As no stranger to hair loss, the timing of the launch of the GROWTH COLLECTION couldn’t have been better for our founder Jules, who recently experienced the familiar and unwelcome symptoms of hair thinning following a bout of COVID.
This is her hair story of how she lost and recovered her signature mane.
How would you describe your hair?
On a good day, it’s easy-to-manage, strong, wavy, thick hair. On a bad day, it’s weak, thinning hair. My favourite way to style it is to air dry without using any products (just a really great shampoo like Act+Acre and Olaplex on the ends). Sometimes I like to curl the ends with my Dyson Airwrap.
How often do you maintain your hair?
I have a trim every six months or so, but I put on a hair mask twice a week and use SUPA_THICK two to three times per week.
What does your hair mean to you?
My hair represents my ties to my Colombian heritage, to this day it’s still the first thing my tias comment on when they see me! Hair is hugely important in Latin American culture, it represents the way you want to present yourself to the world.
Have you previously experienced hair loss?
My hair is my thing, and it’s usually—if I say so myself—really great hair. Having said that, I have bouts of significant hair loss and hair thinning every two years or so. The first time I experienced it was due to hormonal changes as I had the contraceptive implant removed. I lost so much hair that I ended up having to cut most of it off and wear hair extensions (I was at university and had a slightly trashy style!). Beyond that, I can always link my hair loss back to having the flu or long periods of high temperature or fevers. More recently, I’ve experienced COVID-related hair loss having had a high temperature for 11 days. It couldn’t have come at a worse time, being newly pregnant.
How did COVID-19 affect your hair?
I started to lose my hair during the 10+ days of symptoms. It stopped about three or four days after the symptoms stopped so I wasn’t worried as I related it back to stress. Two months later, both my husband and I started losing our hair again. This mirrors most reports about COVID and fever related hair loss. The American Academy of Dermatology Association explains, “Fever is a common symptom of COVID-19. A few months after having a high fever or recovering from an illness, many people see noticeable hair loss.
“While many people think of this as hair loss, it’s actually hair shedding. The medical name for this type of hair shedding is telogen effluvium. It happens when more hairs than normal enter the shedding (telogen) phase of the hair growth life cycle at the same time. A fever or illness can force more hairs into the shedding phase. Most people see noticeable hair shedding two to three months after having a fever or illness. This hair shedding can last for six to nine months before it stops.”
In my case, I wasn’t able to use my trusted SUPA_THICK as it contains essential oils and there’s a lack of research about their safety in early pregnancy. I’m overly cautious since most of my friends use wash-off products with essential oils during pregnancy. Luckily, as soon as I hit the 12 week mark, I adopted my normal hair routine and my hair stopped shedding within two uses!
How did your post-COVID hair loss make you feel?
Hair loss usually really affects my confidence. I always say, as long as you have good hair and healthy skin you are bound to look good, regardless of what you are wearing.
That being said, in light of surviving COVID and being pregnant, I was just so thankful that this was the only long-term side effect I was experiencing. I also felt good knowing that I had products that could reverse the hair shedding quickly.
Was the GROWTH COLLECTION developed as a result of your own experience?
It’s something that I’ve always struggled with and therefore something I’ve always had in mind. It’s just my luck to have experienced it again just before our product launch!
Any parting advice for those experiencing post-COVID hair loss?
- This ties back to the above but be careful with certain hair styles. Buns are a no-go. Try a hair clip or loose scrunchie
- Microfibre hair towels
- The GROWTH COLLECTION
- Brush your hair upside down every night and give yourself a gentle scalp massage every morning to stimulate blood flow to your follicles
- I hated washing my hair when it was falling out because it was yet another reminder of just how much hair I was losing. I started washing my hair less, which was a really bad idea. Greasy hair =unhealthy scalp = more hair loss.
- Keep your hair fresh and clean
- Don’t overdo it on hair products (relates to product build up on the scalp)
Air dry when you can and try to not use too many heat tools