Have you noticed hair loss after COVID? Do you notice your brush is full of hair?
Does COVID cause hair loss?
Yes and no.
First, the coronavirus itself is not known to cause hair loss. However, patients have noticed a severe issue with hair months later.
When someone gets COVID, (becomes ill with the coronavirus), they often will get a fever. The fever is actually the body mounting a tremendous inflammatory response. The body sends out all of these stress hormones and proteins that rev up organs to fight the disease.
Unfortunately, this causes an immense amount of stress on the body.
What many people have noticed with COVID is that 2-3 months later, they start to have hair loss. Coronavirus hair loss shows up as hair “coming out in clumps.” Literally, the hair is going through a massive shedding. This is called telogen effluvium.
Telogen refers to the shedding phase of the hair cycle.
Normally, about 10% of hairs are in the shedding phase at any time. However, in telogen effluvium, up to 30% of hairs can be in that phase. This means that someone can be shedding three times the number of hair as usual.
Telogen effluvium can also occur after giving birth, major weight loss, or emotional stress such as a death in the family.
How long does hair loss from COVID last?
Telogen effluvium rarely lasts more than 6 months. The good news is that frequently, patients will notice new hair growing in, even before the hair loss stops. This is a sign that the hair loss is on the way to stopping.
Is the hair loss permanent?
The hair loss should be temporary. Most patients who undergo telogen effluvium will regain the full head of hair. However, if the hair loss is lasting for 6 months or more, it is best to make an appointment with Dr. Eric Carniol. Together, you can discuss if starting treatment is right for you.
For patients in the Summit, Chatham, Westfield, Cranford, Springfield, Warren, Watchung, Livingston, Millburn, Short Hills area, we are a short drive away in the Medical Arts Building behind to Overlook Hospital.