Long-term Covid-19 infection side effects have resulted in a slew of debilitating symptoms, ranging from loss of taste and smell to brain fog and lethargy. Hair loss has also been identified as a symptom. While this side effect may be one that a lot of people worry about, it is usually only temporary. Let’s take a look at the specifics– how does Covid-19 result in hair loss and is there a solution for it.

What Causes Hair Thinning?

Hair loss can happen for a variety of different reasons. Patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection may experience excessive hair loss as well as notice clumps of hair falling out when combing their hair or washing their hair in the shower. Telogen effluvium is the medical term for this condition. 

Approximately 90% of hairs on our scalp are in the anagen growing phase, while the remaining 10% are in the telogen resting phase. Anagen lasts roughly three years on our scalp, after which hairs begin to transition into telogen, which lasts two to six months. Our hairs are lost from their follicles at the end of telogen and eventually replaced by new anagen hairs. The growth cycle then resumes. 

People lose roughly 100 to 150 hairs every day on average. When we are stressed, such as when we are infected with Covid-19, our systems may shift a higher-than-normal percentage of developing anagen hairs into the resting telogen condition. Instead of the typical 10% of hairs resting and shedding, up to 50% of hairs are resting and shedding, which is much higher than normal.

Hair loss may also be caused by a variety of factors such as: 

  • Infections caused by viruses 
  • Hospitalization or surgery 
  • Pharmaceuticals for childbirth, particularly hormonal medications 
  • Thyroid disorders 
  • Menopause 
  • Emotional stress

What Are Some Of The First Signs Of Telogen Effluvium?

Hair loss of up to 100 hairs each day is entirely natural. People with telogen effluvium may lose as many as 300 hairs each day, and this might last for many months. When combing or washing your hair in the shower, you may find that more hair comes out. You may also notice that your hair is thinning.

What Are The Different Phases Of Hair Development?

Hair growth is divided into three stages:

Anagen: The hair follicle develops in anagen, which is the growth phase.

Catagen: When the hair follicle stops developing, it is said to be in catagen.

Telogen: This is the resting period, during which the hair remains dormant for 2 to 3 months before falling out. At any one moment, around 10% to 15% of your hair is in the telogen phase.

Hair follicles are driven into the telogen phase sooner than usual due to Covid-19, resulting in telogen effluvium. These hairs will begin to fall out 2 to 3 months following the stressful incident.

Losing Your Hair After Covid-19

Hair loss after Covid-19 infection might happen a bit earlier than usual, according to published research. It might be closer to two months than three months from the instigating incident. Other studies have shown that recuperation takes two to three months on average, as opposed to six months on average. Losing your hair after Covid-19 doesn’t need to be a cause for worry, there are treatments available to help restore your luscious locks and promote new hair growth.

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How Long Does It Take For Hair To Fall Out?

The good news is that most instances of telogen effluvium go away within three to six months, when the extra hairs that were prematurely converted into telogen shed. This distinctive recovery occurs following an instigating event, such as Covid-19 infection. Those hairs will gradually change back to normal when that phase is ended. The loss of hair follicles is not caused by telogen effluvium. Hair follicles are still there, and hair will recover eventually, even if hair does not grow momentarily. Patients may find that their hair is not as thick as it previously was even after the loss has ceased. This is due to how slowly hair grows on average, roughly a centimeter every month. It may take over two years for new hairs to reach shoulder length and for a ponytail to feel full again if someone has shoulder length hair. In fewer than 10% of instances, individuals may develop chronic telogen effluvium, a disease in which excessive hair loss lasts longer than six months. This may continue anywhere from a few months to a couple of years, and there’s generally no evident explanation. We would in this case, address the symptoms as best we can with medical treatments. Long-term COVID patients may experience chronic telogen effluvium as a symptom. This is most likely due to the fact that their bodies are still under a lot of stress and aren’t completely back to normal. Patients with persistent telogen effluvium, will not lose all of their hair since the percentage of telogen hairs never surpasses 50%.

