Woman Shares How She’s Losing Fistfuls of Hair After Recovering From COVID-19

It seems that the list of symptoms associated with COVID-19 keep growing and growing, but one side effect that not many people know about is hair loss. Although, hair loss is not thought to be a true symptom of COVID-19, more and more people are finding that they are losing their hair after they have recovered from the illness.

Stacey Maravola found out that she had the novel coronavirus on July 5, 2020. Her symptoms were pretty mild. She had a fever, loss of appetite and a headache. After she recovered, she had lingering side effects including joint paint, fatigue, and hair loss.

Marvola wasn’t concerned when she first noticed the excessive hair shedding. She thought that perhaps it was caused by wearing her hair in a scrunchie. 

Marvola became more and more concerned when every time she washed her hair handfuls of hair came out. She has drastically cut back on how often she washes her hair. She said, “I’m not a big emotional person, but I can tell you, this has changed me. I cry every single time I take a shower.”

Researches do not believe that the hair loss is permanent, and they do not believe that it is a symptom of COVID-19; however, they do believe that it is a symptom of extreme stress on the body which can be caused by an illness.

Dr. Lauren Kole is an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, and she believes that the hair loss is a reaction to the stress caused by the pandemic.

Dr. Sara Hogan is a dermatologist and health sciences clinical instructor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. She believes that once a patient understands why they are losing their hair, they are able to get better and cope with it better. She said, “It is upsetting, especially for those who have gone through a significant clinical course of Covid, to then experience this as well, but oftentimes, patients, once they have a diagnosis and they understand that typically this will get better, they feel better.”

Marvola joined a Facebook support group for COVID-19 “long-haulers,” and she posted pictures of her hair loss. She found some relief and encouragement when she found out that she wasn’t the only one who experienced hair loss after battling COVID-19. 

Marvola encourages anyone else who is battling hair loss to find a solid support system. She said, “It is heart-wrenching. You have to find your support system, whether it’s on Facebook, or family and friends, because it’s scary.”