Many Americans have noticed thinning hair for the first time in their lives during 2020 and 2021. This loss generally occurs unexpectedly. But are you losing your hair because of covid-19? Whether you suffered the coronavirus or not, you very well may have pandemic hair loss.
What Is Pandemic Hair Loss?
Among the many unexpected issues people have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic is hair loss. For many, this newly discovered hair thinning is telogen effluvium (TE).
TE occurs when you are under intense mental or physical stress.
Because the pandemic has been so stressful, TE can easily happen to people of all ages and walks of life.
Maybe during quarantine and as part of your new work-from-home lifestyle, you noticed more hair left in your brush. Or maybe you found yourself clearing hair from your shower drain more often. Believe it or not, the mental stress of our past year and the threat of Covid-19 is enough to trigger TE, pandemic hair loss.
If you were unfortunate enough to have experienced having the Covid-19 infection, that illness can also cause TE. Many illnesses cause enough physical stress on the body that hair starts to fall out. Coronavirus is no different. In fact, you can also struggle to grow new hair after this loss occurs as part of pandemic hair loss.
How Does This Problem Occur?
TE relates to your hair cycle. The growth phase of this cycle is anagen. The resting phase, telogen, prompts hair to fall out to make room for new growth.
But when you experience extreme physical or mental stress, this stress can interrupt the anagen-telogen cycle. In fact, your hair can go into early telogen and fall out before its time to do so. Women frequently experience this type of cycle disruption because of childbirth. Other causes for either gender are surgery, hospitalization, fast weight loss or sudden and severe stress.
This early shift of the hair into its resting phase is one way that the body preserves energy. It shifts that energy needed for hair growth to survival and recovery. But this shift does not occur quickly. It can take three months after severe mental or physical stress to notice changes in your hair thickness.
Because of this delay in the onset of obvious signs of TE, it can be hard to identify what triggered losing your hair. To figure out the cause, consider what was going on in your life three or four months before you noticed the change.
Covid-19 Infection Can Cause Pandemic Hair Loss
As mentioned before, the causes of TE are physical or mental stress. Obviously Covid-19 is an extreme illness that takes a major toll on virtually every part of the human body. If you had the Covid-19 infection, you may also experience TE.
Scientists believe that the lack of hair follicle oxygenation during the coronavirus, along with fever and other stress, can drive your follicles into early telogen and prevent the anagen cycle from starting. In fact, a study from The Lancet’s January 2021 issue reported that 22 percent of people hospitalized with Covid-19 also experienced pandemic hair loss.
Help For Hair Loss In 2021 & Beyond…
If you think you have pandemic hair loss, you can seek help from a hair restoration professional at AZ Hair Restoration in Raleigh and Apex, NC. Dr. Arthur Zacco can determine whether your loss relates to TE and the past years’ intense stress or other types of hair loss like male pattern baldness. Although TE is temporary and should resolve itself with proper nutrition and stress reduction, it is important to treat other types of hair loss as early as possible.
Schedule your visit with AZ Hair Restoration today by calling (919)830-3778. You can visit with Dr. Arthur Zacco virtually from anywhere in the U.S. or in the Apex or Raleigh offices for an in-person consultation.