Lifestyle

Health Update:  Hair Loss After Covid

This isn’t going to be your typical post here on our website.  But, if you aren’t on social media, I feel like you all can tell that there has been something going on with me.  I mentioned it a few times on our newsletters, but I wanted to share everything here, as well.  Something has happened to me that really threw me for a loop for a short while, which lead me not sharing much here.  As you know, or may not know, I have been sharing our lives in this space since April of 2017.  Since then, I have never taken any long breaks.  So I feel like I have some explaining to do.  I am feeling so much better mentally and ready to start sharing all of the projects and home decor things that have been going on in our home.  

Health Update:  Hair Loss After Covid

As you can see by the title of this post, it is in regards to hair loss.  The above picture is a side by side of a before and after of my hair.  So I am just going to jump right in this and start from the beginning of the story.  Deb and I went to Alaska in May and had a fantastic time.  However, we both came home with Covid.. along with pretty much everyone else who went with us on the trip.  Neither of us had a bad case as it was mainly like a terrible cold.  But we were back doing our normal things after a week or so.  I had my normal lingering cough for a few weeks but felt fine.  Cut to the end of September.

I have a LOT of curly hair.  Since I’ve gotten older, I only wash my hair 1-2 times a week because it dries out too much.  I can’t actually brush or comb my hair daily as it turns into a frizzy mess.  But, right before I jump in the shower to wash it, it gets brushed.  (All of my curly-haired friends will understand.) I noticed that when I brushed my hair, I had so much shedding.  So much, in fact, that I would stand outside in the driveway and brush my hair because it would be all over me and the bathroom.  I did find that strange since I’ve never had to do that before, but didn’t think to deep about it.

Over the next several weeks, Deb made regular comments about my hair that was all over our house.  She would pick up massive amounts in the vacuum.  It was all over my sink, the couch, the kitchen countertops, my clothes. 

It was EVERYWHERE. 

So I started paying more attention.  Around mid-October, I started noticing that my head hurt like I wore my ponytail too tight.  That went on for several days.  If you have longer hair, you know what I am talking about.  The next time that I brushed my hair right before my shower, I figured out why my head hurt.

I had lost SO MUCH HAIR that the loose pieces were wrapped around the hair that was still attached creating huge matts.  It took forever for me to brush it all out and when I did, I can’t even begin to describe how much I lost.  The above picture was the amount I lost in 24 hours.  I had to brush it a few times a day because of those matts that formed.  By the way… there is dirt in some of that hair because I picked it out of the trash to take these photos.  Ha!

Is it my thyroid?   Menopause?  Do I have a vitamin deficiency?

Over the next several days, I lost so much hair that I was getting very concerned.  Actually 30% of my hair was gone at this time.  It was so strange because I had NO other symptoms.  I actually felt fantastic, except for the fact that my hair was falling out by the handfuls.  My doctor told me at the last visit a few months prior that I needed to get my thyroid labs done in December.  So I called them to tell them what was going on with my hair and they had me come in for a chat.

They told me that since I had Covid in May, that they suspect that is the cause of my hair loss, because they have seen lots of people with this issue. But they wanted to do some labs to be safe. They drew blood for my thyroid panel and checked my vitamin D levels.  A few days later, my thyroid results came back normal.  And, my vitamin D level was on the higher end of normal.  

Over the next several weeks, I was still losing massive amounts of hair.  I could pull strings of hair directly from my scalp while washing it.  It was honestly pretty traumatizing. However, while all of my hair was falling out, I had a massive amount of new growth coming in at the same time. 

Given that fact, I am 100% certain that this is all Covid related.  

I have heard from hundreds of people, maybe thousands, who had the same issue following Covid.  Some have told me they lost a little and some have said they lost 100% of it.  To this day, I have lost probably 85% of my hair.  But, as you can see in the below picture, I have an entire head full of hair underneath what’s left.  It’s like a dog’s undercoat.  Ha!

More thoughts on my hair loss….

The people who have been through this understand.  When you are going about your life and randomly and completely unexpectedly lose your hair, it can throw you for a loop.  There were a few comments over on social media from people saying, “It’s just hair.” 

It is just hair.  But your hair is part of your identity.  And, it is a little frightening when it happens to you especially before figuring out what it is from.  Once I figured it out and also saw that it was coming back in as fast as it was falling out, it made this process a lot easier to accept.  I actually have my head wrapped around this entire process now.  It is still shocking when I look in the mirror as I now see a little old lady with thinning hair staring back at me.  Ha!  I can laugh about it now.

If you are going through this type of hair loss, I am sorry.  And, I totally understand how you feel.  I have been using a few products that I will be sharing soon. The products include fake hair pieces and products to promote new growth.  So stay tuned for that.

 

Now cheers to getting things back to normal around this space.  I am excited to start sharing all of our projects again.  We have completed a few!

Danelle Harvey

View Comments

  • I had covid in May of 22, I just started losing my hair this October. I have very fine hair but a lot of it so it does not show like yours did. However I totally understand your distress over it because our hair is part of who we are.
    Someone told me to use castor-oil where I part my hair twice a week. ( it’s hard to wash out) however it has worked and my hair loss has stopped.

    • I am so glad your hair loss has stopped! Thanks for sharing the castor-oil trick! I have been researching all sorts of tips and tricks.

  • Danelle...I just finished chemo in March of this year..lost all my hair, my lashes and my brows and every other hair on my body. While I didn't mind losing it in some places...I was heartbroken to lose it on my head, lashes and brows. It is so much of our identity! Any, check into Keranique, if you haven't already. My hair is growing back in leaps and bounds. Hang in there, girl!! It will get better!

    • I am so sorry to hear this, Kellie. I can't imagine also losing my brows and lashes, as well. I am familiar with the brand name so I will have to look into their products a little more. Thanks for sharing!! I'm so glad you hear that your hair is coming back!

  • I've been following along on IG and came to the blog to see if you had had any luck with products. I had Covid in Sept, but also went through my husband's cancer diagnosis and treatment and the very sudden, tragic, unexpected loss of my mother the beginning of the year. The significant hair loss started in November and the docs feel it is a combination of trauma and post-Covid loss. Like you I was shedding heavily but until I had that head pain and mass loss really didn't pay it as much attention.
    I always feel guilty saying anything because I have always been blessed with long, thick hair that people would comment on, and even with 50% of it gone people will say "oh seriously? You have a full head of hair"... but to me it is devastating.
    Thank you so much for sharing. It has really helped.

Share
Published by
Danelle Harvey

Recent Posts

Antique Finds this Week – Concrete Finials

We have been feeling recently like we are so busy, but it seems like we…

15 hours ago

High Protein Gluten Free Lasagna

I have been gluten free for years.. maybe 8-10. So we have had to be…

2 days ago

Deb and Danelle Best of March

Another month has come and gone. Can you even believe it?! March went by so…

4 days ago

Outdoor Must-Haves for Summer from QVC

THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY QVC AND COLLECTIVE VOICE. April is an exciting month for…

5 days ago

Spring Mantel in the Dining Room

Did you see the brick wall behind the fireplace in the dining room?  We had…

1 week ago

Antique Chandeliers in our Kitchen

Man, am I behind on catching you all up with our projects.  We recently took…

2 weeks ago