What could COVID-19 do to cause hair loss?

For most people, the COVID-19 pandemic was a difficult time. However, communities of color have done worse than other groups. Pre-existing inequalities have put people of color at higher risk of becoming sick or dying from the disease. The pandemic’s economic effects have also caused significant job losses and wage reductions. Based in Southern California, thegoodshairco offers comprehensive hair loss solutions for men and ladies.

New research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology has shown that hair loss rates in communities with racially diverse populations are significantly higher because of the extreme stress of the past nine months. Two New York City hospitals with high COVID-19 deaths rates found that there has been a 400% increase in hair loss among people of color.

Researchers found a 400% increase in telogen effluvium from March 1 to August 31 compared to pre-pandemics between September 1, 2019 & February 29, 2020. The study revealed a significant increase in telogen effluvium cases between July and August, which is three to four months after New York City had experienced its first major spike of COVID-19 and implemented lockdowns.

Limitations of the Hair-Loss Study

Although early research can provide valuable insights in times of public health emergencies, it has its limitations. The study had a small sample of approximately 3,000 patients. 50 of these had telogen effluvium from the pandemic. The study was limited to two New York City hospitals, so it may not be applicable to the entire population.

The researchers found that there was almost no increase in the telogen effluvium of Blacks, despite the fact that they have been exposed to a greater number of deaths, hospitalizations, and other stressors since the pandemic.

A majority of hair in the growing phase is 90%, and the rest in the telogen phase (or resting phase) phase. The telogen phase of hairs is where they fall out after a few weeks. This is why we often find strands in our bathtub drains and brushes.

Stressful events, such as severe illness, childbirth or emotional trauma, can cause shock to the system. Telogen effluvium can occur when about 30% of hairs go into the resting phase, and then fall out a few months later.

To determine the reason for hair loss, you should consult your dermatologist or primary care physician. They will usually ask about your life and any recent major events. To rule out other causes of hair loss such as a thyroid problem, they may run a blood test.

Telogen effluvium patients should avoid excessive hair brushing, combing, shampooing, or any other activity that may lead to hair loss. Patients are encouraged to learn ways to deal with emotional stress and improve their overall health.