Whether Due to a Pandemic or Genetics, We're All Going Bald

Whether Due to a Pandemic or Genetics, We're All Going Bald

At Coastal Dermatology and Medspa, our priority is to deliver quality dermatology care to informed patients in a comfortable and convenient setting.

Whether Due to a Pandemic or Genetics, We're All Going Bald

Pandemic-induced hair loss?

It’s not all in your head. And it may not all be on your head, either.

Doctors are seeing an uptick in patients shedding abnormal amounts of hair, and they believe it is linked to the coronavirus pandemic. Reports in The New York Times, Forbes, The Atlantic, WSJ. Magazine, NPR and more support what thousands are discovering first-hand: 

Our hair is just as stressed out by the pandemic as we are.

As we approach the two-year anniversary of lockdowns beginning across the United States, let’s investigate the science behind this phenomenon, and take a look at the ways people are finding peace in the face of a mass hair loss event.

The Stats

“We’re all in this together.”

We’ve heard this refrain time and time again throughout the pandemic. So many times that it’s lost its impact — like one of those words that seems to disintegrate into meaningless sounds when it’s repeated.

Refrigerator. R-e-f-r-i-g-e-r-a-t-o-r. Refrigerator. Refrigerator. Refrigerator.


We digress. The truth is, we are all in this together, and it turns out that hair loss is no exception. 

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Take Alyssa Milano’s. In a video shared on Instagram, the Charmed star opened up her personal hair loss experience, chalking it up to “long-haul” symptoms of COVID-19. It’s hard to argue with the clump of loosened strands she dangles in front of the camera.

It’s also hard to argue with the statistics we’re seeing coming out of doctor’s offices, surveys and studies:

  • 22% of patients who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 experienced hair loss months after being discharged, according to a cohort study (The Lancet)
  • 79% of members of the UK’s Institute of Trichologists (IoT) said they’d seen cases of “post-COVID hair loss” in their clinics, according to a survey (The Guardian)
  • Google searches for hair loss increased by 8% in 2021, according to the data science firm Spate (NYT)
  • Out of 1,567 long-haulers who participated in a survey about post-COVID symptoms, 423 said they experienced hair loss (survey report)
  • The temporary hair loss condition telogen effluvium was reported by 27.9% of participants in a study on the pandemic’s effects on hair diseases (PubMed Central)

In the immortal words of Marvin Gaye and 4 Non Blondes, what’s going on?

The Stressors

For folks like Alyssa Milano, hair loss may be linked to the physical stress of a COVID-19 infection. Social media is full of accounts resembling hers — people who recovered from the coronavirus, yet continue to struggle with lingering effects, including excessive hair shedding.

But there’s another group of people experiencing pandemic-related hair loss that’s arguably even more interesting: those who never had COVID-19 in the first place. 

For these men and women, hair loss isn’t a result of the physical stress of an illness, but rather the mental and emotional stress of living through a catastrophic global event. This type of hair loss is called telogen effluvium (TE). 

TE is a severe sudden bout of hair loss that can occur when something stressful shocks your system and disturbs the hair growth cycle. That “something” could be physical or emotional, such as surgery, childbirth, an accident, job loss, grief or a traumatic event. Since much of the world has experienced unprecedented levels of trauma and stress in the past two years, it’s no surprise that telogen effluvium is rearing its balding head. 

The good news is that TE is usually a temporary condition. Once the body returns to a restful state, normal hair growth resumes.

The difficult news is that this process can take a while. The shedding can start months after the event that triggered it and continue for months before slowing down. Then, several more months may pass before the regrowth is visible to the naked eye. 

It’s a waiting game no one wants to play. 

Fortunately, they don’t have to play it alone.

The Support Systems

Challenging circumstances often give birth to beautiful things. In the case of pandemic-era hair loss, digital support groups are helping people feel less isolated and learn more about their condition.

As reported by The Atlantic, the Reddit forum r/FemaleHairLoss has “grown from about 3,000 subscribers to more than 14,000 during the pandemic.” Members of the subreddit share knowledge about hair loss, seek advice about treatment options, post progress photos, debunk myths and offer tips for coping with the emotional toll of losing your hair. In an internet that can often be prickly and argumentative, the r/FemaleHairLoss community is a breath of fresh, welcoming air.

Elsewhere on Reddit, people are congregating in r/Hairloss and r/tressless to seek and offer support. On Facebook, groups and pages like The Women’s Hair Loss Project offer help, hope and understanding. Locally, groups like Long Island’s COVID-19 Long Haulers Support Group provide comfort close to home.

If you’re noticing more hair coming out when you comb or clumps clogging up your shower drain, you are not alone, and the internet’s door is always open. “We’re all in this together.”

The Solutions — Hair Loss Treatment at Krch Aesthetic Medicine

The cure for temporary hair loss is patience. But what if you want to turbocharge the regrowth process? Or what if the pandemic isn’t behind the loss of your locks? 

At Krch Aesthetic Medicine, we offer NeoGraft®, an innovative hair restoration technique. This groundbreaking, technology-assisted procedure reduces the time, cost and risks associated with traditional hair transplantation, offering superior results in less time and with virtually no scarring.

To help you get the best results possible, we offer platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy that can be combined with the NeoGraft® procedure. We also collaborate with the founder of a local Phoenix hair salon to make sure your new ‘do flatters your features, and we discuss the lifestyle changes and prescription options that can help ensure your lasting results.

If you want to know how effective our approach can be, just ask Dr. Krch — he underwent the NeoGraft® procedure and gave it his personal stamp of approval! Contact Krch Aesthetic Medicine at 480-493-5833 to meet with the man himself. You can also learn more about his NeoGraft®experience on YouTube.