will soon start seeing stress-related hair loss.
Stress-related hair loss usually is not a cause for concern, provided you have been properly maintaining your hair and scalp and that the high levels of stress decrease. In some cases, hair can recover and return to its normal growth cycle. In other cases, hair can begin to diffuse, grow thinner, become dormant, or be lost permanently.
But, there’s more…
Covid-19 has also led to increased medication usage to treat depression and anxiety. As a result, people are not sleeping; diets have significantly been disrupted, and physical activity has shown a decline. These factors can also contribute to excessive hair shedding or hair loss.
Discover the Health of Your Hair & Scalp
Unfortunately, Covid-19 will likely be with us for at least the next few months. So now is the time to begin making changes to your hair and scalp health to help combat the results of stress-related hair loss. The more you do today, the better your hair will be for years to come.
Don’t be like most people, who think that there must be a shampoo that will prevent this problem. Our exclusive ScalpCheck gives you an in-depth analysis designed to help determine the health of your hair and scalp. This allows us to customize a hair and scalp care protocol based on your specific needs. Ultimately, reducing or preventing hair and scalp problems before they start and helping you maintain beautiful, healthy hair and scalp for years to come.
Now is a perfect time to schedule a ScalpCheck to discover the health of your hair and scalp and correct stress-related shedding before it leads to a bigger hair and scalp problem.