There is mounting evidence of a link between COVID-19 and hair loss, with more than twenty-five per cent of patients recovering from the illness reporting it as a side effect. According to a recent study, some people reported unexpected hair loss within six months of infection. Whether or not there is a direct link with COVID-19, there is a definite correlation between stress and hair loss. The fear and worry the pandemic has brought to our lives, therefore, could well be responsible for a surge in the number of cases.
The numbers may be even higher than the available figures show. As healthcare systems worldwide come under unprecedented strain, fewer people turn to their doctor for help with their hair.
Telogen effluvium is the medical term for increasing hair shedding which causes hair thinning and temporary hair loss. It can be triggered by stress brought on by trauma or shock.
Read on to learn some strategies for managing the stress and preventing the hair loss from continuing.
Eat A Wholesome And Nutritious Diet
If you are experiencing hair loss or thinning, check your diet. The growth, strength, volume and general health of your hair and scalp depends on the nutrients you consume.
The hair and hair follicles are made up of the protein keratin. It’s crucial, therefore, that you consume plenty of plants or animal protein. When it comes to nutrition, your body prioritises the vital organs and systems. If it detects that protein is in short supply, sending it to your hair will not be its top priority. However, the more protein you eat, the more there is available to generate keratin for your hair. Keratin not only supports the growth of new hair but is also responsible for repairing hair damage.
Additionally, you should ensure that your diet is rich in trace elements such as zinc, iron, selenium, vitamins A, C and E, plus Omega-3 fatty acids. Hair and nail food supplements which contain all these minerals in a convenient capsule are widely available. You can prevent future hair damage and hair loss and encourage repair and growth by filling your body with these essential nutrients.
Physical Activity And Exercise
While you don’t have to become a fitness fanatic, committing to at least thirty minutes of daily exercise will not only help your health but your hairline too.
Exercises such as jogging, skipping, walking briskly or lifting weights increase your heart rate, thus improving your blood flow and circulation. Increased blood flow to your extremities, including your scalp, delivers nutrients and oxygen-rich blood to your hair follicles. Nourishing your hair follicles will ensure they grow healthier hair.
Physical exercise also floods your blood with serotonin, which counteracts the effect of the stress hormone cortisol. Regular exercise, therefore, is one of the best ways of combating stress.
Learn Relaxation Techniques
Stress can make maintaining healthy locks challenging. However, if you develop coping mechanisms and ways to relieve stress, you can protect your hairline too.
Getting enough sleep is always a great place to start, but it’s easier said than done when you’ve got stuff weighing on your mind. Yoga, mindfulness and controlled breathing are all practical techniques for calming an overactive mind. A relaxing bath or even a regular scalp or full body massage can help get you into a more relaxed frame of mind.
Talking therapy or counselling can be effective if you are worried about something specific. Your doctor may be able to refer you to the correct service to help with your mental health and wellbeing.
Are You Using Too Many Products?
Although stress during the pandemic is causing many people to lose their hair, DIY hairdressing could also be a contributing factor. The use of hair dyes and bleaching kits, some containing harsh chemicals, rose dramatically during the lockdown periods as people could not attend hair salons. These products contain chemicals that can strip the melanin from your hair. Some of these substances can damage the hair follicle, leading to hair falling out and visible thinning.
Avoid hair products containing parabens, propylene glycol and sodium chloride which can all damage your hair. Instead, choose products with natural ingredients and essential oils such as tea tree oil and rosemary.
Talk To A Professional
If your hair needs more than a change in diet or exercise to correct, speak to a professional trichologist or dermatologist. At Vinci Hair Clinic, we have hair loss experts who will address all your hair concerns. Get in touch with us and book your free, no-obligation consultation today!