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Making the Connection: Hair Loss, Stress and COVID-19

Both COVID-19 and stress are top causes of thinning hair. The combination of these two conditions is especially hard on hair health. Once a surprising side effect of COVID-19, hair loss is now a well-known condition related to the virus. 

As researchers continue to study the long-term effects of COVID, doctors have seen an uptick in shock hair loss post-COVID, especially in cases with a fever or other complications which can cause extensive hair shedding to occur. Studies conclude that the infection is now a frequent and common cause of acute telogen effluvium (ATE), a type of non-scarring hair loss.

COVID-19 and Hair Loss

In a study published in the Irish Journal of Medical Science, patients who were evaluated with a diagnosis of ATE also had a confirmed diagnosis of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. All patients experienced excessive hair loss within two-three months, post-infection. 

There is good news, however. COVID-related hair loss is actually hair shedding, as defined by the American Academy of Dermatology Association, which is typically a temporary issue. Acute hair loss can be a normal side effect after certain illnesses and fever, which is a common symptom of COVID-19. In a matter of 8-12 weeks after a fever-related illness, many patients will notice what appears to be hair loss, but it is actually shedding. The shedding of extra hairs is triggered when illness or high fever forces more hairs into the shedding phase of the hair growth lifecycle at the same time. This is known as telogen effluvium

 It can be alarming to see handfuls of hair in the shower or during brushing. And while regrowth should eventually return, it can take six to nine months or longer for hair to return to pre-Covid fullness.  

Stress and Hair Loss

A secondary vicious cycle can occur when dealing with COVID-related hair loss and mental health. Stress can cause hair loss. Hair loss is stressful

HairClub medical advisor Dr. Angie Phipps is a board-certified hair restoration surgeon and star of TLC’s hit television show ‘Bad Hair Day’ featuring real people desperately seeking help with hair loss. Hair loss is also “an extremely significant mental and emotional health issue,” said Dr. Phipps, who is based in Raleigh, NC, and practices with Bosley, the surgical hair restoration partner within the HairClub family. 

“Hair loss can absolutely be life threatening if it takes too big of a toll on a person’s mental health and healthcare providers need to take it seriously,”said Dr. Phipps in a story about mental health and hair loss in a story that explores the connection between mental health and hair loss. “It isn’t usually until people feel that they have exhausted all other options before they seek surgical hair restoration.”

Researchers have identified alopecia as a distressing traumatic event in anxiety and depression. Women who experience high levels of stress are 11 times more likely to experience hair loss than those who did not report high-stress levels, as reported in a study by dermatology clinical fellows and doctors affiliated with the NHS Barts Health Royal London Hospital. And as many as half of women will experience noticeable hair loss, according to Cleveland Clinic researchers.

HairClub has a Custom Solution for All Types of Hair Loss, including COVID and Stress-Related Hair Loss

Just as every stage and type of hair loss is unique to your hair and scalp, HairClub Hair Health Experts have a customized hair loss solution for each. The first step in treating hair loss is to schedule an initial consultation at HairClub, which is complimentary, to understand your type and stage of hair loss

During this consultation at a HairClub Center, a Hair Health Expert will provide a full hair health analysis of your scalp and hair. Our imaging technology called TrichoView as seen in this video magnifies images of the surface of your scalp by 50 times, allowing consultants to view the density of your hair beyond what the naked eye can see. In a private room, they’ll compare healthy growing areas to thinning hair areas and broadcast a digital scan for you to see on screen in real-time. This technology helps you and your HairClub team to make informed decisions, and together, choose a customized hair solution that best fits your life and desired hairstyle.

One of the most effective solutions HairClub Members choose is HairClub’s EXT Extreme Hair Therapy®. In a story for experts highlighted the benefits of HairClub’s EXT® Hair Revitalizing Complex, a hair growth supplement as helpful to regrow hair for Covid-19 long haulers. 

EXT Extreme Hair Therapy is a customized solution in which HairClub’s Hair Health Experts prepare a tailored EXT treatment in-salon for each HairClub Member. It includes scalp cleanser, elixir, and scalp massager to increase blood flow. Hair regrowth depends on a healthy scalp and each of these are important components of this process. 

 Members using EXT also receive a six-step system to use at home, including shampoo, cleanser, conditioner, supplements, scalp massager and rejuvenating product containing Minoxidil, the FDA-approved topical hair regrowth ingredient clinically proven to regrow hair

This comprehensive package includes at-home products and in-center solutions, all of which work in tandem to maintain overall hair health and fight against external stress factors. In follow-up visits every month, Hair Health Experts will digitally track your hair regrowth progress in real time using TrichoView. 

All in This Together

For more than half a million HairClub Members, their local HairClub Center has been a port in the storm of hair loss. There is always a path forward to getting your hair back, from hair regrowth options like EXT Extreme Hair Therapy® to regrow and strengthen hair, to full hair replacement systems like Xtrands+®.

Belonging to HairClub also provides an added layer of support, in the shared experience of going from hair loss to hair gain. HairClub Members find value in being part of a community of compassion and understanding. For our Hair Health Experts, working for HairClub is deeply personal. Many of our dedicated providers are also HairClub Members. They have a unique understanding of how hair loss can impact someone’s life, both physically and emotionally, whether your hair loss is due to COVID, stress, or a combination of both. 

Whether you suspect your thinning hair is due to COVID or stress, or a combination of both, remember that hair loss is progressive. Without intervention, it will only get worse over time. Find your nearest HairClub location today and book your free consultation. 

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