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Last updated: January 21, 2021

COVID-19 Hair Loss: Why It Happens & Solutions For Clients

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Screenshot from @Alyssa_Milano on Twitter.

How To Help Clients With Hair Loss After COVID-19

COVID-19 hair loss: It’s a thing. Dermatologists are reporting patients who had COVID-19 two to three months ago are now experiencing hair loss. What can hairdressers do to help clients experiencing hair loss, whether from COVID-19 or from many other factors? We have the details below.


Hair loss as a result of COVID-19 made headlines when actress Alyssa Milano tweeted a video showing her hair shedding as she brushed through it. She said she is dealing with hair loss after testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies.



We have been seeing quite a few stories describing hair loss in people recovering from COVID-19,” said évolis Chief Science Officer Dominic Burg. “While we can’t rule out a disease-specific cause, the most likely explanation is that this is an illness-induced telogen effluvium.”


In other words, this is the result of the body’s response to severe illness, where energy and nutrients are shuttled away from hair follicles and towards fighting the disease. This leads to large numbers of hair follicles leaving the anagen, or growth phase, of the hair cycle all at once.


“High fevers can also cause follicles to shift out of growth and into rest,” Dominic said. “After the follicles shift out of growth and into rest, or telogen, they will stay in the head for 1-3 months before they fall,  usually in large numbers. Thankfully the fall usually means that there are new hairs coming through underneath, but as hair grows so slowly, the hair will take time to get back to what it was.”


Other Hair Loss Causes

It’s likely you experience many people with hair loss in your chair. The Hair Society estimates 35 million men and 21 million women suffer from hair loss. By age 60, about 80 percent of women could experience hair loss. What are the causes of hair loss?


  • Family history. This is most common and happens with aging—think a receding hairline in men and thinning hair at the crown in women.
  • Hormonal changes or medical conditions. Besides COVID-19, body shifts during pregnancy or menopause, or conditions such as thyroid problems, could cause hair loss.
  • Medications and supplements. Hair loss can be a side effect of certain drugs.
  • Stressful events. It is possible to experience hair thinning several months after a physical or emotional shock—such as COVID-19.
  • Certain hairstyles or treatments. Traction alopecia can occur with repeated wear of styles that pull the hair tight.


Now that you’re refreshed on the basics of hair loss, here’s how you can help any client that sits in your chair with their hair loss concern.


For the Client Who Wants Growth While Protecting Their Current Hair

Image courtesy évolis.

If a guest in your chair is seeing hair loss related to COVID-19, they’re probably anxious about keeping the hair they currently have while also encouraging new growth. A product like évolis PROMOTE Activator can be used to target the hair cycle.


The technology in évolis fights a protein called FGF5, which is a signal in the body that slows down hair growth and signals hair to leave the growth phase and enter the rest phase. Blocking FGF5 can help hair grow up to 20 percent faster. The PROMOTE Activator can help clients get their hair back to where it should be, faster, because it contains the highest concentrations of the évolis technology. Plus, the PROMOTE Activator fortifies and protects the hair to prevent future damage while conditioning and hydrating.



For the Client With a Family History of Hair Loss

Image courtesy Viviscal PRO.

If your client is experiencing thinning, or anticipates thinning in the future because of family history, prevention is key. “For my clients experiencing hair loss, there are several easy adjustments I recommend, including getting enough sleep and exercise, being mindful of your diet, limiting how often you use heat tools when styling, avoiding tight ponytails and hairstyles, and taking my go-to hair supplement, Viviscal PRO Hair Growth Supplements,” said celeb hairdresser Mara Roszak.  


Taken twice daily, this drug-free supplement is clinically proven to promote existing hair growth and reduce hair shedding in three to six months. “They work by using an exclusive marine complex AminoMar®, which helps to nourish thinning hair from within and promote existing hair growth. Along with AminoMar, Viviscal PRO hair growth supplements also contain key nutrients for healthy hair growth, including Biotin, Apple Extract and Vitamin C. These supplements work for women and men and are ideal for those experience hair thinning or hair loss,” Mara said.


For the Client Who Wants an Immediate Fix

Image courtesy Strand Builder.

Try a fiber-based product to help give the look of a full head of hair. Strand Builder is made up of natural keratin fibers that statically cling to existing hair, giving a fuller and thicker look. The fibers stay in the hair until the client washes them out, so they remain in during workouts or even in the rain.


For the Client Who Wants An Entire Luxurious Regimen

Launching in October, the Alterna CAVIAR Anti-Aging Clinical Densifying Collection is a four-product line formulated with a scalp moisturizing and hair densifying complex, a proprietary ingredient blend designed to cleanse and purify the scalp. The result is naturally fuller, thicker and stronger hair. With a shampoo, conditioner, scalp treatment and styling mousse, the line is gentle on thinning hair while helping to thicken and strengthen without breakage.


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