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Stress of having COVID-19 leading to short-term hair loss for some

Dileika T. Wilson operates Timeless Wigs & Marvelous Things in downtown Salisbury.
Dileika T. Wilson operates Timeless Wigs & Marvelous Things in downtown Salisbury.(David Whisenant-WBTV)
Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 5:53 PM CST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - For the past two years as we’ve navigated our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve learned more about what the virus can do. From the loss of sense like taste and smell to fevers and headaches. But you know anyone who has experienced hair loss due to COVID?

Sobbing, a Texas woman recorded a video of clumps of her hair coming out in the shower, caused, she said, by COVID. Researchers say it does happen to a small percentage of those who have had COVID, and it’s being seen locally, too.

Delieka Wilson is the owner of Timeless Wigs and Marvelous Things in downtown Salisbury.

“I started to get customers calling about some type of hair loss maybe three to six months after they finished having COVID probably at the beginning of last year,” Wilson said.

She’s been working with customers who have experienced COVID hair loss.

“Most customers are not experiencing full hair loss, they’re just losing a lot of their hair, sometimes half the density of their hair,” Wilson added. “We use a very consultative type approach. We listen to what their pain points are. We listen to what they would like to be addressed and give them viable solutions.”

How does it happen? Katie Fiala is the Dermatology Department Chair at Baylor, Scott, & White in Texas.

“It could be that they had COVID and they had a really high fever or prolonged illness and that stress on your body can lead your body to go through this hair shedding cycle, the medical term for that is called telogen effluvium,” Fiala said.

Telogen Effluvium can be caused by major surgeries, emotional stress, nutritional and hormonal changes and the stress of dealing with something like COVID-19. And the loss of hair can be an added source of stress.

“Hair is such an important part of our identity,” Wilson added. “What I want people to know is that exploring your options…there’s nothing wrong with that. Feeling as if part of your identity is being taken with your hair loss, that is a natural feeling.”

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