Dr Abhishek says, “As per latest research in the medical field, most post-COVID hair loss cases stem from a condition called Telogen effluvium – a reversible condition in which hair falls out after a stressful experience. According to research, the stressors created by having contracted (and suffered from) COVID send your body into shock and disrupt the growth-rest cycle. The process starts after you have recovered from COVID, leading to intense hair shedding a couple of months after contracting the condition. The condition is reversible and usually stops on its own, without any extra medication.”
But how can we know that our hair issues are linked to stress? Dr Abhishek explains, “There are numerous ways in which stress can appear in the body, and your hair is no exception. Stress is frequently accompanied by hair thinning and graying. If you are stressed, your hair may feel more likely to break, have less volume, and look rough and dry. In addition, if you have dandruff, stress can worsen or aggravate your condition.” Although experts have not discovered a direct link between depression and hair loss, there is invariably an indirect link. Those who are frequently depressed also have poor hygiene and dietary habits, which can cause or exacerbate a hair issue. For instance, a sad individual may go weeks without washing his or her hair, resulting in eventual hair loss. As for stress, it can directly result in hair thinning through illnesses such as telogen effluvium, trichotillomania, and alopecia areata, he adds.
Can supplements help the situation?
A lot of people turned to popping supplements to treat the hair loss but is it a reliable and right approach to fix the situation? Dr Abhishek tells us that stress and hair loss unfortunately works like a vicious cycle – the more stressed you are, the more hair you will lose, that in turn will add more stress. “While vitamins/supplements can help, these can only be an add-on help to a good, balanced diet full of protein, vitamins, zinc, and other minerals. One should also make sure to drink enough water, sleep well, and follow a healthy hair regimen to keep your hair protected.”
The right way to treat your hair
When it comes to nourishing one’s hair, we often turn to oiling them with treated oils, hair spas and using any product that claims to control hair fall. But there can be a simpler and more direct approach to tackle the situation, says Dr Abhishek. “Be gentle on your hair – do not comb your hair when wet and do not blow dry it often. The use of a mild cleanser is advised. Always read your shampoo labels and if you are experiencing extreme hair fall, ask your doctor for suggestions. An oil massage once a week will hydrate and massage your hair follicles. However, do not leave in oil for more than one night, and avoid brushing straight after oiling. Also do not oil more than once a week. Further, do not keep your hair open always and do not tie it up too tight: both in turn can contribute to hair loss. Again, the only way to stop hair loss caused due to stress is to eliminate or at least reduce stress. Trying yoga or meditation can be beneficial. Apart from this, physical exercise goes a long way in reducing stress. Finally, consuming a nutritious diet, full of proteins and minerals will help you (and your hair) stay happy and healthy.”