Has your hair fallen out more than normal? The effects of 2020 on the health of your hair

The stress we have suffered this year has not only lowered our levels of mental well-being. It has also supposed to be one of the conditions for the occurrence of more phenomena linked to personal image, such as alopecia. Have you noticed that this year your hair has fallen out more than normal? Actually, it is one of the side effects of having suffered or suffering from covid-19. Many people have reported spontaneous and transient hair loss, which is known as telogen effluvium, produced after stressful events that can be psychological or physical in nature.

The unknown sequel of the coronavirus: intense hair loss after the disease

Jose Pichel

This phenomenon arises when the root of the hair follicle suffers specific damage that interrupts its growth cycle. The funny thing is that it is a protective mechanism of the body, who purposely stops hair growth to save energy. It can take two to three months from when the stressful event occurs before you begin to see the consequences in the form of sudden hair loss. The good news is that it is reversible, so that at the same time most of those who suffer it end up recovering their lost hair. If this process is prolonged, you will need to look for an underlying cause and see a doctor.

Find the right treatment

"There are more than a hundred different types of alopecia," he explains. Sergio Vañó, specialist trichologist, to this newspaper. "From genetic, hormonal, autoimmune, nutritional causes, stress, drugs, internal diseases … the important thing is to make a correct diagnosis of the type of alopecia in order to select the best treatment. There are also hair loss that does not have an apparent cause but which later translate into an undetected problem which may be some disease of the immune system or some nutritional deficit ".

"For androgenic alopecia, the most effective are antiandrogens, either orally or in the blood, and minoxidil"

Another of the best known phenomena that is frequently associated with stress is that of gray hair. In this sense, Vañó admits that it is not proven that there is a relationship between anxiety episodes and that the hair is discolored. What is proven is that the most common cause of gray hair is aging, and since stress accelerates this process, there may be a relationship that produces gray hair. more frequent as we have suffered more mentally and emotionally and thus we have all gotten a little older.

One of the most curious effects of this 2020 is that the number of applicants for a hair transplant has increased. "There have been many people who have asked to have a hair transplant, since one of the difficulties of this intervention is that the patient needs to be from 7 to 10 days without working, and now with teleworking everything was much more comfortable and easier ", argues the trichologist.

Hair transplant: is it suitable for any type of alopecia?

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What to do if you notice that your hair is falling out more than normal and you want to avoid early alopecia at all costs? There are a multitude of products and treatments that promise to have stronger hair, but when it comes down to it, Vañó ensures that you have to go to a specialist doctor so that it can find the most appropriate treatment. "Depending on the type of alopecia, one medication or another is prescribed", Explain. "For androgenic alopecia, the most effective are antiandrogens, either orally or in the blood, and minoxidil." If you are concerned about gray hair, unfortunately these cannot be prevented, but the good news is that they have an easy solution thanks to hair dyes.

With the passage of time, the prices of hair transplantation have become cheaper, hence it has gained more and more followers. Will there ever come a time in history when going bald is just an option? "Surely, with the arrival of stem cell therapy or hair cloning we can talk about a future without alopecia ", says Vañó. "But unfortunately there are still many years left for that. However, we can say that today, most patients who come to the consultation with early alopecia can keep their hair if they follow the appropriate medical treatment.