What to Do About Hair Shedding Weeks After a COVID-19 Infection
June 15 2022
Millions of people have had a COVID-19 infection, and for a few people, there has been an unexpected effect happening weeks later – hair shedding. What causes this type of hair loss after COVID-19? And is there anything that I can do to fix my hair loss? Thankfully, the answer to the second question is yes, because, at the Hair Restoration Institute, we have a full menu of effective hair loss treatment options that can help!
What does my COVID-19 infection have to do with my scalp and hair?
COVID-19 is a viral infection, and it’s not the only one that can affect hair growth. Illnesses that include high fevers can affect the way your hair follicles work.
Your follicles are where your hair grows on your scalp, and each follicle is set up to grow a single strand of hair. Inside your scalp in the follicle, your body grows hair cells with the help of nourishing nutrients from nearby blood vessels. A healthy hair follicle keeps building these cells and pushing them out. Eventually, they pass the surface and appear as a strand of hair.
Even healthy follicles sometimes shed because that’s part of the natural growth cycle. You’ll find hairs in your brush or shower drain even if you don’t have noticeable hair loss, simply because some follicles are in the natural shedding phase. After that phase, they normally enter a growth phase.
But some follicles are affected by outside influences like hormones or environmental factors – like high fever – that change the way the follicle works and keep it from growing hair again. That can be telogen effluvium, or TE-PC.
What is post-COVID telogen effluvium (TE-PC)?
This is the name for hair shedding that happens after a COVID-19 infection. Not everyone who catches COVID-19 has TE-PC, but some do, and for many, it can happen weeks after the original COVID-19 infection has cleared up.
TE-PC happens when the hair follicles have been forced into a resting phase because of some sort of stress – in this case, likely the high fever caused by COVID-19.
Telogen effluvium can be frightening because multiple hairs can come out at once if much of your scalp is effective. Some people experience full handfuls of hair coming out, up to 70% of the hair on their heads, and this can happen as long as two months after the scalp – and its follicles – experienced stress.
Is TE-PC genetic?
TE-PC is different from what we call male pattern or female pattern baldness – or genetically caused hair loss. TE-PC happens after stress to your system, and it can happen quickly rather than gradually. While there are some factors that are genetic, like weaker hair follicles, which can make the problem more intense, generally, TE-PC is not genetic.
Are there other causes of TE-PC besides COVID?
Yes – there are other stresses your body can react to besides a COVID-19 infection. This includes any virus or other illness that gives you a high fever, childbirth, surgery, chronic illnesses, psychological stress, diets with insufficient nutrients, and even some medications. In any case, treatments for TE-PC can be similar regardless of the initial cause.
What kind of treatments is available for TE-PC from COVID?
Generally speaking, the treatment for TE-PC hair shedding supports healthy hair growth to help your follicles recover from the shock and return to a growth stage. Everyone’s hair restoration treatment program is different, but the hair loss experts at the Hair Restoration Institute might recommend PRP treatments, low-level laser light therapy, or other therapies that support the health of the follicles to help them regrow hair faster.
What should I do if I think I have TE-PC?
The most important thing to do is get help as soon as possible. If you experience sudden hair loss after COVID-19 or another stressor, make a free consultation appointment with the hair loss experts at the Hair Restoration Institute as soon as possible. We’ll give you a discreet hair evaluation and recommend the best steps to take to restore your hair growth as soon as possible.
What if I have other reasons for hair loss?
Regardless of the reason for hair loss, there are multiple treatments available to help! We’ll assess your individual needs, examining your overall health as well as the extent of your hair loss and its possible causes to determine the right hair restoration treatment plan for you. Everyone’s plan is different, but yours might include one or more of the following treatments:
- FUT or FUE hair transplantation
- Custom wigs
- PRP hair loss treatment
- Scalp micropigmentation
- Low-level laser light therapy
- and many more
Hair loss like TE-PC can be very upsetting, but we’ll help you take control with a free consultation appointment at the Hair Restoration Institute. Make your appointment today and we’ll help you find the best treatment plan for your hair shedding. Our professional hair loss experts are always friendly, knowledgeable, and discreet. You can find us at 1201 West Lancaster Avenue in Fort Worth, Texas, or call 817-854-HAIR (4247) for your complimentary consultation with an experienced hair loss professional.