A worn-looking Boris Johnson was subjected to yet more rumours about his health last month, with viewers noting some apparent hair loss during a Commons address in late October.
Hair loss is known to be a symptom of what is known as ‘long Covid’, and there have been concerns raised in the media that the prime minister could have fallen prey to this particularly unpleasant strain of the virus.
But it’s not just Covid itself that is causing more people than usual to experience hair loss at the moment. Lockdown and the ongoing restrictions have put many of us under a strain we have never previously experienced and that’s taking a toll on our hair.
Covid-related hair loss
Stress is known to be a major player when it comes to causes of hair loss – sometimes it’s one big stressful event causing a sudden shedding of hair. Ongoing, low level stress can also cause gradual thinning over time.
In 2020, many of us have had a double whammy of these stressors. Whether you live alone and have struggled with little to no social contact, or you’re a parent who’s been working from home and have taken on more childcare responsibilities. We have all felt the strain in one way or another.
But some people have also lost loved ones to the virus, or have been through it themselves and have suffered some serious after effects.
Whatever the reason, the fact is that Covid is causing hair loss in many of us, but how serious is it? And is the hair loss permanent?
Sudden, drastic hair loss
If you have experienced sudden hair loss, the chances are that you’re suffering from telogen effluvium – a relatively rare condition where a traumatic event can shock the hair follicles into entering the resting phase of the cycle all at the same time.
It is considered normal to lose a few hairs at a time, but with telogen effluvium most or all of the hairs it is not uncommon for up to 50% of the hairs to fall out at once.
The good news is that the condition is usually temporary and the hair will grow back, but that doesn’t solve the issue in the short term.
If you’re experiencing telogen effluvium and you can’t quite face just waiting it out, consider a procedure like scalp micropigmentation (SMP), where pigment is injected into the scalp to replicate hairs. This produces a very realistic ‘buzz cut’ appearance, which can help you to style out the hair loss.
Other options include hair replacement systems, or even experimenting with some stylish headwear.
Gradually thinning hair
Maybe you’re just noticing a few extra hairs on the pillow each morning, or a bit more than usual coming off on the hairbrush. Or you’ve become aware of a thinning area that wasn’t there before.
These can all be signs that your hair is being affected by the long-term stress of Covid and lockdown. But what can you do about it?
The best first step is to visit a trichologist, dermatologist or hair loss expert, to check that there is no other underlying condition that could be causing your hair loss.
They’ll advise you on a variety of products and treatments to deal with this type of hair loss, including hair loss supplements, laser therapy, SMP (see above) or even hair transplant surgery.
For more information on covid-related hair loss or to book a free consultation with one of our hair loss experts, please contact us today on 0121 312 2999.