How to Reverse Post Covid Hair Loss?

post covid hair loss

First things first, post covid-19 hair loss is a passing phase and is totally reversible. On the other hand, stressing about it can potentially worsen hair shedding. 

While the CDC is yet to add this to Covid’s list of symptoms, the social media and patient support groups on Facebook are sprawled with pictures of thinning hairlines after Covid. The core reason behind why the pandemic is close to becoming a mass hair fall event is not a medical mystery. If you know how the natural hair growth cycle works and why people lose hair, you can spot the answer from miles away. However, many of us don’t have a clear understanding of this in the first place.

So, before jumping onto the treatment procedures or precautionary measures, let’s get down to the basics. A clear picture of why hair loss has become an emerging symptom of the disease can help you rectify the situation faster. 

How did we get here?

You must be wondering how a virus can cause you to lose alarming amounts of hair every day. Well, the virus is not responsible. It is the stress your body experiences while fighting the virus – a phenomenon that continues even after the virus has passed. Let me explain-

What does the life cycle of a hair follicle look like?

  • Almost 90% of your hair follicle is always in the growing/ anagen phase
  • 5% follicles are always in the resting/ catagen phase 
  • With substantial overlap, about 10% of your hair follicles are in the shedding/ telogen phase

Excessive hair loss occurs when this balance is disrupted. 

A person can get hair fall from infections post-surgery or after a period of high fever. Due to this shock, your body enters a fight-and-flight mode. It means that the balance of the normal hair growth cycle is hindered when your body’s immune system goes into a state of shock. In simpler terms, any instance of significant physical or emotional stress can send your hair cycle into overdrive. Covid-19 is undoubtedly an event that has left everyone immensely stressed. 

Biologically speaking, hair is not an active tissue. When the body is stressed, rather than focusing on hair growth, it gets busy tending to the needs of our vital organs. Thus, it’s your hair that takes the beating & an unusual number of hair follicles suddenly shift to the resting phase, i.e., more hair will be falling compared to the ones that are growing. 

Doctors around the globe have categorized pandemic-induced hair loss to be a condition called Telogen Effluvium. 

Covid Hair Loss – Is it just the physical stress?

It is an already fact that any stress can cause hair loss; age or gender isn’t a bar in this case. Experts and doctors have reported that they see people complaining about hair loss, regardless of whether they’ve got Covid. 

Apart from physical stress while combating the virus, emotional stress can also push more than the normal amount of hair to shed. During a pandemic, who doesn’t feel anxious or stressed? The ongoing pandemic itself has taken a significant toll on the mental health of many, also resulting in hair loss.

Can you get back to your normal hair density?

Of course, you can. TE is a temporary condition that usually occurs within three months of a traumatic event & can last up to 6-9 months before subsiding naturally. 

In most cases, shedding caused due to stress is seen to be completely reversible. However, you cannot ignore the fact that stress-induced hair loss is like a vicious cycle. Stress causes hair fall-outs which again stresses you out, and then you lose some more. Thus, breaking this cycle is imperative to allow yourself to move past the stress phase. 

How do you know you’ve started recovering from hair loss? Look for baby hairs, of the same length, on your anterior hairline. 

Maintaining hair health after Covid

  • Early Diagnosis

TE is a self-limiting condition. However, instead of actually addressing the issue, some patients keep waiting hoping that their hair will stop falling one day. This will only push you towards a more chronic phase where you continue to lose more hair. On the other hand, with prompt diagnosis and medical intervention (topical medication or supplements), you can control hair shedding within 3-6 months. 

Having said that, is a dermatologist consultation absolutely necessary?

Yes, consulting with a dermatologist is crucial because hair disorders can often mimic telogen effluvium but are different. Also, suppose you have pre-existing conditions like FPHL or male pattern hair loss. In that case, you will automatically be more prone to hair shedding during Covid. Patients with these medical conditions may be recovering from prescribed treatment, but they can lose more than 40-50% of their hair when TE hits. So, prompt treatment is the way to go. 

  • Destress yourself

Since stress is the core factor behind rampant hair fall, getting your stress levels in check is key to any possible treatment option. Experts have already reassured us that this is a temporary situation. We need to calm ourselves by introducing lifestyle modifications like yoga and meditation. Even exercising regularly can help bring your hair cycle back on track faster. 

  • Eat nutritious foods

When you’re recovering from an illness or an infection like the coronavirus, putting proper nutrition into your system is crucial. It would help if you ate energy-rich and nutrient-rich meals daily, by all means, stay away from fad diets. A healthy diet can go a long way, both as a precaution and a treatment for post-covid TE. 

  • PRP treatment

Platelet-rich plasma treatment is said to have excellent results for chronic hair loss for both men and women. 

It is a 3-step procedure that includes drawing the patient’s blood, extracting the plasma, and injecting it into the scalp. A wide range of proteins and growth factors in PRP speeds tissue repair. Hair loss may often result from follicular scarring. In that case, this treatment can work. However, you would require multiple treatments over time for the PRP to work. 

  • Low-level light therapy

LLLT has become increasingly popular as an alternative hair restoration treatment, especially for the early stages of hair loss. Laser hair therapy is a clinically proven, non-invasive, and safe treatment. Laser capshelmetscombs, or bands for home use emit red light that stimulates dormant hair follicles and boosts cellular activity that promotes hair regrowth. 

These laser devices have a lengthier treatment time (6-months) but are highly effective if used consistently. Use FDA-approved LLLT devices to be on the safe side. One good thing about these devices is they come with a minimum 6-month money-back guarantee, so you can always return them if you do not see any results. 

  • Hair Transplant

If you are experiencing post-covid hair loss at a dramatic level and have lost a substantial amount of hair, you can go for a hair transplant. However, this surgical procedure can be painful and is also expensive. 

 

Conclusion

So, now you know that what seemed to be an unexpected covid misery for many was, in reality, highly predictable. The good news is you are also aware that hair loss after Covid infection or during home quarantine is entirely recoverable. If that doesn’t happen, you can pick the best-suited treatment option from the list I’ve shared after consulting with your doctor. However, above all, try destressing. 

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Just in case you want to go over again:

Yan G.

Yan G.

At the age of 38, my thick and Abundant hair began to thin.
As I looked for solutions to regrow my hair, I discovered the convenient Laser hair growth treatment.
After researching the various laser treatment options for hair growth, I decided to share my findings with anyone who suffers from the problem as I do and is looking for a simple, non-invasive solution that can be treated at home without going specially to the clinic for treatment.
I hope that through the information and my reviews, I will be able also to help you

enjoy the regrowth of your hair (: