Are you experiencing significant hair loss, and does your hair appear thinner on your head? Do you notice that there are more hairs stuck in your pillows, bathroom drain, or hairbrush? Have you recently encountered COVID? Are you concerned that you will lose your hair permanently? The chances are that these are the signs of transient hair loss brought on by stressful situations encountered during COVID. So, don’t be alarmed; by including specific nutrients and foods that improve hair health, various sorts of hair falls can be prevented. Continue reading to know more about the causes, and hair fall remedies, strategies for managing hair loss due to COVID-19.
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Let’s understand the normal process of hair fall:
Hair growth includes 3 stages:
- Anagen – Growth phase
- Catagen – Transition phase
- Telogen – Resting or Shedding phase
People typically lose between 100 and 150 hairs per day. Every hair on your head is at a distinct phase at any given time. On our scalp, approximately 90% of the hairs are in the anagen phase of growth and only 10% are in the resting phase. Our hairs gradually shed from their follicles at the end of telogen to be replaced by new, long anagen hairs.
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Scientific reasons for hair fall after COVID :
Telogen effluvium, which causes all hairs to enter a resting phase followed by shedding, can be caused by stress. This is due to an increase in cortisol level which influences the hair to move to the resting phase. Additionally, this also occurs after having surgery, pregnancy, or losing a lot of weight quickly since the body perceives these as stressful situations.
A stressful event, like a COVID-19 infection, can cause our bodies to transfer a higher percentage of growing anagen hairs into the dormant telogen state than usual. Because patients deal with both the extra stress that COVID-19 places on the body and the potential mental anxiety that can follow a diagnosis, 50 per cent of hair is shedding and resting, which is significantly greater than usual; this is in contrast to the typical 10 per cent of hair that is in this phase.
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COVID Hair fall pattern
Telogen effluvium is a form of hair shedding that is abrupt, severe, and sudden; it doesn’t happen gradually or subtly. It occurs about three months after the triggering event, not at the same time.
The hair fall follows a certain pattern:
- An abundance of hair in the shower drain or in the comb
- Large clumps of hair
- Thinness and sparseness along the sides of the temples
Frequently asked questions regarding hair fall due to COVID
|Why does hair fall occur after COVID?||Due to sudden stress, the body encounters both physically and mentally, pushing the hair follicles to go to a resting state which causes heavy hair loss.|
|Is this hair loss permanent?||No, this hair loss is not permanent as your hair follicles are not damaged.|
|For how many days will it persist?||It hair loss will persist for around 3- 6 months before it starts going back to normal.|
|How long will it take for the hair to grow back to normal?||It takes around 6 – 9 months or at least a year to grow back to normal.|
|Has COVID vaccine been linked to hair fall?||There is no evidence stating that the COVID vaccine causes hair fall.|
|How to overcome hair loss due to COVID?||A nutritious diet and stress-free life help you to recover from this hair loss faster.|
Hair fall remedies – Foods to stop hair fall:
The following are some foods and herbs that act as hair fall remedies to COVID-related hair fall:
Peanut is high in protein. As we know, protein is key to building tissues required by every organ of the body, repairing and maintaining body cells, and hormones and supplying energy. It contains Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which support the health of the scalp and hair follicles and promote hair growth. Folate, a B-vitamin necessary for hair growth, is abundant in peanuts. Eating peanuts can help prevent folate deficiency, which can cause hair loss and thinning. Vitamin E, found in abundance in peanuts, helps to prevent hair loss and encourages the growth of healthy hair.
Also, Check: Health benefits of peanuts
Almonds carry a wide variety of healthy nutrients which promotes your mood and nourishment to the body and hair. Moreover, they contain healthy fats, protein and fibres. High in calcium, magnesium, omega 3, copper, and antioxidants, almonds help to improve digestion, immunity, blood circulation, bone health, hair health and brain health. Almonds are high in magnesium and minerals that encourage hair growth. Almonds provide enough nutrients to the hair follicles to prevent dandruff and hair damage, strengthening the hair strands and lowering hair fall.
Cashew nuts are a rich source of copper that helps eliminate free radicals from the body. Also good for hair, helping it remain bright and strong. In addition, copper also is an essential part of many enzymes that help provide colour to the hair and it prevents premature greying. Potassium and other vital nutrients found in cashews help to stop your scalp from excessively losing hair and encourage hair development. Cashews also make your hair silky and smooth.
The rich source of dietary fibre, folate, and manganese make for a power-packed food item. They are an excellent source of Vitamin E and phenolic compounds which help in decreasing inflammation and blood cholesterol. It nourishes hair follicles, encouraging thicker, better-growing hair, and it also enhances the skin’s ability to produce collagen and have healthier skin cells.
