Concerns about hair loss are not rare amongst women, who are often susceptible to several different alopecia types. But what happens when you lose your hair due to a viral infection? Hair loss caused by coronavirus may be frightening, but there is no reason for alarm. Read on to learn more about the causes of hair loss during and post COVID-19 and how you can manage it.
How Does COVID-19 Trigger Hair Loss?
Besides the numerous side effects of COVID-19, hair loss has been recorded as one of the common symptoms. According to a dermatology report, One in ten people infected with the SARs-COZ-2 experienced hair loss. Another research carried out by JAAD international recorded that about 66% of female COVID-19 patients have suffered from different stages of hair loss.
While this might sound alarming, it is pretty expected and mostly short-lived. Hair loss or hair shedding is a medical situation referred to as Telogen Effluvium. This situation occurs when more of your hair enters the telogen phase making it shed faster.
Ninety percent of female hair is in the growth phase, known as the anagen stage, while the 10% are telogen waiting to be shed. When a person suffers from telogen effluvium, the body turns more of the hair to these telogens, causing you to lose your hair faster.
Contrary to what you may have thought, the Sars-COV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 does not trigger hair loss or telogen phase in infected female patients. Hair shedding is more of a side effect of the various symptoms of the virus. Fever and Stress, which are significant symptoms of COVID-19, are the biggest triggers of telogen effluvium.
How Long Does COVID-19 Hair Loss Last?
You should know that telogen effluvium resulting from COVID or other triggers is usually temporary. Therefore, you don't need to be scared of permanent damage to your hair. Shedding can last for about two to three months, and then it stops. This is because no damage has been done to the hair scalp or follicles.
The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that your hair should regain its normal fullness within six to nine months after telogen effluvium. However, it may take longer for those with chronic telogen effluvium. Shedding can last about six to nine months for exceptional cases of telogen effluvium.
Chronic telogen effluvium usually affects long covid patients due to their body's prolonged stress. However, hair loss is not permanent, and patients dealing with this cannot lose all their hair due to COVID-19, except for other underlying hair loss conditions.
How to Recover From COVID-19 Hair Loss
Hair loss post -covid is naturally reversible, and you don't need to do much before your hair starts growing again. However, there are certain precautions to take to ensure fast recovery of your hair.
Although hair shedding is not life-threatening, it can adversely affect the patient's life. Thus the need for a recovery plan for faster growth. The first step is to reduce stress in the patient's life. Here are some ways to manage stress:
- Maintain wholesome relationships
- Practice being conscious.
- Get seven to eight hours of decent sleep each night.
- Consult your physician or therapist about more techniques for reducing your stress.
Another treatment option is supplementing iron in patients to help regain the lost mineral. Protein and other vitamins are also vital for the growth and development of hair. Get enough of the following, whether through food or supplements:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Folic acid
In addition, patients are advised to quit certain things like;
- Sour and salty foods,
- Hair styling and
- Heat and color treatments.
Post-covid hair treatment requires more care and attention to get your hair to its preferred state faster. Take your hair routine more seriously. Use more coconut oil, which has proven to help you regain your healthy and full hair in no time.
Though COVID has become a common cause of hair loss, it is self-limited. The condition subsides independently, and patients should expect their hair to grow back within three months. You can also take the 60-second bush test to monitor your progress. If you notice a more significant hair loss after three months, check in with your physician. Reading more information about COVID-19 and its link to hair loss can help you better understand your symptoms.