Is There A Connection between COVID-19 and Hair Loss?
On March 11, 2020, COVID-19 was officially declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Ever since, life has changed significantly for most people, with the majority of cities across the country making social distancing, self-isolation, and mask-wearing mandatory.
Now, months later, gone are the lifestyles we previously followed. Our daily routines continue to evolve into something new. With social distancing and self-isolation becoming the norm, an increasing number of people are now working from home. Social gatherings are becoming history, as people now interact with each other virtually. In general, there has been a drastic change in peoples’ daily routines, schedules, and way of life.
Moreover, the pandemic has also led to several adverse situations such as hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs, not being able to travel or meet loved ones, being holed up indoors all day, virtual social interactions, and so on. All these situations have a considerable impact on mental health, leading to stress, and some major side effects, the main one being hair loss. With new symptoms of COVID-19 being released every week, it is natural to wonder: Is there a connection between COVID-19 and hair loss? Or is it due to stress? Let us find out.
Hair Loss and COVID-19
The current list of COVID-19 symptoms according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not include hair loss. The primary symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, chills, cough, fatigue, sore throat, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and headache are well-documented. However, a lot of COVID-19 patients reported excessive hair fall within a few weeks after being infected. So, is there a connection between hair loss and COVID-19 after all?
New research suggests that bald men or men suffering from male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) are more susceptible to COVID-19 symptoms. Two separate studies conducted in Spain suggested a high frequency of male pattern baldness patients among admitted COVID-19 patients. Other research also shows that men are more likely to suffer from COVID-19 than women.
Stress and Hair Loss
While there is no solid evidence of COVID-19 triggering hair loss, any serious illness can lead to stress. This confirms that stress has a direct correlation between COVID-19 and hair loss. More people are battling elevated stress hormones in their bloodstream due to the worldwide pandemic.
With all the stress associated with the pandemic, an increasing number of people are experiencing ‘shock hair-loss’.
“When there’s a big stress, whether it’s physical, emotional, you get sick, this can be things like financial stress, medications, anxiety, really any big shock to your system, can push up to 50% of those hairs prematurely into your shedding phase,” says Dr. Shilpi Khetarpal, Cleveland Clinic. In medical terms, this phenomenon is referred to as telogen effluvium, a condition where the hair follicles are pushed into a resting phase, due to significant stress. Over a short time, these follicles will simply fall out while washing or combing your hair.
Alopecia areata is yet another stress-induced condition that leads to hair loss. This type of condition usually occurs when an individual is under extreme stress, causing the body’s immune system to attack the hair follicles. However, the good news is that stress-induced hair loss is temporary and resolves on its own.
How We Can Help with Hair Loss during This Pandemic
If you are doing everything possible to manage your stress but are still experiencing significant hair loss, connect with our experts at the New Jersey Hair Restoration Center. We offer the latest technologies and treatment options that will help you battle your hair loss.
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