YES, COVID-19 CAN CAUSE HAIR LOSS. ALL ABOUT THIS UNFORTUNATE SIDE EFFECT
One of the side effects of COVID-19 may not manifest itself until up to three months post recovery: hair loss. According to one study, more than 20 percent of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 experienced telogen effluvium, a temporary condition in which hair falls out after a traumatic event or serious illness. Stress from the ordeal causes changes in the hair growth cycle, prematurely pushing follicles out of the growing phase and into the resting phase and then the shedding phase. While it is normal to lose up to 100 hairs per day, telogen effluvium can result in mass shedding, with patients losing up to half their hair. From several weeks to several months after infection, hair falls out in clumps—in the shower, on your pillow, in your hairbrush.
The good news about telogen effluvium is that the scalp itself normally remains healthy. Because there is no scarring, dermatologists say that in most cases hair should grow back on its own within six to 18 months.
In the meantime, if you are affected by Covid-related hair loss, doctors recommend a healthy diet rich in iron and protein. Dermatologists caution that, while hair growth supplements may be popular, they are not proven to work and are not regulated by the FDA . What's more, dermatologists say that some vitamins could cause more harm than good. A dermatologist can order blood work to see if you are getting proper nutrients and what vitamins may be beneficial. What’s more, they may be able to help facilitate hair growth by prescribing minoxidil, platelet rich plasma or low-level laser therapy.
While waiting for a full head of hair to return, treat your hair gently to prevent further damage. Use a mild shampoo, along with a conditioner and a detangler to reduce breakage. Skip chemical treatments and avoid hot styling tools. Be aware that elastics used to secure ponytails can cause breakage. Finally, work with your hair stylist to choose a cut that will make your hair look thicker and fuller, such as a chin-length bob or a layered look. In the end, experts say the best medicine is relaxation. After all, it is stress that contributed to the problem in the first place.