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Can COVID-19 Cause Hair Loss?

“Insult to Injury” – that is how many people are describing this unwelcome surprise side effect of the coronavirus that can affect survivors even months after recovery.

While not listed as an official symptom of COVID-19, over 1,000 individuals have reported experiencing some. hair loss following their diagnosis. The most likely cause? A condition called “telogen effluvium”. Telogen effluvium is a reversible hair loss disorder that can cause mild to severe hair loss – usually as the result of a shock to your system – such as extreme physical or emotional stress.

Recently, actor Alyssa Milano posted a video on her Twitter account, showing large clumps of hair in her brush. Milano had tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies and believes she had the virus in April 2020.

At A Special Place, we have already seen a number of clients looking for a wig or hairpiece due to COVID-19 related hair loss. Most of them had been symptom-free for over a month, then suddenly started losing hair.  It can be very distressing!

COVID-19 is not the only cause of telogen effluvium hair loss. Hormonal changes, nutritional deficiencies, and thyroid problems can also trigger hair loss. Sudden, unexplained hair loss should always be investigated by a doctor to rule out serious health issues.

How can you cope with hair loss following COVID-19? Reducing stress is the number one goal. That can be easier said than done! Hair loss itself can cause stress.

It helps to remember that this type of hair loss is temporary. In the vast majority of cases, it will grow back. keep in mind, it usually takes about 6 months for the hair to start growing back, and grows about 1/2″ per month. It can take a year or more for hair to return to its original length and density.

A nutrient-rich diet, moderate exercise and avoiding smoking are critical in promoting hair regrowth.  Hair regrowth prodcuts such as Bosley can help promote healthy new hair growth. In the meantime, a wig or hairpiece is the quickest fix – restoring self-confidence and a sense of normalcy.

If you or someone you know is experiencing hair loss following cancer treatment, please call us to schedule a free consultation!