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Stress-induced hair loss becoming more commonplace during the pandemic

Last Updated Feb 1, 2021 at 5:30 pm PST

(CityNews photo)

Red Seal hairstylist Monique Dagenais noticed hair fallout is a common worry among her clients recently

Counsellor says she's not surprised to hear more women coming forward with hair loss worries during stressful times

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – We’ve heard about the anxiety, exhaustion, and loneliness — but there seems to be less talk about hair loss as a sign of stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A Vancouver hairstylist has noticed an overwhelming number of clients worried about what they’re finding in their brush.

“I had actually just done a Q and A on Instagram [asking] what they were noticing with COVID and with their hair, and a lot of people wrote back I am struggling keeping my hair!” Red Seal hairstylist Monique Dagenais said.

Dagenais has been noticing hair fallout is a common worry among her clients recently. She posted to a local Facebook page, offering tips to women about caring for their locks — advising that during these stressful times, a bit of extra hair loss is often normal.

“It’s such a scary thing and when people start stressing about that, it can, in turn, cause more hair loss,” she explained.

Vancouver counsellor Dr. Natasha Ghosh experienced stress-induced hair loss when she was entering grad school.

“When you go into the shower and you wash your hair and run your hands through and all you see is a massive furball — it was like that,” Ghosh said.

Ghosh says she’s not surprised to hear more women coming forward with hair loss worries during these unprecedented and stressful times.

“The stress is more, one hundred per cent,” she said. “And the things that would normally provide us with some relief — the connection, the going out, the distractions that … kind of help to de-stress — we are not getting that. So now, you have stress with no outlet for that and that creates more stress. So, it’s not surprising that we are noticing it differently.”

In addition to seeking out mental and physical health resources, Dagenais advises a lot of people are afraid to touch their hair when they’re worried about losing it, and that can actually make matters worse.

“Even in the shower, they won’t properly clean. They are so afraid of really getting in there with their fingers. So they’re not giving it that invigoration and they are not getting all those oils out and promote growth and rejuvenation,” she said.

Dagenais also suggests when tying up your hair, keep it loose and switch up the way you wear it, as tension can lead to breakage.