There are many people continuing reporting signs and symptoms after recently recovering from COVID-19, symptoms such as respiratory issues to difficulty sleeping and fatigue can often be associated with the term ‘Long Covid’. More and more people including celebrities like Drake and clients of Simone, Paula Dale who has recently shared her journey with hair loss after covid. Long Covid is commonly used to describe continuing symptoms that last for any longer than 4 weeks after experiencing COVID-19. While we know the aftermath of contracting the virus can cause a huge range of issues in the body which can affect people differently, one common and often distressing side effect being seen by dermatologists, hair loss specialists, nutritionists as well as reports in the press, is hair loss.
COVID-19 is known to provoke a strong immune response in the body, using up vital resources which are usually applied to other functions. As with a range of other medical conditions, this response means the body has to prioritise fighting the virus and protecting vital systems within the body; a person’s hair can be one of the first things to suffer in this instance.
In cases of illness and immune response a person may find their hair begins to fall out, stops growing, which can result in hair loss of up to 100% in more extreme cases.
What Types of Hair Loss are Caused by COVID-19?
Scientists at the International Association of Trichologists have identified two types of hair loss which appear to be directly related to contracting the virus, those being diffuse hair loss and alopecia areata.
Diffuse Hair Loss – Telogen Effluvium (TE)
Diffuse hair loss, also known as Telogen Effluvium occurs 2-4 months after the trigger event, in this case contracting the COVID-19 virus. TE can also occur in times of stress, grief, anxiety, other forms of illness, and treatments such as chemotherapy. COVID-19 has caused a huge amount of stress and anxiety around the world from loneliness, to grief, to financial and housing issues, increasing related hair loss issues even further.
Sufferers of TE lose around three times as much hair as a person without it, around 300 hairs over a day with a greater loss pattern on top of the head. Hair begins to appear thin as smaller numbers of hair follicles reach the anagen, or growth phase, and a larger number of hair follicles remain in the resting phase; otherwise known as the telogen phase. Normally up to 10% of a person’s hair is typically in the resting phase, but when suffering from diffuse hair loss this can increase drastically.
The good news is that there is a 95% chance of recovery from this type of hair loss once COVID-19 has subsided or been treated, and it can usually be rectified within six months.
Alopecia Areata (AA)
Hair loss from alopecia areata behaves differently to that of telogen effluvium. When COVID-19 causes this kind of hair loss, hair begins to fall out in patches which appear in random patterns on the scalp. This gradually extends to other areas of the body and may affect eyebrows, eyelashes and hair over the body.
This is generally understood to be part of an autoimmune disorder, where the body attacks the hair follicles in a misguided attempt to protect itself. The exact causes are not known but AA is closely linked to extreme stress, and there is a strong correlation between sufferers of COVID-19 and alopecia areata cases.
AA typically lasts for less than a year but may spontaneously reappear in the future. At present there is no defined way to tell which sufferers are likely to see a reoccurrence.
Diagnosing Hair Loss from COVID-19
If you suspect you are suffering from hair loss as a result of a COVID-19 infection and need support in finding the right hair care treatment for you, get in touch with the team who will be happy to help.
Long Term Effects of COVID-19 on Hair and Hair Loss
COVID-19 has not been around long enough for long term effects to be determined, it will take decades for a true picture to develop of the short- and long-term effects of the virus on our bodies. Any person who has contracted COVID-19 should look for improvements they can make to help ensure good health in the long run, and counter and future damage COVID-19 may cause.
6 Ways to Encourage Hair Regrowth After COVID
Hair loss due to COVID-19 is an outward sign of the overall health of the body. In times of crisis when the body is depleted, it takes time and work to rebuild a person’s inner health, and the condition of their hair. Great results take time, and how long hair regrowth takes varies from person to person. You can see the results from some of our clients on our case studies page. Check out Episode 11 with Paula Dale on the Simone Thomas Wellness Podcast as she shares her inspirational road to recovery after Covid.
This may include:
Scalp and hair consultation
During a consultation your consultant will talk with you to identify key factors contributing to your hair loss and devise a hair regrowth plan designed for you. They will also look at your scalp and hair under a microscope to help determine the cause and best treatment.
Bioenergetics is a non-invasive way to get a full body MOT to discover what your body needs to get back on track. This modern method of screening your health identifies a range of potential issues such as deficiencies, sensitivities, hormonal imbalances and much more. Certain sensitivities and deficiencies can contribute to hair loss, so identifying them goes a long way to finding a custom hair loss solution for you.
Nutrition and diet
A healthy head of hair starts with a healthy diet and balanced nutrition. Highly restricted diets may not give you enough proteins and other nutrients to grow strong healthy hair, and hair loss can be a side effect of very low-calorie or low-nutrient diet. Along with actioning recommendations from your bioenergetics results, ensuring your diet includes a balance of nutrient dense foods will give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to work at its best is a key factor in hair loss and regrowth.
Regular exercise not only improves how we look and feel but helps the body perform at its best by increasing blood flow. This means an increased circulation of essential nutrients and oxygen throughout the body including the scalp. Regular exercise has been shown to help promote healthy hair growth as well as improve physical and mental wellness.
Combined with a healthy lifestyle hair growth supplements can help give your hair the boost it needs to grow back thicker, healthier and more quickly. Key hair growth nutrients such as biotin and Ginkgo are combined with other blends of vitamins, live cultures and botanicals to give your hair everything it needs to recover quickly and grow back strong and healthy. Browse our full range of natural hair loss supplements to help boost hair regrowth and improve the health of your existing hair and follicles.
Stress is a major factor in the health or your hair and is often a contributor to short term hair loss and even breakage. Telogen Effluvium as described above is closely linked to stress, so it’s important to take positive steps to reduce stress to help preserve and improve the condition of your hair.
Explore the Simone Thomas Hair Growth Supplement Range
Simple changes can lead to big differences in your hair loss and regrowth journey. The addition of carefully formulated supplements to your diet can help promote healthy hair growth, leading to thicker, shinier, healthier locks.
Our Biotin and Ginkgo natural hair supplement plans recently been voted Best Hair Care Supplements by the Independent, offer vegan-friendly hair plans containing Biotin or Ginkgo Biloba and other high-quality ingredients that are designed to feed your hair with the best blend of high-grade vitamins, minerals and botanicals so you can feel confident that you are nourishing your hair and body from the inside out with the treatment it deserves in order to achieve thicker, shinier, and healthier hair. Check out our carefully formulated SkinQuencher supplement, containing 18 amino acids, with marine collagen to encourage hair regrowth and vitamin C to support your immunity to help get you back to feeling your best.
For more information on how our hair care plans can help combat hair loss after covid check out our Biotin & Ginkgo Hair Care Plan or alternatively, get in touch with the team at Simone Thomas Wellness for advice on finding the most effective hair care plan for you.