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Increased hair loss? Could COVID-19 be the cause?

12-08-2020 | Posted in: Hair Treatments, Wellness & Lifestyle

We live in strange times. The last thing anyone needs is something new to worry about. But life rarely rolls that way. If you’ve been noticing far more hair in the shower recently, then naturally, you will be feeling troubled. But the trick is not to panic. According to dermatologists in the UK and US, there has been an upsurge in patients reporting excessive hair shedding since the pandemic hit its peak. The positive news is that the condition may be temporary and COVID-19 could be the culprit.

If increased hair fall is worrying you, then let’s look at what might be happening and what you can do about it.

The hair cycle and Telogen Effluvium

Most people on average lose between 50 to 100 hairs a day. Hair loss/growth occurs in cycles. Around 85% to 90% of your hairs will usually be in the growth or “Anagen” phase at any one time. Up to 5% can be in the transition or “Catagen” phase. And around 10% can be in the resting/shedding or “Telogen” phase. In a healthy hair cycle, the latter phase means they are making way for new ones to come through.

Telogen Effluvium (TE) is a temporary condition in which external factors disrupt this cycle. It can lead to as many as 50% hairs entering the shedding phase at once, which results in rapid hair fall. Triggers can include severe emotional stress, illness or high fever, physical shock (caused by an accident or surgery, for example), sudden weight loss, hormonal changes and vitamin deficiencies caused by diet.

Hair cycles move slow. The impact on your hair fall from severe stress is typically delayed. Therefore, it may some weeks or even several months may have passed before shedding manifests. That may make it even more challenging to identify.

TE is the second most common type of hair loss. Unlike the most common variety, the genetic condition known as androgenetic alopecia, or “pattern baldness”, TE hair fall does not follow any distinguishing pattern as such. It occurs all over the scalp and often falls out in patches. But if there is one comforting prospect to all this: the hair cycle usually corrects itself over time and hair regrows.

The COVID-19 effect

Understandably, the COVID-19 pandemic is being heavily linked to a rise in TE cases. In some instances, it may be an actual symptom of the disease itself. Hair loss itself is not a common symptom of COVID-19 but it is a known symptom now, thanks to research. It generally afflicts people who have been hit hard by the illness and have been undergoing a slow recovery. If you’ve had COVID-19 and are experiencing hair loss, it’s very possible that it is a direct consequence. Your GP should be able to provide further light.

The more common link between TE and COVID-19 is situational and psychological. With job losses and financial worries, threats to our health, and enforced periods of self-isolation, emotional anxieties have been vast and wide-reaching. You may be worried about a vulnerable relative or your own health, for example, or you may be struggling to cope mentally with the social restrictions that have been imposed since mid-March. It’s a tough time. Naturally, all these factors can put enormous strain on a person’s mental wellbeing, and this in turn is a common onset of TE. The rise in cases of hair loss since April/May has been such that even the national press has picked up on the trend. You certainly don’t need to have had COVID-19 for your health to be compromised.

However, hair loss and hair growth, remain complicated. Other factors could be at play, too, which may not even be TE at all. Firstly, there is “seasonal shedding”. For reasons not entirely known, spring seems to be a period in which hair enters a heightened shedding phase for many. For others, seasonal shedding may occur more prominently elsewhere during the year. But we all experience it.

Secondly, if you’re not shampooing or styling your hair as regularly as you were prior to lockdown, then it’s inevitable you will notice more hairs when washing and rinsing. This is even truer when conditioner is applied, which de-tangles and smooths hair. Remember that the average person loses up to 100 hairs per day and the bulk of these fall out when we wash our hair, so they can certainly accumulate.

What to do?

With excessive hair fall, you should speak to your GP or dermatologist and check that there is no underlying health issue, including thyroid gland dysfunction. It is always important to try and understand the root cause of the hair loss before acting. An accurate diagnosis is crucial.

A doctor can look for vitamin deficiencies and diet through blood tests. Low levels of iron, Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 have all been linked to TE. At Vie Aesthetics, we offer Vitamin IV therapies for replenishing levels and these can carry other health benefits too, such as immune system support. Your doctor may also be able to advise on diet changes or supplements that can help with your situation.

In addition, we offer several other treatments that may help your situation. Although TE is temporary and your hair cycle should return to normal, the following have all been known to aid hair growth:

  • LED Light Therapy: Our Vie LED arch is a powerful, programmable device that emits special light rays that help to energise and stimulate the body’s natural process for building new proteins and regenerating cells. As such, it can be an effective tool for aiding the growth of hair, as well as boosting the hair’s overall health and thickness.
  • PRP: By separating your own blood and then injecting the new Platelet-Rich-Plasma sample into your scalp, new hair growth can be promoted, even with follicles that had previously been inactive.
  • Carboxytherapy: This is a safe, natural and effective treatment for reversing issues linked to poor blood circulation. One of its benefits can include aiding hair growth and slowing hair loss.

First and foremost, if you are experiencing increased hair shedding since the pandemic began, it’s important not to worry. There’s a fair chance it will be temporary, and the situation will correct itself over time. It’s a vicious cycle. Stress causes a hair loss condition that causes further stress. So, stay strong, and remain positive, and speak to a GP. There is always a silver lining for us all.

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Vie Aesthetics Clinics
London

2 Harley Street,
Marylebone,
London,
W1G 9PA, UK

Rayleigh

78 London Hill Road,
Rayleigh,
Essex,
SS6 7HP

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Marktgasse 5,
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Increased hair loss? Could COVID-19 be the cause?
Increased hair loss? Could COVID-19 be the cause?
Increased hair loss? Could COVID-19 be the cause?
Increased hair loss? Could COVID-19 be the cause?
Increased hair loss? Could COVID-19 be the cause?
Increased hair loss? Could COVID-19 be the cause?
Increased hair loss? Could COVID-19 be the cause?
Increased hair loss? Could COVID-19 be the cause?
Increased hair loss? Could COVID-19 be the cause?
Increased hair loss? Could COVID-19 be the cause?
Increased hair loss? Could COVID-19 be the cause?
Increased hair loss? Could COVID-19 be the cause?
Increased hair loss? Could COVID-19 be the cause?
Increased hair loss? Could COVID-19 be the cause?