Civil servant, 34, who lost ‘clumps’ of hair due to stress triggered by the pandemic shares extraordinary transformation photos after she started taking vitamins for healthy locks
- Civil servant Sarah, 34, lost large clumps of hair during the pandemic
- The mother was told it was stress-related and led to bald patches forming
- She saw results within weeks after taking a hair supplement and shared results
- Medics have also reported hair loss as a symptom linked to Covid-19
A woman who suffered hair loss as a result of stress triggered by the pandemic has credited a vitamin supplement with helping to make her locks thicker and longer.
Sarah, 34, who is from the UK, estimates she lost ’90 per cent’ of her hair between April and September 2020.
She was told her hair loss was triggered by the stress she had experienced while working as a civil servant during the outbreak of Covid-19.
‘I didn’t feel stressed at the time but I work for the government so when COVID hit work was hectic and there were so many changes and so much to learn plus home schooling and then my partner lost work,’ she told FEMAIL.
Sarah, 34, who is from the UK, estimates she lost ’90 per cent’ of her hair between April and September 2020. Pictured, Sarah after the hair loss (left) and once the hair re-grew (right)
Stress is related to three main types of hair loss: telogen effluvium (TE), which is when significant stress pushes large numbers of hair follicles into a resting phase, leading the hair to fall out when combing or washing; tichotillomania, the urge to pull out hair as a result of negative emotions including stress; and alopecia.
Women around the world have reported hair loss as a symptom of pandemic-related stress.
Meanwhile scientists have noted hair loss as a possible symptom of Covid-19, with patients reporting how they have gone bald after contracting the virus.
Sarah first noticed her hair falling out while dying her hair at home.
‘From then on I was losing clumps everyday,’ she said. ‘I felt numb and thought it was just a small patch then it progressively got worse. I think I was just numb. There was nothing I could do to grow my hair back.’
Before: Sarah was told her hair loss was triggered by the stress she had experienced while working as a civil servant during the pandemic. Pictured, Sarah at the height of the hair loss
After: Sarah’s hair grew back thicker within weeks of taking the JSHealth Hair + Energy supplements. Pictured, Sarah’s hair after recovering from the hair loss
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS?
It is perfectly normal for people to lose small amounts of hair as it replenishes itself and, on average, people can shed between 50 and 100 hairs per day.
However, if people start to lose entire patches of hair or large amounts of it it can be more distressing and potentially a sign of something serious.
Pattern baldness is a common cause of hair loss as people grow older. At least half of men over the age of 50 will lose some of their hair just through the ageing process, according to the British Association of Dermatologists.
Women may lose their hair as they grow older, too.
Other, more concerning causes of hair loss include stress, cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, weight loss or an iron deficiency.
Most hair loss is temporary, however, and can be expected to grow back.
Specific medical conditions which cause the hair to fall out include alopecia, a disorder of the immune system; an underactive or overactive thyroid; the skin condition lichen planus or Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer.
People should visit their doctor if their hair starts to fall out in lumps, falls out suddenly, if their scalp itches or burns, and if hair loss is causing them severe stress.
Photos taken from during Sarah’s hair loss period reveal how she suffered from large bald patches at the back and side of her head, with her hair growing in patchy thin layers on top.
Sarah was desperate for a solution when her friend recommended JSHealth Hair + Energy supplements, which contain a dose of Iodine from a trademarked kelp formula, which helps to restore hair strength and volume and naturally supports hair growth, as well as Zinc, which helps maintain normal healthy hair, skin and nails.
She noticed results in a matter of weeks.
‘Watching my hair grow I started to slowly get my confidence back,’ she said. ‘I felt happy and excited and relieved that it was happening, my hair was growing. I felt amazing.’
After photos show how Sarah’s hair has grown back thicker and longer over the bald patches in a matter of months.
JSHealth is an Australian company founded and headed by nutritionist Jess Sepel.
It comes as experts continue to investigate the links between hair loss and Covid-19.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), Covid-induced hair loss is due to TE – a shedding condition caused by a disturbance in the hair growth cycle.
TE results in a high percentage of anagen follicles (follicles which are actively growing hair), going into their resting phase prematurely across the scalp
TE lasts somewhere between six to nine months before hair returns to its normal thickness and appearance, it says.
‘It happens when more hairs than normal enter the shedding (telogen) phase of the hair growth lifecycle at the same time,’ the AAD says.
‘A fever or illness can force more hairs into the shedding phase. Most people see noticeable hair shedding two to three months after having a fever or illness.
Specialists at the Belgravia Centre in London have also reported an uplift in cases of telogen effluvium since the start of the pandemic.
Before: Sarah first noticed her hair falling out while dying her hair at home. ‘From then on I was losing clumps everyday,’ she said. ‘I felt numb and thought it was just a small patch then it progressively got worse. I think I was just numb. There was nothing I could do’
After: Sarah’s hair has regrown and now covers the bald patches that were previously on the side of her head. She said she feels more confident and relaxed now the hair has recovered
What is telogen effluvium?
Telogen effluvium is a condition in which a person sheds more hair than normal, and it can be triggered by childbirth.
It is normal for someone to be in the process of shedding about 10 per cent of the hair on their head at one time, because it grows continuously to make sure the total number of hairs remains constant.
Telogen effluvium occurs when that number rises to 30 or more per cent, and the person is losing noticeable amounts of hair.
The condition occurs because of a disturbance to the normal hair growing cycle. It can be triggered by childbirth, trauma or illness, stress, extreme weight loss, medications, or a skin condition affecting the scalp.
Telogen effluvium usually clears itself up within three to six months, but it may take longer for hair to regrow to its normal length.
Source: British Association of Dermatologists
Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of male patients and over a third of women (38 per cent) diagnosed with TE at the Belgravia Centre reported having experienced Covid-19 related symptoms, they found last year.
‘It’s quite common for TE-related hair loss to present around three months after a period of severe trauma, illness or stress, which fits with our findings,’ said Rali Bozhinova, superintdent trichologist at the Belgravia Centre.
‘The spike in diagnoses shows the extent of stress that the virus places on the body, not only causing temporary TE, but also potentially exacerbating other hair loss conditions which can have long lasting effects if left untreated.’
Another expert suggested Covid-19 could be linked to alopecia areata, which leads to coin-sized bald patches on the scalp.
Alopecia areata can result in total hair loss, called alopecia universalis, and it can prevent hair from growing back.
In these cases, Covid-19 may trigger an auto-immune response, where the body attacks its own hair follicles, switching them off, according to trichologist Iain Sallis, who wasn’t involved in the Chinese study.
‘Covid, as many other febrile illnesses, have the ability to confuse our auto-immune system,’ Sallis told MailOnline.
‘Any type of shock be it, physical, emotional or psychological can cause alopecia, so it can most certainly be classed as a possible trigger.’
There is currently a joint effort by dermatologists called SECURE-DERM to look at the effects of Covid on hair loss on a global scale.
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