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Seeds, on the other hand, have a great amount of calcium, magnesium, omega 3, copper, and antioxidants in it. Omega-3 is one of the key elements that lowers hair loss and encourages hair growth. They are also abundant in protein, fibre, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, all of which help with weight control and is important to improve digestion, immunity, blood circulation, bone health and brain health.
Also. check: 5 seeds that are high in protein
These leaves are one of the healthiest diet foods as it is an excellent source of protein, vitamin B, vitamin C, iron, vitamin A, magnesium and fibre. Because amino acids are essential for cell growth and are found in abundance in moringa, they aid to rejuvenate hair. By reactivating dormant hair follicles and improving the scalp’s oxygenation, it decreases alopecia. This stops hair loss and prolongs the life of the hair cells.
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Amla is a storehouse of antioxidants. It is one of the richest sources of vitamin C, which is known to boost immunity. Amla has antibacterial and astringent properties that boost immunity. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties which remove free radicals and help to restore hormonal balance in the body. Amla contains vitamins and minerals, as well as phytonutrients, which promote blood circulation in the scalp and stimulate hair development.
Excess cortisol affects the regular functioning of your hair follicular , resulting in hair loss. Ashwagandha supports healthy hair growth by assisting in the removal of free radicals from the scalp and hair follicles. It has natural mood-enhancing properties that prevent hair loss by lowering stress and anxiety. Additionally, it stops premature greying.
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Shatavari is an Ayurvedic herb containing multifold health benefits for women. It contains vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E, calcium, magnesium, and folic acid. Flavonoids in it help regulate cellular activity and fight off free radicals that are the primary cause of oxidative stress. Shatavari also helps in balancing the hormones and thereby prevents PCOS. Since shatavari has anti-inflammatory properties, it relieves scalp irritation. This aids in promoting hair growth and assists the body in coping with both physical and emotional stress and reduces hair loss brought on by stress.
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Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that’s a part of the vitamin B family. It’s also known as vitamin B7. Your body needs biotin to help convert certain nutrients into energy. It also plays an important role in the health of your hair, skin, and nails. Biotin promotes the formation of RBCs, which increases the flow of oxygen to the scalp. This delays the telogen phase of the hair, preventing hair loss and increasing the lifespan of the hair cells.
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Jowar flour is a great source of protein, unsaturated fats and dietary fibre, packed with B Vitamins, and minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium and phosphorus. It also contains antioxidants. With the addition of jowar to your diet, you may get 58% of the daily necessary amount of copper from a single serving and also promote hair growth and stop hair loss.
12. Vitamin D:
Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium and works with it to build strong bones. Keratinocytes metabolise vitamin D in the skin. These skin cells break down the protein keratin, which is present in the skin, hair, and nails. When the body lacks vitamin D, keratinocytes in hair follicles struggle to regulate hair growth and shedding.
13. Vitamin B12:
Also known as Cobalamin is important for the production of blood cells and to sustain healthy nerve cells in the body. Vegetarians and vegans may not obtain enough vitamin B12 in their meals and may need to take a B12 supplement. Vitamin B12 promotes iron absorption, which is a vital component for healthy hair growth.
14. Folic acid:
Vitamin B9, also known as folic acid or folate, is an essential component for the growth and development of the human body. Folate aids in the formation of DNA and RNA, as well as protein metabolism. Folic acid helps in encouraging hair growth, increasing volume, and even slowing down the pace of early greying.
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15. Vitamin C:
Our body does not produce vitamin C and hence it becomes necessary to consume it through foods. Vitamin C helps heal the wound as it repairs body tissues. It also helps in the absorption of iron in the body. Vitamin C increases hair development, stops hair loss, and supports healthy hair. Dry hair and split ends can also be a sign of vitamin C insufficiency.
Also, Check: 8 Proven benefits of Vitamin C
16. Aloe vera:
Vitamins A, C, and E are present in aloe vera. These vitamins all support healthy cell growth and lustrous hair by helping in cell turnover. Furthermore, aloe vera gel contains folic acid and vitamin B12. Your hair won’t fall out if you use either of these components.
17. Sunflower lecithin:
Sunflower lecithin is rich in choline and other essential fatty acids such as phosphatidylinositol. Lecithin improves the structure and appearance of hair by adding shine or lustre while supporting and enhancing the necessary quantity of protein for hair growth. Because of its high fatty acid content, it forms a barrier on the skin and hair that efficiently absorbs and seals in moisture.
Eating a diet rich in antioxidants or antioxidant-rich foods helps to fight oxidative stress and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. Antioxidants maintain the body’s collagen or the connective tissues of hair follicles, which promotes healthier hair development.
19. Rice bran oil:
Rice bran oil is extracted from rice bran, the outer layer of the rice grain. It is a good source of unsaturated fat; vitamin E and vitamin K. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are abundant in rice bran oil and help to nourish the hair. A wide range of antioxidants are provided by rice bran oil for your hair and scalp to stop oxidative stress from causing your hair to lose pigment and promote hair growth.
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