Quarantine hair loss – Dr. Ameesha tells us why it happens and how do we tackle it

Hair loss can happen due to a lot of reasons but since the COVID-19 pandemic has started, there has been an increase in the hair loss patients that we are seeing on a daily basis. Quarantine Hair loss is very real!

It is a form of moderate to severe hair loss where you can see strands of hair in the shower, on your pillowcase or all over the house.

This shedding of hair is known as Telogen effluvium.

But why is it happening?

It usually happens because of extreme stress which is notably their world over because of the ongoing pandemic. It is further exacerbated by changes in lifestyle, increased intake of sugar and high glycemic index foods, vitamin deficiencies notably Vitamin D deficiency being most prominent due to staying indoors during this period. Another spectrum of people facing hair fall issues is the ones who are on drastic dieting to lose weight as it can cause nutritional deficiencies and make our hair weak.

Monsoon is another triggering factor for hair loss and an environment of constant fear of the coronavirus affecting near and dear ones is a lethal combination for the shedding of hair.

How do we tackle it?

The first thing to know before we get into the treatment is that this hair loss is temporary and it can be reversed with timely intervention.

  • Step 1 is to bring about lifestyle modification where a nutritious well-balanced diet is taken. Both the extremes of high glycemic index food on one hand and crash dieting on the other, are harmful. Our hair needs micronutrients apart from an iron and protein-rich diet. I recommend taking Vitamin D, vitamin B12 and micronutrient supplementation to correct any underlying deficiencies. 
  • Stress management with help of exercise and meditation are useful adjuvants for treatment.
  • Avoiding the use of chemical and heat-based treatments as they make our hair more prone to breakage.
  • Scalp massage with an oil like coconut oil can be beneficial but it should be done with fingertips and in a very gentle manner. Being aggressive can cause more breakage.

Hair fall needs a minimum of 40 days of consistent efforts for you to see any results and can easily take up to 3 months for new hair growth to start. If these tips do not help you, it is best to see a dermatologist evaluate you for any other underlying cause. In-clinic treatments like Platelet Rich Plasma,  Mesotherapy with growth factors and low-level laser light therapy can be considered to enhance the results.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelloPost.)

Contributed by Dr. Ameesha Mahajan, RM Aesthetics (Amritsar). She is a celebrated skincare specialist and Dermatologist.