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Hair loss a temporary side effect post-COVID

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 11:50 PM EST
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SYLVANIA, Ohio (WTVG) - Many of the post-COVID-19 symptoms include shortness of breath, brain fog, and loss of taste and smell, but another common side effect is hair loss.

“We are seeing lots of hair loss,” said Jamie Stiriz, the owner of Stilla Salon and Spa in Sylvania. “It’s in the drain, in the shower, we’re seeing it in the shampoo bowl and it’s coming out in clumps.”

Stiriz, who has been a hair stylist for more than two decades, said a majority of her clients dealing with hair loss have recently recovered from COVID-19.

“About 40% of my clientele are affected by this and of those 90% have had Covid,” explained Stiriz. “Average hair loss is 50 to 150 hairs a day depending on hair type, texture and thickness. We are seeing about triple that with hair loss.”

The symptom is not as uncommon as you may think, with several “Post Covid hair loss” support groups created on Facebook, showing pictures of people who have seen significant hair loss following their Covid diagnosis.

“It’s really not due to Covid, but due to the stress from Covid on the body,” said Dr. Harvey Handler, who has worked as a dermatologist since 1970.

According to Harvey, the condition is called Telogen Effluvium, a temporary loss of hair following pregnancy, surgery, or high fever.

“What happens is the hairs that would normally shed during the stressful time, such as pregnancy or Covid, are retained and they are not shed,” Handler explained. “Three to six months later all the hairs that would have gone out, about 70 to 100 a day, all go out at one time.”

The condition is temporary and treatable, however, Handler said it could last from six months to a year.

Some of the treatment options include topical steroids, steroid shots or vitamins, such as Biotin, to help the hair grow faster.

Stiriz said her salon is also offering treatment to help with hair loss.

“If you are experiencing this don’t think that you are alone,” Stiriz said. “You have to lean on the professionals to help you through it.”

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