How to Deal with Post-Covid Hair Loss
POST-COVID HAIR FALL IS REAL
The most important lesson that the Novel Coronavirus pandemic has taught us all, is to expect the unexpected. Recovering from the coronavirus infection in itself can add a lot of strain on the body. Amongst all the symptoms that one has to fight through, one of them is HAIR FALL. Hair loss post-COVID-19 isn't probably caused by the virus attacking the hair follicles, rather it could be due to the physical and often emotionally draining stress that many who test positive go through, and further leads to a condition of severe hair shedding.
Post-covid hair fall isn't just real, it's an issue of concern that many recovered patients face. Let’s first try to understand the reason behind hair shedding post covid and few remedial measures for relief –
TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM – It’s a reversible condition of temporary hair shedding and a consequence of Covid-19 infection, in which large amounts of hair, mostly over 100 hair strands per day tend to fall out after a stressful experience, eventually leading to loss of hair volume. Our hair goes through three phases of growth, primarily known as Anagen (hair growth), Catagen (transition period), and Telogen (resting or hair shedding period). Generally, about 90% of hair is in the anagen stage, with 5% in the catagen and the remaining 5% in telogen. Stress pushes large numbers of hair follicles into a resting phase (Telogen) and within a few months, hair tends to fall out. Hair shedding and thinning during this phase can last for six to nine months before it stops. Consult your GP, dermatologist, a trichologist, or hair loss expert if the hair shedding continues beyond this timeframe.
STRESS ON BODY – High level of inflammation, weakness, weakened immune system, severe nutritional deficiencies, a depletion in Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 levels, which are crucial for good hair, are also some of the possible reasons to blame for excessive hair shedding that many face as a post-covid-consequence.
Although the hair shed post-Covid tends to grow back naturally, here are some tips and remedies to follow -
- Include nutritious and protein-rich foods like eggs, chicken, fish, green leafy vegetables, yogurt, soybean, paneer, etc in your diet.
- A light form of exercise improves blood circulation which in turn releases endorphins (happy hormones) that enhance hair growth.
- Avoid completely or take less of emotional, physical, and mental stress.
- Avoid using a hot blower on high heat, hair straightening iron, or chemicals for hairstyling, and refrain from following a sedentary lifestyle.
- Make sure your vitamin D is OK, and your C, B12, and zinc are high. The lost hair does grow back on its own after 4-5 months, an additional top-up is needed for the system. Take natural nutritional supplements that promote hair growth but only after consultation with a dermatologist.
- Switch over to mild, paraben, and sulphate-free shampoos and hair care products as they tend to scrape off the natural moisture from hair.
- A biotin and amino acid-rich diet would be beneficial for someone with extreme hair shedding issues.
- Refrain from conditioning or oiling the scalp too much and too often.
- Use a wide-toothed comb that wouldn’t irritate the hair follicles.
- Keep track of your daily sleep pattern and get adequate sleep. A good 6 to 8-hour sleep works wonders for the body by helping it to recover faster, improving metabolism, and boosting immunity.
With hair shedding being an important and unavoidable aspect post covid recovery, one needs to treat the inside for the outside to flourish. This is why an active lifestyle, the right amount of nutrients, a balanced diet, and supplements are so important for the body and to improve hair health.