Covid hair loss: Hello! New to the group and I... - ICUsteps


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Covid hair loss

Covidkid profile image

Hello! New to the group and I spent time in ICU in December 2020 with covid, I was very poorly, lost my mum the same day I was admitted! I’m still experiencing the symptoms but my hair loss is horrific! Any advice or tips to spare my hair?

16 Replies


I was in ICU in the summer but not covid related. My hair loss got progressively worse after discharge so I made the decision to shave it off as it was dead. It’s grown back really curly and so much fuller.

I bought hair accessories and may them with all my work outfits. I also used a hair thinning shampoo which I think helped

Just had this conservation on another group. Mine is falling out too, but apparently it's common in ICU patients. Look up Telogen Effluvium or here is a good link: It can last up to 9 months but your hair should grow back nicely. I'm using a shampoo and condition for thinning hair called Nioxin, recommended by my hairdresser sister. Try to wash your hair less, brush it less and basically just treat it gently for the time being. Mine also is very dry and brittle, so I'm keeping it very short. I hope that helps xx

After non covid icu I lost a patch or two. I had accepted it but after 6 months mine has grown back.

THANK YOU so much for taking the time to respond, it’s enough having long covid without losing hair!! I appreciate your advise xx

I have been shedding hair everywhere since spending 3 months in ICU with covid. It gets all over the sofa and clothes. As someone else suggested, I now wash and comb it less as each of those activities brings out larger clumps. It does appear to be normal, a response to physiological and psychological stress, and should grow back in again. So I would try not to get overly distressed about what is happening if possible.

A friend has sent me an "anti-hair loss serum", which I spray on, and am using more in hope than expectation, but you never know!

I was in icu for 3 weeks not Covid. I already suffer with alopecia and since discharge I’ve lost loads more. It doesn’t matter how much you was brush etc ! If it’s gonna come out it will. The trauma from icu has caused it your body has been through the mill so just give it time. Hope this helps. Eat and sleep excersise well xx

I was on a ventilator due to Covid and suffered extreme hair loss a month after coming around. I would wake up with hair all over the pillow and it would distressingly come out in handfuls during the day. This lasted about 6 weeks until I feared I would have no hair left! After being reassured by my medical team this was a "normal" consequence it did indeed stop.

I now have new regrowth around the front of my hairline that resembles "baby hair".

I've also bought Plantur39 strengthening shampoo and conditioner which seems to help with volume.

I've always had such thick hair and to see my scalp was very distressing but seems thats the bodies way of concentrating on vital organs on crisis and away from non essential growth (I've also got ridges in my nails where growth stopped).

Its easy to say but patience is key and believe it'll right itself. If it doesn't my GP offered me a blood test as a back up perhaps your will too.

I lost hair after a long ICU stay. I also had deep ridges in the fingernails. it is due to all the nutrients you lose in ICU. I had added a multivitamin to my diet and it improved.

Be well

Everyone in my family that caught Covid, myself included suffered hair loss. We started taking biotin and it has really helped. My father was on a ventilator for a month, he had hair loss as well as the ridges on his fingernails, biotin helped both issues.

Progesterone natural bio identical cream could help you you can buy it online or ebay just make sure that progesterone usp is in the ingredients

Hair loss like this isn’t exclusive to having had Covid. It is one of the common legacies of any trauma.

It’s called telogen effluvium.

The body in trauma stops sending nutrients to unimportant bits of body like nails & hair. - concentrating on keeping vital organs running.

I suffered hair loss after my brother became critically ill and I spent every day in ICU with him for months. Thankfully he has made a great recovery and we are extremely grateful to NHS. It is side effect of trauma as Sepsur says. . I was very run down and low in iron storage protein ferritin. The Drs found this from simple blood tests. I am under an NHS hair loss clinic. There are products such as Plantur that someone on this thread recommended and I find it helps. The nhs consultant I saw put me on minoxidil. I would not try minoxidil without medical advice. Plantur is good,both the tonic and shampoo. I tried everything and this is from trying and failing with lots of products. I hope this helps as I know how distressing it can be.

Covidkid profile image
Covidkid in reply to Copse77

I have heard about plantur so I’m off out today to get some! I used to have very thick shiny hair now it’s very thin and dull, so much so that I’m having it cut back into a short Bob on Monday! As if long covid ain’t bad enough ☹️

Unfortunately this appears to be a very common side effect of a stay in ICU. Your body is focusing on your vital organs and not bothering about your hair follicles.

My long, thick hair with not a hint of white, started to fall out in great big handfuls at about week 3 and lasted for a few months. Fortunately I didn't lose all of it but I did end up having it cut much shorter and I own some very nice headscarves. It nearly grew back just as thick as before but I now have a very dramatic white streak at the front which my GP says was as a result of all the stress my body went through.

Covidkid profile image
Covidkid in reply to CLM68

Gosh that’s awful but pleased it grew back, I have hope then! ☹️🙄

Yeah, I was in ICU, light sedation with covid for 6 days, 2 months back and although my hair was nestled at the back of my head, thanks to the nurse, it came out in bunches while the detangle struggle. It's still falling off. It had grown a couple inches longer too so long loose hair sticking everywhere.

Good thing is, my head is big and I have a lot of voluminous thick hair so I am least worried. But, it's also my marker for my hypothyroidism, so I do need it back to know my thyroid is doing alright!

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