An increasing number of COVID-19 survivors are reporting extreme hair loss, and hair restoration professionals are seeing an uptick in sufferers.
Weeks after recovering from coronavirus, Jennifer Shaddox of Haverhill, Massachusetts, wakened one morning with a clump of hair on her pillow.
“It was actually scary, as a result of I used to be pondering, ‘My gosh, if I carry on brushing, what is going on to occur?'” Shaddox recalled.
One other COVID-19 survivor, Alison Kurtzman, tells the same story.
“I had a whole lot of breakdowns. After having a shower, I might cry, as a result of there was a lot hair within the bathe,” Kurtzman mentioned.
Each girls mentioned they had been instructed by pals, and even by medical doctors, that it was associated to their battle with COVID-19.
However is hair loss an actual facet impact of the novel coronavirus?
“For this previous yr, individuals usually have related hair loss with COVID, and it isn’t a lot with COVID itself,” mentioned Dr. Matthew Lopresti, the chief surgeon at Leonard Hair Transplant Associates.
Lopresti says that there is no proof the virus straight causes hair loss, and that it is extra probably a results of the weird stress that comes with a extreme sickness.
“A rise in stress can enhance cortisol, which is a stress hormone, which might push your hair from a development section into fallout section, and that fallout section is often non permanent and reversible,” Lopresti mentioned.
Lopresti says the hair restoration business is booming amid the pandemic, thanks largely to the period of time persons are spending on digital conferences.
“I believe extra persons are taking a look at themselves an increasing number of in comparison with pre-COVID,” Lopresti mentioned. “COVID in itself has sparked extra consciousness of attempting to be extra wholesome and probably trying slightly bit higher, if that is a chance.”
Kurtzman admits she’s nonetheless self-conscious a yr later. However after surviving a lethal virus, she’s attempting to maintain all the pieces in perspective.
“It sounds trivial,” Kurtzman mentioned. “Nevertheless it’s nonetheless one thing that’s troublesome, and it is nonetheless technically one thing I am coping with.”
Lopresti says this sort of stress-related hair loss can typically be reversed inside three to 6 months.