When it comes to hair loss, some of the most commonly known causes are age, genetics, hormones, stress and diet etc… These are the typical factors that can trigger the conditions and hormones that affect the hair’s growth cycle and thickness. However, there are also lesser-known links between hair loss and specific medical or health conditions. One of these is the link between viral infections and increased hair loss.
This connection became headline news in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, when reports emerged about hair loss being a common side-effect for some sufferers, sometimes months after they recovered from the virus. The actress Alyssa Milano posted a candid video on Twitter revealing her continued hair loss and increased shedding months after recovering from Covid-19.
While the scientific discoveries are still ongoing, the evidence suggests that there is some kind of connection between virus symptoms or side-effects and the health of the hair and scalp. Although it’s possible that the stress around a period of illness, and especially the heightened uncertainties during the global pandemic, may be the real underlying cause, or at least an additional factor, as stress is a widely regarded as a common trigger for increased hair loss.
One encouraging aspect is that the type of hair loss linked to both stress and illnesses (such as viral infections) is usually the temporary kind, known as Telogen Effluvium (TE). In cases of TE, the normal growth cycle of the hair is shocked or stressed by the triggering incident, i.e. an illness, which results in more shedding than usual. It can sometimes be difficult to identify what has caused the excess shedding, as it can often occur months after the damage was caused to the hair follicle.
Looking After Your Health
The good news is that some of the same preventative measures for avoiding common viral infections can also help to prevent, and even reverse, some types of hair loss. So, if you’ve noticed increased hair loss, or you’re concerned about the after-effects or prevention of viral infection, here are some of the things you can do to strengthen your immune system, boost your overall health and wellbeing, and minimise some of the common causes of hair thinning or excess shedding.
Moderate exercise on a regular basis can help you to build a strong foundation of health that will naturally support both your immune system and your body’s regenerative processes, such as hair growth.
Reducing stress, whenever possible, can be one of the best ways to boost your overall health and wellbeing, which will naturally help with any stress-related hair loss.
Eating well, particularly during times of illness or stress, can provide your body with the nutrients it needs to repair itself and restore the natural healthy balance of your hair’s growth cycle.
Although losing your hair is not in itself regarded as a serious health issue, it may be a symptom or side-effect of another condition or infection. If you’ve noticed an increase in hair loss and you’ve ruled out the usual causes, it would certainly be worth mentioning it to your GP. Alternatively, you could book a free consultation with an expert hair clinic, where specialists can help you learn more about your hair loss and if it might be related to underlying health conditions.
Getting any unusual hair loss symptoms checked with a medical professional is advisable, if only to provide you with peace of mind that you’re fit and well. And since stress and anxiety can themselves contribute to hair loss issues, it would be wise to investigate any concerns sooner rather than later.