Among the many unexpected issues people have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic is hair loss.

Its cause? In a word: stress.

The type of hair shedding associated with COVID-19 is called telogen effluvium (TE), says Purvisha Patel, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Memphis, Tennessee, and founder of Visha Skincare. TE is a result of a major stress on the body, and it happens in response to mental and physical stress.

The tumult caused by the pandemic is enough to trigger it. But if you developed a COVID-19 infection, you might have gotten a double whammy, because TE can also result from the physical stress of an illness. What’s more, because the pandemic has lingered so long, and TE has been on an upsurge throughout, hair regrowth may be impacted, says Dr. Patel.

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