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Research has shown that COVID-19 can lead to many long-term health effects. Loss of smell and taste, fatigue, and brain fog are some of the most common and well-known side effects of contracting the virus. However, many people have also noticed unusual hair loss months after recovering from an infection.
If you have observed your or a loved one’s hair falling out in clumps after bouncing back from COVID-19 or simply wish to know more about this potential side effect, this guide discusses all you need to know about the correlation.
Fever or Illness
Many people who contract COVID-19 run a fever during their illness. They may then notice hair loss a couple of months after recovering from the illness.
While this may be interpreted as hair loss, it is actually a type of hair shedding called telogen effluvium. It occurs when more hairs than usual enter the telogen or shedding phase of the hair life cycle. Fevers and illnesses are known to force more hairs into the telogen phase.
Telogen effluvium often occurs two or three months after getting a fever or falling ill. You will see handfuls of hair come out when you wash, comb, or brush your hair.
This type of hair shedding may last for six months. In severe cases, it may last up to nine months. After it stops, hair grows back, and their appearance goes back to normal.
Some people that do not develop a fever after contracting COVID-19 may experience hair shedding. Stress is another factor that can force more hair into the telogen phase. And it’s only natural to feel much more stressed and anxious than usual during the pandemic.
In this case, too, hair shedding starts two to three months after the stressful event.
If you are stressed because of the pandemic and are seeing your hair fall out in bunches, it’s essential to find ways to relax and ease your anxiety. Excessive hair shedding will stop once you mitigate stress.
Should You Do Something About Hair Loss Due to COVID-19?
If your hair is falling or shedding due to a fever, illness, or stress, you do not need to do anything about it. Your hair will stop shedding and return to normal on its own after a while; you only need to be patient and let the phase pass.
Telogen effluvium does not damage the hair follicles permanently or irreversibly. So although your hair may not grow for a bit, your hair follicles are still there. Eventually, your hair will grow back.
However, do not expect it to immediately grow thick and strong. Even after the shedding phase ends, you may find that your hair is not as thick as it used to be. This is because hair grows slowly, about one centimeter a month. So for your head of hair to feel full again, it may take six months to even two years.
As you recover, try your best to reduce your stress levels. Your first instinct may be to be anxious about shedding, which can create a vicious cycle of stress and even more hair loss. Practice stress management techniques and monitor your hair growth with self-love and patience.
In less than 10 percent of cases, people may suffer from chronic telogen effluvium. It is a form of hair loss in which excessive hair shedding can last beyond six months.
Chronic telogen effluvium may last up to two years and may not have any immediate or apparent cause. In this case, consult a dermatologist who will treat the symptoms with medical therapy.
If you reckon that your hair loss or hair shedding is caused by another condition instead of telogen effluvium, seek the advice of a dermatologist. A specialist will help you find the root cause and prescribe the proper treatment to reverse hair loss.
While your hair is growing slowly and you undergo the prescribed medical treatment, it may feel frustrating to step out because of noticeable bald patches or less hair volume and length. But you do not have to stay cooped up at home, waiting for your hair to recover and grow back.
In the meantime, you can use hair extensions to give you longer, thicker, and fuller hair instantly. So you no longer have to worry about falling or thinning hair.
Amazing Beauty Hair offers an extensive range of quality hair extensions that will give you the look and volume that you want in an instant. You can choose from different colors, textures, and styles to create your preferred aesthetic. Hair extensions are incredibly simple to use and will last for as long as you need them!
Hair loss or hair shedding after COVID-19 infection can be very worrying. But it’s a quite common side effect that will soon pass. Follow our tips above, and with time, you will see your beautiful mane returning in its full glory.