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Are Hair Loss Cases Spiking Due to COVID-19?

If this year has caused anything, it’s stress.

Between civil unrest, a global pandemic, and a lack of coherent leadership, there’s a lot to be concerned about — and the numbers back this up.

A recent survey conducted by Devries Global and research firm Dynata, confirmed that stress is increasingly prevalent – and it’s leading to full-on hair loss or at least hair thinning. Out of 1,000 Americans surveyed:

1. 20% have started experiencing increased hair loss or thinning since the onset of COVID-19.  

2. Of the 20%, more than half cited stress as the source of their hair loss.  

3. More than a third of women are looking for thicker, fuller hair, even if they are not experiencing hair loss or thinning. 

We checked in with dermatologist Dr. Michelle Henry to help answer why hair loss cases are spiking – and what to do about it.

Stress-Related Hair Loss

“While the causes of hair loss typically range from genetic to physical factors, like illness or child birth, hair loss cases have spiked in the past few months due to the increased stress caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” she affirmed.

Stress contributes to hair loss, becausewhen individuals experience stress, the body’s stress hormone, cortisol, is released and can onset the beginning stages of hair loss.

When cortisol is released in the body, it causes the hair follicles to change from the growth phase (anagen) to the resting phase (telogen). This shift in phases causes the follicle to fall out, also known as telogen effluvium, hair loss due to mental or physiologic stress,” Dr. Henry explains.

Combatting Stress-Related Hair Loss

To combat stress, Dr. Henry recommends doing your best to stay healthy and try a targeted product regimen. “Try to manage stress through physical exercise and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet,” she notes. “For topical treatments, I recommend the Nioxin 3-Part System Kits to my patients that target hair density and restore moisture balance to promote thicker, fuller hair. This, along with Nioxin Purifying Exfoliator scalp scrub to rid the scalp of product and dead skin cell build-up to set the foundation for healthy hair growth.”


Hair can grow back after a stressful period, however, the regrowth largely depends on why there was hair loss in the first place. “Hair regrowth often depends on the underlying cause,” she notes. “However, in the case of telogen effluvium, it is common for hair to grow back within 3 to 6 months after treatment,” Dr. Henry continues. Here’s to 2021!

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