Freedomroo – Losing your hair over lockdown? A new survey reveals you’re not the only one

One fifth of people believe the condition of their hair has got worse in lockdown (file image)

You know you’re stressed. And why wouldn’t you be in the middle of a global pandemic? But what you might not have realised is that your hair is also feeling the strain — and it shows.

Research released exclusively to the Mail has revealed that, since the lockdowns began, in March 2020, one fifth of people believe the condition of their hair has got worse, with 36 per cent of those saying their hair is thinner, and 40 per cent saying it looked duller.

The figures come from research carried out by hair supplement Viviscal, but its findings are echoed by hair experts across the nation.

‘When we reopened after the first lockdown, we definitely saw a lot more of our clients complaining of weakened hair or hair loss,’ says Richard Ward, who is renowned for being the Duchess of Cambridge’s stylist.

Part of this may be down to a change in habits. ‘People are washing their hair less often in lockdown and, if you’re prone to an itchy scalp or dandruff, that can make it worse,’ says dermatologist Dr Martin Wade, of the London Skin & Hair Clinic.

And as trichologist Anabel Kingsley, of Philip Kingsley Clinics, points out, our diet may have changed, too. ‘When you’re stressed, you may not eat as well as you normally would. Nutritional deficiencies often show up first in the form of hair shedding.’

One fifth of people believe the condition of their hair has got worse in lockdown (file image)

Many people think they’re going greyer during lockdown — and not just because they can’t see their colourist. Could the stress of the coronavirus really have accelerated the pace at which you’re losing your natural colour?

‘My grandmother used to say her father, who was very young when he went to war, came back completely grey,’ says Richard Ward. ‘My gut feeling, based on seeing a lot of clients, is that you do go greyer under stress.’

While it’s not been proven in humans, studies on mice suggest it’s possible. And just look at politicians who reach high office with a full head of lustrously coloured hair but leave it thinning and grey.

If you’ve actually had Covid, then hair problems could be even more apparent.

There’s a condition called acute telogen effluvium that is well documented,’ says trichologist Iain Sallis (hairmedic.co.uk). ‘This is when an illness, a car accident or some other form of shock temporarily stops the hair creation process.

‘Making hair requires a lot of energy, and when the body is under stress it decides it can’t waste energy on this and diverts it to fighting the illness.’

Hair often sits in a resting phase for two to three months before it sheds, so the thinning isn’t noticed until then, when new hair doesn’t replace that naturally lost.

Sallis adds: ‘With coronavirus, I’ve been seeing that even patients who had very mild symptoms are experiencing hair loss. For every one degree celsius increase in temperature [they’ve suffered with a fever], they’re experiencing around a ten per cent reduction in hair.’

Philip Kingsley Flaky/Itchy Anti-Dandruff Scalp Toner, from £10, philipkingsley.com

Philip Kingsley Flaky/Itchy Anti-Dandruff Scalp Toner, from £10, philipkingsley.com

So what can you do if your hair is suffering from stress? The ultimate solution is to treat the cause, not the symptoms.

‘You need to relieve the stress, whether through therapy or some other form of relaxation, eat a healthy balanced diet and get enough sleep,’ says Dr Wade.

But if you want to treat the symptoms in the meantime, then try these products.

SOOTHING TONER

Philip Kingsley Flaky/Itchy Anti-Dandruff Scalp Toner, from £10, philipkingsley.com

Part of an extensive range specifically designed to address scalp issues, this soothing toner is designed to be used after each wash (and on the scalp when hair is dry, as needed). 

Living Proof Dry Volume Blast, £25, livingproof.co.uk

Living Proof Dry Volume Blast, £25, livingproof.co.uk

It contains a combination of ingredients to calm irritation, stop itching and help to get rid of the fungus that causes dandruff. 

Use in addition to washing your hair daily.

VOLUME BOOST

Living Proof Dry Volume Blast, £25, livingproof.co.uk

If your hair feels thin and you want more volume when styling, try this clever spray. 

It doesn’t leave hair limp, greasy, or weighed down but simply increases the space between hairs, giving the appearance of greater volume.

Kerastase Fusio Dose Specifique Apaisante, £47.30, kerastase.co.uk

Kerastase Fusio Dose Specifique Apaisante, £47.30, kerastase.co.uk

IRRITATION BE GONE

Kerastase Fusio Dose Specifique Apaisante, £47.30, kerastase.co.uk

Richard Ward recommends this to his clients who suffer from irritated scalps.

 This course of 12 ‘doses’ is designed to be applied three times a week for four weeks.

HAIR HEALTH

Viviscal supplements, from £25.99, viviscal.co.uk

According to Richard Ward, this is their biggest-selling product in salon. 

Viviscal supplements, from £25.99, viviscal.co.uk

Viviscal supplements, from £25.99, viviscal.co.uk

‘It takes three months to see a difference, and you have to take it religiously, but it’s got really strong science behind it and whether you’ve been stressed, ill or on medication, I think you’ll see an improvement in hair quantity and quality.’

RESTORE SHINE

Undone by George Northwood Unpolluted Shampoo, £18, boots.com

Meghan’s favourite hairdresser has launched his own haircare range. 

This shampoo is designed to be used weekly to strip out the build-up that conditioners and styling products can leave on hair, making it look dull.

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