Losing your hair? The pandemic could be to blame

Hair loss can happen for a variety of reasons- hormones, illness, genes, diet.

And while research is ongoing into hair loss as a possible symptom of Covid 19 - experts say the stress of lockdown has led to an increase in the number of people losing their hair.

Lesley Walsh lost all her hair in the first three months of lockdown

Lesley Walsh, from Preston, lost all her hair within the first three months of lockdown.

The mum of two has Alopecia Areata- an autoimmune disorder that develops when the body attacks its own hair follicles.

All the time you're just checking in the mirror and finding hair everywhere and that's so stressful. After three months there was only a tuft left on the top and a couple of patches at the back so I just shaved it off.

Lesley Walsh

While hair loss has been reported as a possible symptom of Covid 19, Lesley thinks the pressures of a pandemic lead to hers. 

Lesley Walsh says she doesn't let Alopecia affect her life

I think stress has been a big factor in losing my hair.  I was trying to launch a business, I'm the main breadwinner, I've got two children and I was worried how lockdown would affect them. We've all had worries and concerns. How I deal with stress just seems to be by losing my hair. 

Lesley Walsh

Tracy Potter from Liverpool has lived with Alopecia for more than 30 years.

Her wig salon, Hair Fairy Wigs, is one of only two in the UK contracted to supply the NHS.

While anyone experiencing sudden hair loss should seek medical advice- lockdown's lead to lots of people wanting help to hide it.

Tracy Potter who owns a wig salon in Liverpool says they've seen a steep increase in clients experiencing stress related hair loss

Tracy knows from personal experience how hair loss can have a huge psychological impact.

She thinks wigs and hairpieces can be a solution for something that's often a temporary problem.

Eva Proudman, Chairman of The Institute of Trichologists

Consultant trichologist Eva Proudman, chairman of The Institute of Trichologists, says she's seen a significant rise in patients presenting with hair loss, including children.

I've seen children from the age of ten with Alopecia Areata and quite often it's stress related. They've either got parents working on the frontline and they're worried about them or they've been worried about homeschooling and falling behind and that's coming out as Alopecia Areata.

Eva Proudman, Chairman of the Institute of Trichologists

And while there are signs Lesley's hair is starting to grow back she's refusing to let her lack of hair affect her life.

I can't just sit here and mope about it. I've got things to do! I haven't had much negativity about my Alopecia, in fact most people are very nice about it. So take me as I am or unfriend me!

Lesley Walsh

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