March 2, 2022
A wig shop owner in Kentucky says she is seeing more and more customers with dramatic, unexplained hair loss.
It started last year when Heidi Fuller said new clients were coming into her Awakenings Boutique in Louisville every week, and it has only gotten worse.
After a while, she notices all of them had one thing in common: COVID-19.
“A lot of women are like, ‘What the heck, like what’s happening?'” Fuller said. “‘My hair is falling out now,’ and so when they come in here, a question I ask is, ‘Have you recently had COVID?'”
The answer she very often got was a yes.
It’s a symptom Dr. Christian Furman has also been seeing in the post-COVID-19 clinic at UofL Health.
“It’s so scary because you think like ‘Am I dying?’ or you know, ‘What’s happening?'” Furman said.
Furman said there is still a lot unknown about COVID-19, but said she suspects the hair loss is most likely the body’s response to the virus, and it will eventually grow back.
“The surge of hormones, the surge just your body’s immune system being revved up, and the cytokine storm, those different things that are happening, it affects everything,” Furman said.
Amy Evans said she always had a thick, full head of long hair, but after being diagnosed with the delta variant in June, she spent three weeks on a ventilator and almost died.
Just when she thought the fight was over, her hair started falling out.
“So in the front part I just combed it, and I mean I would look at my comb, and it was falling out in chunks…just completely falling out,” Evans said.
Fuller said she does recommend seeing a doctor if you are suffering from hair loss because it could be more than just COVID-19.
As for the cost of hair replacement or wigs, Fuller said most insurances will help pay for medical hair loss.