The Hair Clinic London

Hair Loss Added To Long Covid Consequences

When Covid-19 first emerged in 2020, the immediate concern was that this could be a deadly disease of the respiratory system that would kill many millions of people around the world. Few thought it would have anything to do with hair loss.

Thanks to a mixture of social distancing and other restrictions, the development of some life-saving treatments and the arrival of vaccines, that grisly fate, while suffered by many (6.4 million on official counts, but believed to be far more by researchers), has not been the only lasting consequence.

While most infected people have recovered, many millions have suffered from ‘Long Covid’, a condition that by its very definition takes time to understand the nature of as experts try to work out what its implications are for long-term health.

Initially, it was observed that the obvious symptoms of Long Covid included fatigue, breathing difficulties, chest pains, long-term loss of small and taste, and ‘brain fog’. But for the two million Britons and so many more around the world suffering with the condition, various other symptoms have been identified, including hair loss

This finding emerged from a study by the University of Birmingham, published in Nature Medicine. It includes female hair loss as well as male, which is one of the ways in which it has become clear that this was a Long Covid symptom and not simply a common ailment caused by all the usual factors involving genetics and hormones.

Hair loss is not the only notable non-respiratory condition to emerge as a symptom of Long Covid. Men in particular will face some distressing times if they suffer from erectile dysfunction, a consequence of the inflammation of blood vessels that constricts blood flow to certain important areas. 

However, loss of hair may be deeply troubling for men and women alike, as it is not yet clear whether it will recover in the manner of a chemotherapy patient re-growing their locks once their treatment ends.

Should the hair not recover, the best option may be to undergo hair loss treatment and ensure that Long Covid does not leave a permanent mark, however long symptoms actually last. 

The Birmingham study did not address this particular issue in detail, with its main focus being on the question of co-morbidities to identify the demographic and health factors most likely to be associated with Long Covid. Women, people from black and other ethnic minority groups, the young and those with obesity were among the more vulnerable groups.

Black women are generally more prone to hair loss through alopecia, a point highlighted by the case of Jada Pinkett Smith, wife of Holywood actor Will.

Her plight was publicised in infamous fashion at this year’s Oscars ceremony, when her husband reacted to satirical comments about her condition by host Chris Rock by walking onto the stage and slapping him.

Following the incident, Jada Pinkett Smith used the next episode of her Red Table Talk show to focus on alopecia, including telling her own struggles with the condition and interviewing other sufferers.