Covid-19: Mental Health and Hair Loss

What was once a local outbreak has escalated into a global issue, with the Covid-19 pandemic affecting people all over the world. Many have lost their loved ones and their means to survive. Sadly, it doesn’t end there. The pandemic is continuously causing damages to people’s mental health, resulting in physiological reactions including – among others – hair loss.

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Understanding hair growth cycle

Stress-related hair loss is known as Telogen Effluvium (EF), which is part of the body’s natural mechanism in responding to mental and physical stress. Normally, 90% of a person’s hair is actively in the growing phase called anagen; the rest in the resting phase called telogen. Hairs in telogen will fall out after some time and reset back to anagen. But stressful situations can disrupt the mechanism and increase the percentage of hairs prematurely entering the telogen, resulting in thinning and even balding of hair.

Although TE is a reversible condition, a long term effect may impact hair regrowth. Considering how the pandemic has been spanning over the long period, the deteriorating mental health of many people might have worsened it.

Mental health and hair loss


In theory, although anxiety and stress are not interchangeable, both conditions are interconnected with the latter being the contributing factor to the former. Anxiety is basically a result of continuous stress, which will ultimately affect your hair growth phase.

Besides that, anxiety can trigger another mental disorder called Trichotillomania. Classified under Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, Trichotillomania involves pathological hair pulling. Due to its obsessive nature, people suffering from this condition tend to lose hair quicker, hence, burdening them with more social distress and physical harm such as tissue damage and itching.


Other than genetics and brain chemicals, psychological stress is also another factor leading to depression. Depression is often linked to hair loss. Even without the physical hair pulling, hair shedding also happens to depressed people due to how the body works. Growing hair consumes a lot of energy. When someone is in such physiological states, the body’s survival instinct will conserve energy to focus on other more essential bodily functions. Additionally, some anti-depressants can also cause hair loss as a side effect. It is advisable that you see an expert to find out more about your conditions and ways to improve it. Book your consultation now and talk to our hair specialist for free.

Written by Deena Yusoff
Approved by Datuk Dr. Inder

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