The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an array of physical symptoms, both short-term and long-term. While many are familiar with the typical symptoms like aches, difficulty breathing, and loss of taste and smell, there’s a lesser-known aspect that deserves attention: hair loss in COVID-19 patients. Let’s delve into this phenomenon and explore possible solutions, including the innovative technique of micropigmentation.

What Type of Hair Loss Is Associated with COVID-19?

Healthcare professionals noticed a notable increase in hair loss cases among patients during the global pandemic. This hair loss, which affects both COVID-19 patients and individuals not infected with the virus, is medically termed telogen effluvium. In simpler terms, telogen effluvium refers to temporary hair loss triggered by stress. Similar hair loss can occur post-pregnancy or due to illnesses, and certain medications may also lead to this condition.

Who is Prone to COVID-19 Related Hair Loss?

Living through a pandemic is undoubtedly stressful, and chronic stress is one of the factors that can lead to the onset of telogen effluvium. Consequently, the surge in hair loss cases during these challenging times is not limited to COVID-19 patients alone. Anyone experiencing significant stress becomes susceptible.

When Does Hair Loss Occur?

Hair loss related to illness typically manifests after a few months. Thus, if COVID-19 is the underlying cause of hair loss (alopecia), signs might not be immediately evident. Additionally, the extent of hair loss may be influenced by the individual’s initial hair density. People with abundant hair may not notice the loss right away, while those already experiencing male pattern baldness may observe additional shedding sooner.

The Mechanism Behind COVID-19 and Hair Growth Disruption

COVID-19 shares several triggers with conditions that cause telogen effluvium. Such stressors include physical or emotional distress, substantial weight loss, and high fevers. As these symptoms are common in COVID-19 patients, it stands to reason that the virus can induce hair loss.

On a technical level, understanding the hair follicle’s life cycle is essential. The cycle consists of three stages: growing (anagen), resting (telogen), and shedding (exogen). Normally, this cycle progresses smoothly, but when a powerful stressor like COVID-19 is present, up to half of the hairs may enter the shedding phase prematurely. During survival mode, the body prioritizes energy flow, and hair maintenance takes a back seat.

Pattern and Location of Hair Loss

COVID-19-induced hair loss is usually concentrated on the scalp, often centered around the temple area. Unlike male pattern baldness, which follows a distinct pattern, shedding is more generalized across the entire head. Other areas of the body, such as eyebrows and legs, usually remain unaffected. Patients may notice increased hair loss while showering or brushing their hair, with the severity varying from mild to severe.

Treating Hair Loss Caused by COVID-19

To address the issue effectively, identifying the root cause is crucial. In cases of stress-induced hair loss, a comprehensive approach is recommended. Analyzing nutritional intake, maintaining a balanced diet, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and the use of vitamins and gentle hair care products can be beneficial. Additionally, considering options like Rogaine might aid in hair regrowth. Seeking guidance from a medical professional is advised to determine the most suitable course of action.

Micropigmentation and Other Solutions

For some individuals, the aforementioned techniques may not yield immediate results. Although telogen effluvium is temporary, hair regrowth might take several months. Moreover, those already experiencing male pattern baldness could see an acceleration in hair loss due to the additional stress of the pandemic.

In such cases, alternative solutions like scalp micropigmentation can be highly beneficial. At Ohio SMP Studio, we offer natural-looking, non-invasive micropigmentation solutions performed by our skilled SMP artist, Clayton Rush. Discover how micropigmentation can transform your hairline and help you regain your confidence during these challenging times!