How the stress of COVID-19 prompted a mass fall out—of hair.

Home / Journal / Hair / Behind the GROWTH COLLECTION

At The Nue Co. we believe that health is an ecosystem. Our health is interconnected—our gut health impacts our skin health, our sleep impacts our mood, and our diet impacts our hair, which is why we develop products for total holistic health.

Hair loss can be caused when the hair growth cycle is disrupted by stress, nutrient deficiencies, a hormonal imbalance or pollution and oxidative stress—or a combination of them all. Stress releases cortisol which can push hair follicles into a “resting” (telogen) phase, causing shedding and a lack of new hair to occur; hair follicles need a constant supply of nutrients to grow and function properly due to high cell turnover; hormonal imbalances such as thyroid issues can lead to hair loss and lack of hair growth; and oxidative stress from the environment which can block hair growth and increase hair loss.

COVID-19 offers a prime example of how hair loss can mask itself under the veil of other causes: aside from the primary symptoms such as fever, cough and a shortness of breath, came the “long COVID” side effect of hair loss. Although still unrecognized as a symptom by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans began searching for hair loss solutions almost 1 million times a month, people took to Twitter to share their stories and Amanda Mull, staff writer for The Atlantic, even dubbed 2021 as “The Year America’s Hair Fell Out.”

The murmurs eventually prompted scientific investigation, with one study finding that among those hospitalized with COVID-19, 22% were experiencing hair loss months later. Another study confirmed that “COVID-19 infection is a major cause of acute telogen effluvium”, which is the scientific term for temporary excessive hair shedding or resting due to disruption to the normal hair cycle. It’s nothing new or unique however; high fever from flu or other illnesses and stress are known to push hair follicles into the resting phase where the hair is no longer receiving nutrients.

Hair goes beyond vanity: it’s an expression of our identity; a representation of our cultural heritage; a confidence-booster that can make us feel more productive; a statement of our individuality, and, at its most functional, a method of insulation. So when we consider these factors, hair loss isn’t a trivial symptom—our mental health can depend on it.

The GROWTH COLLECTION was formulated as a two-step, ingestible and topical approach for total root-to-tip hair health to address the four most common causes of telogen effluvium: stress, nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances and pollution.

We know that stress can cause a whole host of repercussions on our health, and our hair is one of them. Contracting COVID can undoubtedly be a stressful experience, not just for the uncertainty of how your body will respond to the infection, but for the informing of close contacts, the isolation, the change in routine and the disruption to plans. This can cause a release of cortisol, the stress hormone, into the body which pushes hair follicles into the resting phase so they don’t produce new hair strands and excess shedding occurs. The good news? Stress related hair loss is usually reversible.

GROWTH PHASE is packed with nourishing ingredients that combat hair loss and promote healthy, strong growth such as all 8 B vitamins, but when it comes to stress, we use adaptogenic Reishi mushroom and Eleuthero Root extract to help moderate the body’s natural response. By improving the body’s resistance to daily stressors, the levels of cortisol can be balanced out to support the hair growth cycle.

Meanwhile, our scalp serum SUPA_THICK’s blend of Rosemary, Peppermint, Clary Sage oils with Ayurvedic Eclipta Prostrata extract works to stimulate hair follicles back into the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle, while strengthening the follicle and hair shaft. Boosted with follicle protection technology that protects and soothes the follicle while boosting its metabolism and the anagen cycle, your hair will be looking better than ever in no time. Or, maybe some time—in consumer trials, 100% said their hair is thicker and stronger after using both products for 90 days.