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Can Lockdowns Contribute to Hair Loss?

September 27, 2021

Can Lockdowns Contribute to Hair Loss?

If you’ve noticed your hair thinning lately, it might not all be in your head. Rather, the evidence could be right on top of your head. Many dermatologists have noted an uptick in patients suffering from hair loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. The en masse hair-shedding is universal and can be explained. Better yet, it can be solved.

But first, what’s causing it?

Covid-19 has a long wrap-sheet of possible side effects. Each symptom can be allocated to one of either two categories: direct or indirect. A direct symptom might be something like coughing or fever, while indirect could be stress and our concern - hair loss. But as we’ll see in a moment, both those who’ve tested positive and those who have not are experiencing unprecedented hair loss. 

How stress-related hair loss happens 

Stress and bodily reactions go hand in hand. Think about when you get a shock. Your heart races, your palms get sweaty, and you may feel ‘on-edge’ for quite some time after. This long-term anxiety is caused by a concoction of stress-causing hormones, most notably cortisol. This hormone, along with natural bodily reactions, can trigger a ‘resting state’ in follicles. 

So, instead of completing its natural life cycle, hair is prematurely evicted from the out-of-service follicle and into your hairbrush or shower drain. The name for this process is Telogen Effluvium, and its effect can either be acute or chronic. After a “shock to the system,” as many as 70% of the scalp’s hairs can be shed. Occurring over the space of two months, the process isn’t always immediately noticeable. In fact, hair loss can often pass under the radar until it reaches more severe levels, triggering more stress in the hair-loss sufferer, possibly spurring on faster thinning of the hair.

Does stress explain lock down hair loss?

The pandemic was an undeniably stressful time for countless reasons. Stuck in lockdown, it was hard to find respite from the onslaught of doom, fear, and pain in our usual go-to’s. Our need for socialization, outdoor spaces, and fresh air went unmet. Job losses were rife. And, of course, grief.

Many found themselves working or studying from home, having to adapt at near-reckless speed. Naturally, a whirlwind of unpredictable and volatile family dynamics arose, further increasing stress levels.  

It comes as no surprise then that about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder during the pandemic. That’s doubled from the standard of 2 in 10. And that’s not even including those who may have experienced sudden shocks or emotional trauma, something that’s not rare during an international health crisis. Even physical trauma that puts the body under stress can trip the body’s Telogen Effluvium switch.

What you can do about it 

If you think your body’s switch might have flicked – don’t worry. You’re not alone; we have answers. And here’s something to put your mind at ease: the vast majority of stress-related hair loss cases are resolved within one year. But if you’d rather speed that along, you’re in luck. 

Lockdown hair loss can be remedied by a stress-control strategy, supplemented by hair growth and health-promoting products. For example, phyto-active hair serums, otherwise known as hair formulas packed full of plant-based goodness, have been proven to promote hair growth by increasing circulation in the scalp and stimulating follicle regeneration. Moreover, the vital nutrients and vitamins contained within phyto-active serums can thicken hair, leading to a more volumized look. Pairing these all-natural hair care formulas with a nutritious diet and well-being focused strategy is the perfect mix for slowing hair loss and claiming back all those strands lost to lockdown!

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