All of us experience stress and anxiety at some point in our lives. This is more prevalent in today’s fast paced world where people live in metropolitan cities and face work related stress as well as personal stress. But, who could have imagined that stress could lead to hair loss and more so the tension of living through a pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the mental health of people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, factors like social distancing, fear of contracting the virus, deaths of family and friends are all causing stress and anxiety in people.
This tension is aggravated by elements like decreased income and unemployment. This stress is leading to hair loss among individuals across the globe. Let us look at how this is happening.
What is Cricket Legend Shane Warne’s take on COVID-19 Stress and Hair Loss?
In a recent interview on Sky News, Shane Warne, the Australian Cricket legend said, “I have been associated with Advanced Hair Studio for 16 years...A high percentage of COVID-19 victims will lose some hair, that could be upto 50 per cent at times over 3 months. COVID-19 has affected all of us financially and in a lot of other ways as well.”
He explained that Advanced Hair Studio is giving back to society in a number of ways including sponsoring a lot of community service and is also offering free consultations at its clinics.
How can Stress lead to Hair Loss?
To understand the phenomenon of hair loss due to stress we must first understand a medical condition called Febril Telogen effluvium. It is a form of non-scarring alopecia characterized by diffuse, often acute hair shedding.
Febril Telogen effluvium can happen to people of any gender, age and racial background. Women have a greater tendency to get Telogen effluvium because of postpartum hormonal changes.
This condition is triggered when a physiologic stress causes a number of hairs in the growing phase of the hair cycle (anagen) to abruptly enter the resting phase (telogen).
The growth of the telogen hairs ceases for 1 to 6 months (on average 3 months), though this cessation of growth is not noticed by the patient. When the hairs re-enter the growth phase (anagen), the hairs which had been suspended in the resting phase (telogen) are extruded from the follicle, and hair shedding is observed.
Scalp biopsy is the most useful test to confirm the diagnosis, but it is seldom necessary if gentle hair pull produces numerous telogen hairs. Telogen hairs can be identified by a white bulb and no gelatinous hair sheath.
Collecting 100 hair or more hair in a 24-hour period suggests telogen effluvium. If the collections are performed over several weeks while the telogen effluvium is improving, the number of hair collected may decrease.
What is the treatment of Telogen Effluvium?
Acute telogen effluvium is a self-limiting condition. If the causative event is identified by history and has been adequately treated, there is no further treatment required. If a hormonal or dietary imbalance or metabolic illness is present, hair growth will return after these factors are corrected. If a medication is the cause of the shedding, hair growth will restart after the medication is withdrawn.
It may take up to 6 months for hair growth to restart, and even longer for the growth to be appreciable by the patient. Patients often require reassurance of the normal recovery of their hair while the hair reenters anagen and grows normally.
How is stress due to COVID-19 Pandemic causing Hair Loss?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increase in anxiety because of physical, emotional and economic worries that the people have. Continuously thinking of the problems and trying to adjust to the new realities adds to mental stress.
An after effect of this stress is hair loss. Within a few months of the onset of stress due to COVID-19, people may notice temporary hair loss.
There could be more cases of telogen effluvium (diffuse hair loss) as the pandemic subsides. Usually, 85-90% of the hair on our scalp is actively growing, while the remainder are resting. In stressful times like illness, surgery or living through a pandemic, the anxiety may cause more hair to go into the resting phase.
The hair can continue to be in the resting phase for three to four months. This leads to diffuse hair loss, in which hair is just falling. In this temporary type of hair loss, the hair grows back over time.
What Remedies are Good to Prevent COVID-19 Stress and Hair Loss?
- Exercising every day for 30 minutes is considered very beneficial. Also you should go out on your balcony or open your windows to get fresh air. Getting a little sunlight is also good.
- While physical exercise helps to pacify the nervous system, the vitamin D received from the sunlight helps to boost your immunity.
- It is also advised to make lifestyle changes in the current scenario. Alcohol consumption should be reduced as well as smoking. Meditation and recreational activities are good to reduce stress.
- A good night’s sleep also goes a long way in keeping your mind and body healthy. Practice sleep hygiene measures such as closing TV before bed time, reading a book or listening to slow music before your sleep time.
- Have 1.5 – 2 liters of water on a daily basis. This helps to keep the body properly hydrated. One can start the day with squeezing a little lemon in water or having green tea in hot water.
- Hair density can be improved by undergoing Low Light Laser therapy. The Home Program at AHS could be your ideal solution in this line of thought considering it gives you the option of continuing investing in your hair health from the comfort and safety of your home. This program is known to stimulate the epidermal cells in your hair follicles. This in turn helps to put the hair follicles into the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle.
- Light head massage and cold water therapy can help to increase blood circulation in the scalp and hair follicles. This strengthens the hair roots and decreases hair fall.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the very nature of how we used to perceive the world. People are confined in their houses and are afraid of contracting the virus. There are widespread job cuts the world over and the world economy is in a recessionary phase.
Studies show an increase in depression and anxiety among people in various countries. It is safe to say that COVID-19 hair loss is an actual phenomenon.
Hair loss due to coronavirus needs to be understood properly and preventive measures need to be taken to stop such hair fall. This blog details various measures that we can undertake in our daily routine to keep away stress and to have healthy hair.
Our team at Advanced Hair Studio has done research into hair loss cases increasing due to the coronavirus pandemic and has come up with an international community website to give details and remedies to people who are affected by COVID-19 stress.
The website titled Advanced Hair Loss, https://hairloss.com.au, has been built to help the society in general find the answers to their questions and queries. It is a good source for also clearing doubts about everything they are facing pertaining to their hair condition.
This endeavor is an informational community effort specifically focused on hair loss due to COVID-19 pandemic stress and how to cure hair loss from stress.
We are market leaders in hair retention and hair replacement treatments throughout the world. We have been effectively taking care of our patrons for the last 47 years. You can come to our hair loss clinics spread all across the world and UAE to get proper hair care from our team of experts.