Covid sufferer, 45, believes hair loss is a symptom of the virus


Covid sufferer, 45, only realised she had been infected with the virus when large clumps of her hair started falling out

  • Abby Read, 45, thought she avoided Covid-19 after her family caught the virus
  • She was exhibiting none of the ordinary symptoms such as a cough or fatigue 
  • However, one of her daughters noticed Ms Read was losing large clumps of hair
  • She said it took more than six months for her hair to grow back after the virus  

A mother-of-two, whose daughters contracted Covid-19 believe the killer virus is responsible for her dramatic hair loss. 

Abby Read, 45, of Totnes, Devon, believed she caught Covid-19 in March 2020 when routine testing for the illness were not widely available. 

Ms Read said her two daughters had classic Covid-19 symptoms such as coughing, fatigue and breathlessness. 

Initially, she thought she had avoided the virus because she did not develop any of the widely publicised symptoms. 

However, a short while later, Ms Read said one of her daughters noticed that she had been losing large clumps of hair.  

She said: ‘My hair just fell out in big clumps. It was awful and very, very upsetting. It’s rarely discussed and I felt unattractive and embarrassed.

‘I have long hair which I couldn’t wear down anymore. I had to style my hair in way to distinguish the bald patches.

‘I had not heard of it being a Covid symptom, but when I did some research online I read a report that said 22 per cent of women who have Covid suffer hair loss.

‘Mine was not alopecia totalis which causes complete hair loss. It was confined to two spots.’

After seeking advice from her doctor, Abby was prescribed topical corticosteroids, an ointment rubbed into where the hair loss had occurred.

It wasn’t until six months later that her started to slowly grow back again.

Today it has been reported a study has found that a quarter of Covid patients suffer hair loss in the first six months after they were infected – and women are more at risk.

Researchers studying a range of long-term symptoms found 359 out of 1,655 patients hospitalised in Wuhan, China, suffered with hair loss.

Ms Read said: ‘I’m no expert but from my research it suggests coronavirus seems to be like an auto immune disease in that it can attack your human system and in my case it made me body think my hair follicles were attacking me and shut them down to prevent them from growing.

‘I changed my diet and cut out all wheat and dairy. I was so relieved when my hair started to grow back. What has grown back is like baby hair because it is soft and fluffy, and so far it is only about an inch long so it’s not growing quickly.’

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Ms Read has shared a post on social media about her hair loss to make more people people aware that it is a symptom of coronavirus, and to give people hope now that her hair has started to grow back.

She said: ‘I was quite surprised by how many other women have been sharing their own similar stories.

‘A 19-year-old woman messaged me thanking me for what I had shared because she was suffering the same thing and said how ashamed she was.

‘I think it’s an important issue because it’s a much bigger problem than people realise.

‘If other people have had hair loss then just stick with it and try and have a little hope because mine is growing back.’

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