Hair loss and Covid

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Several months after being treated for COVID-19, some people lose their hair. This phenomenon is not as surprising as it may seem. Here's why.



Can Covid cause hair loss?

The COVID-19 pandemic has many long-term health effects on those impacted. One of the after-effects of COVID-19 is hair loss. Infection with the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus is responsible for the onset of reactional hair loss, also known as acute telogen effluvium, 3 to 4 months after diagnosis*.
There are several reasons for the occurrence of this reactional hair loss:

  • This type of hair loss is not uncommon after a fever or illness. Fever is one of the common symptoms of COVID-19, but it is also one of the triggers that disrupt the normal life cycle of hair. This causes more hair to go into the hair loss phase (telogen phase). This phase lasts 3 to 4 months, which explains the time lag between the infection and post-covid hair loss.

Stress is also a cause of reactional hair loss. The emotional stress of this unprecedented global epidemic, and its various consequences on daily life, also explains the increase in hair loss observed in many people. Whether it is fever-induced alopecia or stress-related hair loss, COVID-related hair loss can last from 6 to 9 months before stopping spontaneously. Most people experience a return to normal hair quality within 9 to 12 months.

How to treat Covid-related hair loss

Reactional hair loss secondary to COVID-19 is temporary, isolated hair loss. Hair regrowth occurs spontaneously about 6 months after the onset of hair loss. However, it is possible to stimulate healthy hair regrowth by following these tips:

  • Adopt a hair care routine adapted to hair weakened by hair loss: use a strengthening, gentle shampoo and a nourishing treatment for the lengths if necessary; limit the use of heating appliances such as hair dryers and straighteners; reduce hair coloring;
  • Massage your scalp regularly to stimulate blood circulation and increase the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles. Take advantage of this opportunity to apply a fortifying cosmetic lotion, essential oils or vegetable oils;
  • Balance and vary your diet so that your hair grows back in good health. The addition of a food supplement rich in vitamins and minerals can compensate for certain deficiencies;

Consult a dermatologist, specialized in the hair and scalp, if hair loss persists.
* K.E. Sharquie. R.I. Jabbar. Ir J Med Sci. 2022

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