Hair health and the after-effects of COVID19
By Kiekie Stanners
I noticed some drastic effects to my hair during the COVID years. It was only after talking to multiple clients and talent that I realised it seemed to be a common consequence. Straw-like texture, hair breakage or dramatic fallout. Upon instantly researching I found that some studies had shown that up to 30% of those who had a severe case of COVID-19 experienced temporary hair loss.
I found that (of course) the body is paying more attention to healing from the virus, and so the hair goes into a resting phase. The term ‘like a storm coming though, knocking off the blooms’ makes absolute sense. Hair growth cycles are common, with a 6 to 7-year cycle before it goes into a resting phase again, but COVID could have possibly messed with that and put the natural cycle to a halt.
But not to panic. Shedding hair is actually a sign of recovery. The new baby hair is pushing the old out, and they are recovering.
If you too felt the effects over these past few years, and after maintaining a healthy diet, taking your multivitamins and checking that things like your thyroid are A-OK, yes the hair will re-grow.
I went down a hair health rabbit hole and was reminded of some basics for hair recovery…
No need to be like Marcia Brady and brush 100 strokes at a time, but morning and evening brushing is beneficial for distributing natural oils and dislodging dead skin cells that can affect the health of the scalp.
A brush is like a soft massage of the scalp and encourages growth - I’d forgotten how much brushing your hair calms you down. A great alternative activity to get me off my phone. Try using the Tortoise Soft Boar Brush or Mason Pearson Handy Hairbrush.
I saved my pennies and got back on the egg-buzz to save my strands. Switching to a diet rich in protein feeds hair growth as hair follicles are mostly made of protein. If you are not consuming enough protein, hair can become dry, brittle and weak. I even experimented with an egg hair mask. Two eggs whisked together and left to dry in the hair for half an hour before rinsing with cool to warm water. Cannot confirm if this helped with hair regrowth but it felt like I was trying at least.
Oil Me Up
My first initial reaction to my brittle hair was to reach for the Coconut Oil. Without any research but a knee-jerk reaction.
The benefits are mostly positive. It is thought that the chemical structure of coconut oil helps protect hair and reduce protein loss, as its main component is lauric acid. This fatty acid has a long, straight structure meaning it is easily absorbed into the hair shaft. Whilst my hair started to feel shinier and fuller again from using it as a night mask, the repercussions of coconut oil getting over your bedding no matter what is potentially not worth it.
Get on the targeted supplements. I feel like 2023 has been nearly impossible to remain stress-free and sticking to a healthy diet is non-existent (dopamine snackies anyone). Cue supplements. The best way to get a hit of all the right nutrients in one go.
Try Vida Glow Hairology Capsules. Biotin, Zinc, Selenium and Seaweed extract for Advanced Repair. Sign Me Up!
Lay off the heat
I guess there’s never a good time to try and stay away from blow-drying or straightening your hair. But a positive from all that time at home meant more time away from heat and letting hair repair naturally.
High heat damages your hair's keratin strands which can lead to breakage and damage-prone hair. Embracing your natural texture can be a post-COVID liberating move. From not touching my hair with any kind of heat for 6 months (scary!) the baby hairs started coming back straight away, showing signs of regrowth.
The rise of natural curls somehow feels less rigid and effortless right now after what seems like an exhausting year for everyone. Try incorporating Davines Love Curl Revitalizer or Kevin Murphy Killer Waves into your regime and embrace natural texture.
Gym Bunny benefits
A little exercise is great for hair. It increases blood circulation and the amount of oxygen and nutrients going to the scalp. It ensures the follicles are getting everything they need to grow strong and healthy hair. Not only that, but sweat can push dead cells out and regenerate new ones, meaning new hair.
A little note though; after your regular hot pilates classes ensure hair is washed appropriately to avoid sweat build-up or check out our post-workout refreshers here.
Hard working products
After all that hard work at the gym, let your products do some hard work for your hair too. K18 actually reverses the damage by mimicking the exact amino acid chains that comprise keratin allowing it to repair broken bonds. While Oribe Hair Alchemy restores hair’s elasticity to achieve longer, stronger hair.
Get the chop
Alternatively, try a different shorter cut. Less weight in hair helps it feel lighter and of course, dead ends aren’t cute. A Hailey Bieber bob could be what your 2024 hair needs. Keen? Book online at colleen here.