Appearance is probably the last thing that has come to mind for you in the last year when it comes to coronavirus-related symptoms (hair loss after coronavirus). Whether it’s difficulty breathing or inflammation that can lead to loss of smell due to Covid, most complications from infectious virus infections are still unknown to many.
As the coronavirus continues to infect people around the world, people are surprised to note that hair loss months after the fact is linked to Covid. This development has raised the question for many whether Covid can cause hair loss. The answer is yes, although the real question is whether people should be concerned about a long-term impact on their hair.
Hair loss after Corona
The human body has more than 5 million hair follicles, which go through a three-stage process. First, the hair grows and pushes through the skin in the anagen phase. Then the hair dies in the catagen phase. Finally, the hair falls out and regenerates in the telogen phase. You lose about 50 to 100 hairs every day.
Hair follicles remain in the anagen phase for 85 to 90 percent of the time, which takes 2 to 4 years. By comparison, the telogen phase lasts about 2 to 4 months.
In certain cases, the physical and emotional stress caused by Covid can lead to what is also perceived as hair loss. You are not losing hair, but Covid causes hair to fall out more than normal.
Telogen effluvium and corona
The medical term for this type of temporary hair loss is known as acute telogen effluvium. The stressors created by Covid shock your body and disrupt the growth-rest cycle. The resulting effect is increased hair loss – as much as 30 to 50 percent of hair follicles are in the telogen phase compared to 5 to 10 percent – a few months after being infected with Covid.
These changes can produce stress hormones that then put the hair follicle stem cells into an extended rest phase. Specifically, stress can alter the cells at the base of the hair follicle, the dermal papilla, and inhibit molecules necessary for hair growth.
Telogen effluvium is not limited to Covid. It can be triggered by various causes such as virus infections, after surgery, hospitalization, hormonal changes, and stress. Covid is a viral infection that can lead to stress and hospitalization, which may explain why hair loss can be triggered in some people.
For Covid patients, physical stressors can be as mild as high fever or needing to be connected to a ventilator due to moderate to severe respiratory complications.
As for psychological stressors, the impact of dealing with Covid can affect your thinking and feelings.
The severity of hair loss is not necessarily related to illness – some people with mild Covid symptoms may experience less hair loss.
How fast does hair loss start?
In contrast to most COVID symptoms which appear days or weeks after an infection, you will typically notice hair loss 2 or 3 months later. Generally, in non-COVID cases of telogen effluvium, hair loss occurs in about 3 months.
However, research in recent years shows an accelerated process due to COVID. A small study of 30 COVID patients indicates that the average occurrence of telogen effluvium lasts for a median of 45 days. This delayed onset of symptoms is a source of concern for many people.
Since more hair follicles than normal are in the resting phase and hair loss has begun, people usually see changes in their hair when the scalp is disturbed. At first, a person may notice hair strands falling out while brushing or after a shower. Then, their hair starts to thin in a few weeks, as hair strands are seen on the scalp.
It is important to remember that hair loss occurs due to a disruption in the growth-regeneration process and is not due to actual damage to the hair. The hair will regrow over time since the follicles are still present.
How long does hair loss last with Corona?
It is known that some individuals with COVID-19 experience hair loss as a symptom. This hair loss is called telogen effluvium and occurs when physical or emotional stress disrupts the normal hair cycle and sends an increased number of hairs into the resting phase.
Hair loss due to COVID-19 can last for several weeks to several months, but it is important to note that not everyone who contracts COVID-19 will experience hair loss. If you are concerned about hair loss, it is best to speak with a doctor or dermatologist to receive a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.