Alongside the immediate symptoms of COVID-19—fever, cough, congestion, shortness of breath, sore throat, etc.—medical and anecdotal accounts of lingering symptoms post-infection continue to persist. Whether it be a stubborn cough, brain fog, continued shortness of breath, or a prolonged loss of taste and smell, “long COVID” symptoms have become pain points for many individuals on their road to recovery.
Related to hair loss more specifically, some individuals are reporting excessive hair shedding and thinning post-COVID. As more data becomes available, increased hair loss commonly begins 2-3 months after infection, and can continue for up to 6-9 months. Furthermore, whether it be a male who has struggled with patterned baldness in the past, or a female who has never experienced excessive shedding/ thinning before, no two cases look exactly the same when trying to make sense of this pervasive, elusive symptom.
Since its initial emergence as a “long-haul” symptom early on in the coronavirus pandemic, the medical community has been able to nail down a common cause to explain a sudden emergence of excessive hair shedding and thinning post-COVID: telogen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium is a type of reversible hair loss caused by a “shock to the system”—high fever, severe infections, severe chronic illness, heavy inflammation, severe psychological stress, and major surgery or illnesses, to name a few. While there isn’t direct evidence to suggest COVID-19 itself is the cause of telogen effluvium, many doctors point to the bodily stress that accompanies the virus as the first domino to fall.
Explained simply by Dr. Susan Massick, a dermatologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, “When there’s a shock to the system, the body goes into lockdown mode and only focuses on essential functions. Hair growth is not as essential as other functions, so you end up with hair shedding.”
Additionally, as a general public that has lived with the doubt and uncertainty associated with the coronavirus for over two years, experts also speak to the compounding effects that psychological distress can have in cases of COVID-induced telogen effluvium. Compared to an average loss of around 100 hairs a day, telogen effluvium can account for around 300 hairs lost a day for up to 6-9 months. Along from this increased distress in itself, the physical, emotional, and psychological toll that comes with living through a global pandemic could also be contributing to the spike in individuals struggling with telogen effluvium.
“There’s been at least a 25 percent increase in people coming in with hair loss, and that’s from a place of already being busy dealing with hair disorders,” says Dr. Dendy Engelman, a dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery. “Hair loss is super emotional,” said Engelman. “People shed more tears over hair loss than any other condition I treat, including skin cancer.”
Unlike hereditary or other pre-disposed causes of hair loss, telogen effluvium is almost always temporary, even in its most chronic forms. With increased hair loss comes the uphill climb of growing the lost hair back, which Dr. Massick explains is “not a quick fix; the timeline is 6 months to a year.” Furthermore, while those struggling might react by buying out the drugstore of hair restoration products and supplements, Dr. Engelmen reiterates that “there aren’t many hair supplements that are vetted in science, and these companies know people are desperate, so they’ll make crazy claims.”
Along with living a healthy lifestyle and lowering any levels of stress that might be contributing to telogen effluvium, Hair Enhancement Centers’ FDA-cleared Clinical Hair Growth Laser treatments exist as a natural solution that works with your body to stimulate the increased growth of strong, thick, and healthy hair.
The GetHairMD™ Clinical Hair Growth Laser Device
GetHairMD™’s Clinical Hair Growth Laser device has been documented to speed up much-needed blood supply/oxygen to hair follicles, increasing the blood micro-circulation to the follicle by as much as 54% after one treatment. Furthermore, in the most recently-conducted FDA clinical trials, men and women struggling with scalp thinning saw major improvements after receiving two treatments per week over a six-month period:
- 100% of men saw success with stabilization of hair loss, with over 83% new hair growth in problem areas.
- 93.75% of women saw success with stabilization of hair loss with over 70% new hair growth in problem areas.
Additionally, in contrast to many over-the-counter hair growth solutions that are not scientifically- or medically-vetted, at Hair Enhancement Centers, all of our clients are under the direction of local physicians. The process begins with a 1-on-1 in-person or virtual consultation with a hair restoration expert. After this initial consultation, your unique hair loss situation will be assessed, and our physician will 1) determine if you’re a good candidate for Clinical Hair Growth Laser treatments, and 2) prescribe a customized treatment plan based on your hair regrowth goals/needs.
In the case of individuals dealing with post-COVID telogen effluvium more specifically, GetHairMD™’s Clinical Hair Growth Laser treatments are almost always is a great fit. Whether a person is currently struggling through the effects of telogen effluvium, or is dealing with a sparse scalp once the excessive hair loss has stopped, the Clinical Hair Growth Laser device reinvigorates your natural hair growth process no matter its current state rather than augmenting it with unreliable chemicals, drugs, remedies, etc.
While the coronavirus has brought about a lot of uncertainty, if you’re struggling with COVID-induced hair shedding and thinning, know that you are not alone. Along with addressing the stressors at the course that are causing telogen effluvium, Hair Enhancement Centers is ready to join you on your hair restoration journey and work with you to create a customized treatment plan. Visit our FAQ – gethairmd.com/faq – or call 817-778-4539 to learn more about the GetHairMD™ Clinical Hair Growth Laser treatments and schedule your FREE consultation.
Stay tuned next week for the first post in our new blog series, Losing Hair? Want it Back!?, where the GetHairMD™ team will compare Clinical Hair Growth Laser treatments to other common hair regrowth solutions available on the market today.