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Covid-19 Causes Hair Loss? or Stressors? What did Experts Say?

Long covid Hair Loss
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February 3, 2022. 6 Minutes Read.

People of the US started to breathe fresh air because 70%Covid-19 community-level falls under low/Medium level, everyone still understands that this is not endemic of the pandemic.

Pandemic’s effects on people will last for years. When millions of people suffered for a longer period of the sars-coV-2 virus around the world. The post covid effects still on people’s lives.

  • COVID-19 affects people in a variety of ways and can have long-term consequences, including hair loss (telogen effluvium).
  • According to AAD Hair loss is a normal reaction to stress, including physical illnesses like COVID-19.
  • Hair will regrow following telogen effluvium, and there may be certain things you can do to help it.
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According to the University of Utah,  the common side effects of post long haul covid include,

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog, difficulties thinking, and difficulty finding words
  • Taste and smell loss (which has come back for most patients and has been more common among patients who were infected earlier in the pandemic)
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Hair loss is a common problem (which typically improves, and hair will grow back to normal)
  • POTS stands for postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.
  • Pain in the nerves.

” Hair loss has been a common side effect for COVID-19 patients whose symptoms resolve quickly and for those who develop long COVID.” According to Esther Freeman, MD, Ph.D., dermatologist, and epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston and principal investigator for the COVID-19 Dermatology Registry, who spoke to The Atlantic. Researchers are yet unsure how often hair loss is among COVID-19 patients.

Is hair loss a symptom of COVID-19 or a stress response?

Many people experience hair loss after recovering from a COVID-19 infection, more especially after a long covid or long haul covid.  

We now know that more than 20% of persons hospitalized with COVID-19 lose hair within 3 to 6 months following discharge. Other trials including patients with lesser symptoms show that hair loss following COVID-19 may be considerably more common.

to understand this let’s check about states of hair growth.

What are the different stages of hair growth?

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Anagen: This is the growing phase of the hair follicle. The Anagen Phase, also known as the ‘Growth Phase’ or ‘Active Phase,’ is when the cells in the root of your hair divide at their fastest rate, resulting in the formation of more new hair.

Your hair grows around half an inch every month [about 6 inches per year] during the Anagen Phase, and it grows faster in the summer than in the winter.

Catagen: The transition phase during which the hair follicle stops developing. Following the Anagen Phase, your hair cycle enters the Catagen Phase, a brief transitional phase that indicates the end of active hair growth by cutting individual hairs off from the blood supply and the cells that make new hair. At any given time, about 3% of all hairs are in this stage. This stage lasts approximately 10 days.

Telogen: This is the resting period in which the hair remains for 2 to 3 months before falling out. At any given time, approximately 10% to 15% of your hair is in the telogen phase.

Telogen effluvium occurs when hair follicles enter the telogen phase before they should. These hairs will begin to fall out 2 to 3 months following the stressful event.

“About 90% of the hair fall post covid is due to a condition called Telogen Effluvium. Whenever the body is subjected to a phase of physical and emotional stress, it may lead to a condition called Telogen Effluvium. The good news is that this is a reversible hair loss and the hair will grow back but may take some time to get back to its fullness,”

If you’ve seen more hairs on your pillow or hairbrush than usual, you may be concerned about hair loss. You could simply be shedding more hairs than usual. There is a difference.

Hair shedding frequently ceases on its own.

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It is typical to shed 50 to 100 hairs per day. Excessive hair shedding occurs when the body sheds significantly more hair per day. Telogen effluvium is the medical word for this disorder.

Excessive hair shedding is prevalent in people who have been exposed to one or more of the following stressors:

  • 20 pound or more weight loss
  • When you have given birth
  • When you are under a lot of stress (Examples are, caring for a loved one who is sick, going through a divorce, losing a job)
  • When You had a high fever.
  • When You had a surgical procedure
  • Recovering from an illness, particularly one that includes a high fever
  • When you have stopped using birth control pills.