Treatments Available For Hair Loss In New Jersey

Hair shedding is a disorder that requires time and patience to treat. As doctors, the greatest thing we can do is reassure patients that this is a self-limiting disease and that their hair will grow back. Patients are given the tools they need to assess their health and track their progress at home. A patient can be requested to complete a 60-second brushing test and gather the hairs in a pile to measure how much hair they lose on a regular basis. The patient may then gauge if their condition is improving over time. Any kind of hair loss, may be a substantial mental stressor, which can add to hair shedding if not handled. While it’s reasonable to be upset, we believe that giving our patients the tools to track their own progress at home and emphasizing the significance of stress management are critical to a successful recovery. If you’ve noticed that your hair loss has become more severe, we offer industry-leading treatments that can help promote new hair growth such as PRP and FUE treatments.

Hair Loss Is Common After A Fever Or Sickness

Fever is a frequent Covid-19 symptom. Many individuals experience substantial hair loss a few months after having a high fever or recovering from an illness. Many people mistakenly believe this is hair loss, however it’s simply hair shedding. When a large number of hairs reach the shedding telogen phase of the hair growing life cycle at the same time, this occurs. More hairs may enter the shedding phase as a result of a fever or sickness. Hair loss is usually visible two to three months following a fever or sickness. When you shower or brush your hair, a few strands of hair may fall out. Hair loss might extend anywhere from six to nine months before ceasing. The majority of individuals notice that their hair starts to appear normal again and that they stop shedding.

Talk With One Of Our New Jersey Hair Loss Specialists

Consult with our hair-loss professional if you feel that your hair loss is caused by anything other than telogen effluvium from stress or a fever. This is a great place to start in order to determine whether Covid-19 is to blame for your hair loss or if you’re experiencing hair loss for a different reason. A one-on-one consultation will allow our experts to thoroughly examine your condition and symptoms and create an appropriate treatment plan for you.

Stress Related Hair Loss

Hair loss may occur even if you have never had a fever or Covid-19. Emotional tension may also cause a greater number of hairs to shed than usual. And who isn’t more worried and agitated during a pandemic? While witnessing your hair come out in clumps might be upsetting, it’s important to attempt to relax. Excessive hair loss will halt only after the tension is relieved and your body’s hormones go back to normal.

Is Hair Loss A Covid-19 Sign Or A Stress Response?

In the months after a Covid-19 infection, many patients have hair loss. More than 20% of those hospitalized with Covid-19 lose hair 3 to 6 months after discharge, according to new research. Hair loss following Covid-19 may be far more prevalent, according to other research with persons with milder symptoms. There are a variety of reasons why you could lose your hair, and one of the most prevalent is stress. Telogen effluvium is the medical name for hair loss caused by stress. It generally starts approximately three months after a stressful incident and may persist up to six months. Telogen effluvium often occurs as a result of other stressful life events, such as the birth of a child or significant surgery. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of cases with telogen effluvium has increased by approximately 400 percent. People of race and other groups disproportionately impacted by Covid-19 have the greatest incidence of this illness. While we don’t know why this occurs, it’s assumed to be tied to the stress of having Covid-19. There is currently no proof that the Covid-19 virus is directly responsible for hair loss but it’s under certain circumstances that we are able to determine whether it may be due to this reason or not.

Can Covid-19-Related Autoimmune Diseases Lead To Hair Loss?

While we know there is a relationship between Covid-19 and autoimmune diseases, Covid-19 and autoimmunity research is still in its early stages. Patchy hair loss is often caused by an autoimmune disorder or alopecia areata, but it’s not been determined if Covid-19 is to blame.

Is It Possible To Regenerate Hair After Telogen Effluvium?

Yes, following telogen effluvium, your hair will regenerate. Hair regrows in three to six months on average. When hair loss is caused by a fever, sickness, or stress, it usually returns to normal on its own. All you have to do now is wait. As your hair regrows, you’ll observe small hairs around your hairline that are all the same length. Within six to nine months, most people’s hair returns to its original fullness.

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