COVID-19 Hair Loss
How to Talk to Your Clients & Offer Solutions
Believe it or not, COVID-19 is bringing us yet another side-effect—hair loss. Recently, dermatologists have begun reporting about patients who have experienced hair loss as a result of COVID-19.
While it’s not scientifically linked just yet, people recovering from COVID are certainly dealing with these types of side effects, and experts are starting to look at COVID as the culprit.
Hair loss—whether it’s COVID-related or not—can be a tough topic for your clients—it’s important to acknowledge that while doing everything your power to help them.
This article is going to dive into some of the basic things we think every stylist and cosmetologist should know about COVID hair loss, how to open up a conversation about hair thinning or loss with your clients, and what you can do to help clients deal and heal with hair loss.
COVID-19 Hair Loss: Yes, It’s a Real Thing—Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Here’s the blunt truth—some people who are recovering from COVID have been experiencing hair loss. Though COVID hasn’t been directly linked as the underlying cause of hair loss, experts think it’s got something to do with it, and they’re calling the effect telogen effluvium.
Basically, researchers and doctors are suggesting that the physical and emotional stress that goes hand-in-hand with a case of COVID-19 is what’s leading to telogen effluvium, or rather, a reversible hair loss condition that’s known to occur after a stressful event, emotional distress, high fever, and even major surgery.
Here’s the most important takeaway from these hypotheses—temporary hair loss is very normal after a fever, an illness, or a super high-stress event.
Another important thing? Often, this isn’t necessarily hair loss, rather, hair shedding. Your client might feel like they’re losing hair—and to be fair, if it’s coming out in clumps, that’s a totally justified feeling.
But if they’re dealing with hair loss as a result of COVID or other high-stress medical events in their life, it’s totally possible that the hair shedding from telogen effluvium could resolve on its own.
Some dermatologists suggest that this type of condition will resolve on its own—you just need to give it time.
How to Talk to Your Clients About Hair Loss
Even though so many people deal with it (in a temporary capacity or in a permanent one), starting the conversation can be hard—hair is a very personal thing. It makes sense that clients would be sensitive or upset about loss or thinning, even if it’s only temporary.
So, how do you talk to your clients about such a touchy subject?
Start with honesty and empathy. No, you don’t need to pity your client (why would you?), but you do need to be sensitive about the fact that this topic might be hard for them.
Secondly, just talk with them to help diagnose and resolve. Ask them questions about their diet, their routine, their daily vitamins, etc. If you can, get your client to provide some insight on what might be going on. Then, work together to assess the situation and arrive at a solution.
Thirdly, let your client talk. You’re a professional, so it can be easy to take control of the convo. And TBH, at some point you should, but you also need to realize that this is as much a hair consultation as it is a time for your clients to share their feelings—that’s part of being a cosmetologist.
Be a good listener, hear your clients out, and reassure them that you’re always listening. The more your clients trust you, the easier it will be to have tough conversations like this.
Finally, discuss all the possibilities of hair loss with your clients—don’t just automatically assume it’s a COVID thing. Hair loss can stem from all sorts of things, like age, genetics, stress, post-surgery healing, heat and chemical damage, and more.
COVID-19 Hair Loss Solutions & Remedies
Like we mentioned before, if your client is dealing with temporary hair loss from a high-stress or medical situation (like COVID), the problem will eventually right itself, it just takes some time. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t help your clients speed up the process.
Here are a few suggestions you can throw their way to help stimulate growth in those thinning areas:
- Research and suggest treatments that you feel confident will work, like Nioxin or Bosley. (Alyssa Milano was reported to be using Nioxin after her bought with COVID-19-related hair loss).
- Reassure your clients that this type of hair loss is temporary but stress can make these issues worse—encourage your clients to reduce the stress in their lives where possible (and to try not to stress about their temporary hair loss, too).
- Open the discussion about vitamins and supplements—are they taking any? If their body is dealing with vitamin or mineral deficiencies because of an illness, their vital organs will be taken care of first—meaning hair, skin, and nails are sort of kicked to the curb until the body heals. Implementing supplements and vitamins (like biotin) can go a long way.
- Encourage your clients to remove heat and chemical steps from their haircare program to help their re-growth process.
- Show your clients how to massage their scalps thoroughly to help stimulate hair growth.
- Offer some amazing wig recommendations if your client is dealing with substantial loss and is looking for a different solution—it can help your clients reduce their stress levels, which helps, too.
- Encourage your clients to take a look at their medications—do any of them warn that hair loss is a side-effect? Have them consult with their doctor before they go on or off any medications.
Hair Loss & Hair Thinning Prevention Tips
Hair loss can be temporary or permanent—either way, there are things you can do to help your clients heal and deal. But you can also help clients with hair loss before it happens. If you notice that you have a client with thinning hair, there are plenty of helpful, preventative tips you can share with them to combat thinning locks.
Check out our entire article about hair loss prevention right here to get a better idea of how you can help your clients and better understand hair loss prevention in general.
At the end of the day, the best thing you can be for your client is a supportive friend and a knowledgeable expert—we hope this article can help you do both!
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