The majority of people report significant hair shedding a few months after the stressful incident. A new mom, for example, may notice significant hair shedding about two months after giving birth. 

The shedding normally begins four months after giving birth and ends four months later. This is a natural and transient shedding.

The increased shedding will stop as your body readjusts. The hair tends to regain its original fullness within six to nine months.

However, if the stressor persists, hair loss might be long-lasting. People who are constantly under stress may experience long-term significant hair loss.

Hair loss is different from Hair Shedding

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Hair loss happens when anything prevents hair growth. Anagen effluvium is the medical word for this disorder. The following are the most common reasons for hair loss:

  • Hair loss that is inherited
  • The immune system reacts excessively.
  • Some medications and therapies
  • Hairstyles that yank the hair
  • Abrasive hair-care products
  • A compulsion to pull one’s hair out

If you experience hair loss, it will not grow back unless the underlying problem is addressed. People who get chemotherapy or radiation treatments, for example, frequently lose a lot of hair. When the medication is discontinued, their hair tends to regrow.

Consult your doctor if you believe a treatment or drug is causing your hair loss. 

What did Experts Say about Covid-19 and Hair Loss?

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Dr. Shilpi Khetarpal, an associate professor of dermatology at the Cleveland Clinic, “There are many, many stresses in many ways surrounding this pandemic, and we’re still seeing hair loss because a lot of the stress hasn’t gone away,”.

Dr. Amit Garg, a dermatologist at Northwell Health said, “For the most part, it affects women, though it can also affect men. It can affect people really at any age,” According to him, hair loss is becoming more common in those who have had COVID or have experienced a significant emotional impact as a result of the pandemic.

In a statement accompanying the findings, Dermatologist Alexis Young explained that hair loss usually starts several weeks to three months after infection. It usually lasts six to nine months, though this varies from person to person. Long-haul travelers are more likely to have hair loss.

Dermatologists in Texas have also observed the post-COVID symptom, telogen effluvium, and suggest the hair growth cycle should reset in a year and a half.

Dr. Emma Guttman-Yassky,the new chairwoman of Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine’s dermatology department, said “Some of them had Covid, but not all of them,” “It’s the stress of the situation. They were apart from their families, they worked for many hours.” she added, she has treated numerous frontline medical workers for hair loss, including those who work at her hospital.

What can you do if you have hair loss post covid?

Nourish your hair with Diet

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Hair needs proper nourishment to grow and be healthy, including protein and essential vitamins and minerals. Make sure you obtain enough of the following nutrients, whether through diet or supplements:

Because hair is mostly composed of protein, you should maintain a high protein intake by focusing on high-quality proteins. This includes the following:

  • lean meats, 
  • fish,
  • beans, 
  • lentils, a
  • low-fat dairy products
  • Protein
  • Iron
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin C 
  • Zinc
  • Folic acid
  • Vitamin B12

Less Stress less Hair Fall

Stress triggers most of the diseases, Stress is the reason two for Hair loss. 

Many physical and mental problems can result from stress, and learning to manage stress can be difficult. You may be able to lessen your stress levels by doing the following:

  • Practice Mindfulness meditation
  • Maintain Healthy relationships.
  • Get 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep every day.
  •  Consult your doctor or therapist about different strategies to manage your stress.

Take care of Your Hair

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It is important to evaluate how you treat your hair,

  • Hairstyles that pull on the hair, such as ponytails or tight braids, should be avoided.
  • Avoiding excessive heat
  • Avoiding excessive Hair treatments

While it may be difficult, it is critical to be patient and understand that your hair will grow back, but it may take some time. During that time we should follow a healthy lifestyle to make our hair regrow.

But If you have huge hair loss, and feel something different. Please contact your dermatologist without delay.

Less stress Less fall, More Stress More Fall, 

Which one you are going to choose?

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