Is COVID hair a real thing?

Woman hand hoding hairs fall in comb, hair fall everyday serious problem. Girl Hairs fall with a comb and problem hair isolated on white background

Yes, it is. 

And topical hair growth serums can help.

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, and people were being isolated in their homes, many post-COVID resolutions were made. Health and image were a big part of this. 

Several years on, much of the world have had a COVID experience, and they’re saying that the experience interfered with their body image goals. One such claim is that they experienced ‘COVID hair’. 

But the link between hair shedding and COVID is not straight forward. This is because the hair shedding occurred several months after the COVID experience had passed. 

Nonetheless, it was not imagined. 

The science is now saying that COVID triggers a condition called telogen effluvium (TE) in many people. TE is when the hair follicles are pushed into a 3-month-long phase of dormancy. This is why the hair shedding starts several months after making a full recovery. 

There are two mechanisms by which COVID puts hair follicles into TE. The most important is ‘systemic inflammation’. 

People who are infected with COVID have higher concentrations of interleukin 1 beta (IL1β) in their blood. The greater the severity of the disease, the more concentrated IL1β becomes. Because IL1β triggers inflammation, people with moderate to severe COVID have inflammation throughout their entire bodies. 

But that’s not all. When scientists combined IL1β with cultured hair follicles (in a petri dish) the hair follicles stopped growing. It is therefore a potent inhibitor of hair growth. 

The second mechanism that causes TE in COVID patients is the restriction of blood flow to the scalp. 

COVID increases the body’s levels of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). This enzyme is responsible for making the blood vessels narrower, through constriction. High levels of ACE will cause you to lose your taste, to have stomach problems, and it will restrict blood flow to the scalp. 

So what should you do?

Dr. Jeffrey Rapaport, a leading Dermatologist and hair loss expert from Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey shares, “Several months after the beginning of the pandemic, I began to see more and more patients with hair loss and began to connect the dots. Hair loss due to covid is a real issue that I see in my practice.”

To combat the effects of COVID, both before and after infection, it is recommended you use a topical anti-inflammatory serum that also helps to promote blood flow. 

A fantastic anti-inflammatory ingredient from nature is called taxifolin, from the European larch tree. This ingredient is so powerful, it not only stops inflammation, but it helps to improve the hair follicles digestion of sugar. 

The other ingredient is a familiar friend to us all. When applied to the scalp, caffeine improves blood flow. There are several ways that it does this, but a recent study identified that it stops the activity of ACE, by inactivating its receptor. 

Topical hair serums do many more things, too. In going beyond COVID hair, it nourishes the scalp, blocks the nasty androgens and stimulates the hairs to regrowth through the use of signalling peptides. 

Thus, the right topical hair growth serum will combat COVID hair, and it will also hasten your recovery, so that you can return to normal sooner, rather than later.

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