LANSING- Over the holidays, I had a discussion with a party guest about having COVID-19 and the relation to hair loss after recovering from the illness. We spoke about the constant shedding and losing about 20-30% of our hair.
About a week after this casual discussion, I saw my hair stylist and she mentioned there’s been several clients at the salon complaining of losing their hair after recovering from COVID-19. Some losing large clumps of hair.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), people develop noticeable hair loss after recovering a few months after having COVID-19 due to having a high fever.
The AAD further states that while many people think of this as hair loss, it’s actually hair shedding. The medical name for this type of hair shedding is telogen effluvium. It happens when more hairs than normal enter the shedding (telogen) phase of the hair growth lifecycle at the same time. A fever or illness can force more hairs into the shedding phase.
Most people see noticeable hair shedding two to three months after having a fever or illness. Handfuls of hair can come out when you shower or brush your hair. This hair shedding can last for six to nine months before it stops. Most people then see their hair start to look normal again and stop shedding.
The AAD warns if you have a rash, itchy scalp, or burning, something other than telogen effluvium is likely causing your hair loss, and it’s time to see a dermatologist.