The Pandemic May Be Causing You To Lose Your Hair. Here's Why.

Did the events of the past 12 months or so have you tearing your hair out? It wouldn't be any wonder if they did. Let's hope that hair-tearing was strictly metaphorical, though, since you may have lost quite a bit of hair without once having laid hand to head. 

Hair loss prevention specialist Bill Edwards, CEO of Regenix, told The List that anyone who was ill with COVID-19 may have experienced some hair loss due to the strain the virus put on their body. 

Even if you stayed COVID-free, however, you still could have lost hair due to anxiety about quarantining, risk of disease, illness in family members, and/or pandemic-related job loss. According to Edwards, such stressful events, whether or not you were infected with the virus, could serve to trigger a condition called tellogen effluvium (TE for short), a type of temporary hair loss. "TE usually occurs two to three months after a triggering event," Edwards told us. Talk about adding insult to injury! Luckily, he said the hair loss tends to be short-term, since "usually six to nine months after the TE occurs the lost hair will grow back."

Why you're losing your hair and what you can do about it

If you have experienced some recent hair loss, you're in good company, or so Google analytics would indicate. Bill Edwards told us that Google searches for "hair loss" were up about 20 percent from where they were a year ago. While there's a good chance that all you have to do is wait things out and your hair will be back by the end of the year, you can always try to nudge it along a bit.

According to Edwards, rest, exercise, and good nutrition (the usual suspects) are all your friends when it comes to promoting hair regrowth. In addition to eating nutritious foods (salmon and avocados are both pretty hair-friendly), Edwards recommended taking B-vitamin supplements with amino acids, biotin, low-dose iron for women, and saw palmetto for men. He said you can also try an over-the-counter hair treatment such as Minoxidil, although he warned of "the potential side effects, and that you must continue the medication in order to maintain results."

If you're really worried about your hair, Edwards advised that you can always arrange for a hair microanalysis to determine whether additional treatments such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, micro-needling, or even hair transplants might be worth investing in.