Covid-19 has not only challenged our health and well-being in general terms, but the pandemic has also pushed our hair to its limits, leading to a large uptick in men and women who are seeing their hair thin as a result of infection. Caused not by the virus directly – research suggests that Covid-19 does not attack the hair follicles and shedding is currently not recognised as a symptom of the disease itself – the subsequent hair loss is the result of physiological and emotional stress brought on by coronavirus. And who isn’t feeling more stressed during the pandemic?

Whenever the body is placed under stress, it devotes resources to essential functions such as healing and repairing itself, rather than growing new hair. Telogen effluvium (TE) is a hair shedding condition which occurs when more hairs than normal enter the resting (telogen) phase of the hair growth cycle at the same time. Typically, we shed around 20-100 hairs daily; TE increases this amount to a lot more. The disorder can be triggered by any shock to the system, including major surgery, pregnancy and childbirth, as well as underlying health conditions, so we always recommended that you visit your general practitioner or dermatologist to rule out other causes. Moreover, long-haulers – individuals who experience lingering symptoms after suffering from Covid-19 – as well as those who have never been infected by the virus may experience increased hair loss typically about three months after infection. 

“What is important to note is that stress alone does not cause hair loss. However, it can certainly lead to hormonal changes that are less favourable to you (and your hair), resulting in hair shedding and thinning. Stress often takes control over other parts of your life, too, impacting you in many ways. You might get less sleep, eat badly, drink more alcohol, smoke more cigarettes than usual – all of which can cause a chain reaction and accelerate hair thinning,” says Lars Skjoeth, Harklinikken’s founder and lead researcher.

“Many have been in lockdowns for months, homeschooling children or perhaps losing their job or business. This psychological fallout – from government restrictions or simply worrying about the future – means that when individuals do contract the virus, they are already impacted by other stressors and may be hit harder by hair shedding than if things had been normal up to that point,” Lars notes, also believing that beyond potential hormonal shifts, a deficiency in essential nutrients may also exacerbate the problem. “Needless to say, we address this on an individual basis as gender, ethnic background, where you live, your lifestyle and daily habits all play in.”

Luckily, TE is temporary. In most cases, hair will eventually grow back, although it may take a while before it is restored to its original vitality. To help hair on its way, Harklinikken has developed a treatment directed specifically towards this type of hair thinning. Containing several unique constituents rich in nutrients that work in synergy with a host of other potent ingredients, Extract works to reverse stress-related hair thinning. As the formula is customized to the user and adjusted continually throughout the client's journey, a noticeable improvement in hair texture and amount can be seen in as little as two months after use. Used together with Harklinikken’s specialized shampoos and hydration products, the effect is even greater.

Take the Hair Assessment here to find out how we can help you.