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East Texans Battle Long-Haul COVID-19 Side Effect: Hair Loss
Some COVID-19 survivors notice it a few months after recovering — an eerie amount of hair loss.
Bullard mom of two, Nita Ray, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in Aug. 2021, and by Nov. she began seeing her hair fall out.
“I’d have to clean my tub out every hair wash,” Ray said. “It was constantly on my clothes, my husband’s clothes, my kid’s clothes, everywhere.”
This phenomenon is a condition called Telogen Effluvium.
Dermatologist and founder of the Center For Aesthetic and Laser Medicine Dr. Jenni Holman says COVID-19 isn’t the only culprit for this type of sudden hair loss.
“That’s something that you can see after any illness or significant emotional or physical stress in your life,” Dr. Holman said.
She says a person loses an average of 100 strands of hair a day. But when they’re stressed or sick with COVID-19, for example, their hair follicles are pushed into a resting phase. Months later, the shedding resumes, seemingly all at once.
Solutions are straightforward. Those suffering from hair loss can up their vitamin intake, manage their stress and diet or opt for platelet rich plasma injections.
Dr. Holman explains these injections.
“We draw your blood, spin it down and pull out your own growth factors,” said Dr. Holman. “Then we inject them back into your scalp. That helps with things like regular hormonal related hair loss but specifically with this Telogen Effluvium where you’ve got this shed. You’re trying to get your body to reset its normal patterns. It’s been found to be very helpful.”
Ultimately, even if all someone does is remove the stressor causing their symptoms, Dr. Holman says their hair growth cycle should reset within a year-and-a-half.